Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

PowerPivot Beta Alpha Geek Challenge 2 Entry

Posted by denglishbi on February 13, 2010

I waited too long to get my entry in most likely for Challenge 2 of the Alpha Geek Challenge.  It states that it goes through tonight, but not sure if my submission will get posted in the entry list for voting or not – View All Available Entries.

Oh well, it was fun.  I started in on it last night and unfortunately as I was 75% done Excel 2010 Beta decided to run into an unexpected error and close.  I was hoping that the file would be recovered when I re-opened Excel, but no such luck.  So I decided that I would possibly try again this morning.FAA Wildlife Strike logo

For my PowerPivot example I decided to use the FAA Wildlife Strike Database that was made public.  I saw this data being demoed during the BI Power Hour at the PASS 2009 Summit and thought it was interesting.  Especially when you look at the data and start to see species like foxes, opossum, deer, skunks, prairie dogs, squirrels, and moose…  Wow, wouldn’t want to be in the plane when the moose got in the way.

Once I got the data loaded into PowerPivot I decided that I would look at the data for airports in my region of the United States along with the data where the Microsoft BI 2010 Conference will be this year in Louisiana.  I took a look at the trend of strikes over the past nine years along with information on the cost of the repairs (wanted to see how significant the strike was), the top species that get hit (or is it the other way around?), and lastly at what point in the flight that the strike occurred.


With the slicers I setup filters to select the states that I wanted to view (MN and surrounding states along with LA), time of day (picked Day and Night since that is typically when I would be flying), and then the month (6 for June since that is when the Microsoft BI 2010 Conference is this year).  I also utilized some of the conditional formatting capabilities in the PivotTable for the heat map effect and I couldn’t resist putting in the pie charts.  Not all of the data was labeled with an identifier so you do get some unknowns or blanks, but it was still an interesting exercise and I hope that my entry will make it into the list.  The image above was one that I used in my third attempt to place an entry today and I tweaked the bottom two PivotCharts a bit.  We will see if it ever shows up today…hopefully.

I submitted my entry three different times this morning and you don’t get a confirmation message or feedback at all, so not sure if it even accepted it or was successful.  If you have some time later on tonight please check out the list of entries and Vote for me if I make the cutHot



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