Dan English's BI Blog

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

Archive for February, 2016

Power BI–Marvel vs DC Movie Analysis

Posted by denglishbi on February 24, 2016

Back in January Microsoft held it’s second community Power BI contest for Best Report Contest. After a few weeks of brainstorming and sifting through data I finally came to a conclusion that I wanted to do some analysis on a couple of items that I like, movies and super heroes, so why not take a look at how Marvel and DC movies have faired over the years:)

This is an interactive report comparing the results of Marvel versus DC movie information with regards to the number of movies, adjusted worldwide gross box office earnings, and includes IMDb ratings. You can get a feel for the shift from the 1960’s through the 1990’s as DC dominated the market and then Marvel stepped in and has dominated the box office since.

Will DC regain its focus and dominance that it once had? Batman v Superman could be a start and that is where its roots are from and then later this year with Suicide Squad it can gain some more momentum. Maybe next year with Justice League and Wonder Woman it will find new life and something to compete with Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and X-Men. You will see in the insights that keeping the movie rating at a PG-13 level is key, these movies will average 4x more than an R rated movie will gross.

Sorry Marvel, Deadpool is not looking good for earnings, but you will make up for it with Captain America Civil War which should make 5x as much! (this comment was made on Jan 29, prior to Deadpool opening up at the box office)


This report showcases and highlights a bunch of features in Power BI, integrating multiple data sources, calling a web service, cards, charts, drill down, custom visuals, slicers, color definition, back ground images, and more!

Here were some of the insights I discovered while exploring this data:

– From 1960 to 1990 DC dominated making 86% of movies and grossed $4.54B more than Marvel movies

– From 2000+ Marvel has made 80% of the movies and grossed $15B more than DC

– R rated movies average $446M less than PG-13 movies

– Marvel movies average $60 to $90M more than DC movies

– Marvel/DC: stick to Avengers and Justice League characters! They make more money;)

Another insight that I was curious about was why Iron Man 3 was so popular and grossed so much money.  I mentioned this to my wife and she quickly asked, “Well did it come out after the Avengers movie?”  I switched back to my Power BI report…well “Yes it did, that is brilliant!” So follow up the movies with more spinoffs, kind of like DC will do next year with Wonder Woman.

Here is my video showcasing my Power BI Best Report Contest Entry, unfortunately I did not make it into the Top 10 for the voting process.

If you want to check out the Top 10 finalists they are all posted here and I believe at some point they will be adding all of the entries into the public showcase area as well.

And I guess Deadpool is defying the odds and proving everyone wrong, after two weeks in the box office it has already beat out the best X-Men movie here in the US and has grossed nearly $500M globally. Not bad for a movie they spent $58M on to make, plus it was banned in China.  So I guess maybe making the next Wolverine move Rated R might work out okay.

After Less Than Two Weeks, Deadpool Is Already the Biggest X-Men Movie Ever

After Less Than Two Weeks, Deadpool Is Already the Biggest X-Men Movie Ever

As of February 22, Deadpool has grossed almost $236 million in the United States, according to Box Office Mojo. During its entire run, the previous #1 X-film, X-Men: The Last Stand, grossed just over $234 million.

I hope you enjoyed this, now I have to figure out what else to check out with Power BI!

Posted in Power BI | Tagged: , , | 4 Comments »

Minnesota Microsoft Power BI User Group Feb 22 Follow Up

Posted by denglishbi on February 23, 2016

Today we kicked off the 2016 year with two presentations, one on SQL Server 2016 and the other on Power BI.  Will Weber (@WilliamWeber) did the first presentation and I did the one covering the majority of the items that have been released for Power BI since I last spoke to our group last June. Wow, that was quite a daunting task, the Microsoft Power BI team has gone crazy and is doing a phenomenal job.

Here is the content I presented and for the demos I covered some of the key new features, but I think I might have glossed over a few as well as skipped a few that I wanted to cover, just not enough time to try and tackle this in an hour:)


The slides do include links, so reference those for more additional information and the complete list of updates, just remember this is not everything, just some of the key items that I selected;)

I also showcased a new Power BI report, Power BI Ideas, that I put together that is based on the Power BI Ideas area.  I thought this would be interesting to show people the items that were completed, that are started, and also being planned for.  That way they could get a good feel to how the User Voice really matters and that people need to use this to submit as well as vote on items, it really does make a difference.


(apologize, I am using WordPress.com which does not allow for the embedding of iFrames, so the image will send you to a link to run the live report)

This report above took some time and work to put together. The Ideas forum area does not have the data in a table, it is all in a list. Plus it appears on multiple pages, so a bit of screen scraping had to be performed. Then you realize that that completed and declined ones are not include in the normal pages. So it took some time and work to compile the file. I have thought about moving the source file to OneDrive and then updating that file using Power Update, we will see.

Some other areas that I wanted to mention that I forgot were some of the nice showcase areas available that include live examples you can interact with:

Department Solutions

Industry Solutions

Partner Showcase

Best Report Finalists

Power BI Showcase

We had great attendance too today, the even was sold out and standing room only, with approximately 120 people in attendance, outstanding!


And “Yes”, that is my work Surface Pro 3 at the bottom right. Are you on team Captain America or team Iron Man?

I can’t wait till May 6!

I also forgot that I had some Power Bars (I thought that was kind of fitting for my Power BI topic…) to give away during my presentation, so I just randomly tossed them out to some attendees afterwards.


Looking forward to another exciting year of Power BI announcements, the roadmap ahead is looking very good!

Posted in Training | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

MN PASS Microsoft BI User Group Meeting – Feb 22

Posted by denglishbi on February 9, 2016

The next MN Microsoft BI User Group meeting is coming up in a couple of weeks on Monday, February 22.  We will have two topics, one on the upcoming release of SQL Server 2016 (which CTP 3.3 was just released) and the other on Power BI (all of the new content since I last spoke on it last year – which is a lot of content).

Please Register Now (Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed)

MN Microsoft BI User Group Feb 2016 Meeting

Sponsored by:


Date: Monday, February 22, 2016

Check In: 12:45 PM Event Time: 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Location: Microsoft Technology Center – 3601 76th St W, Suite 600 Edina MN 55435 (in LOW 1, 2, and 3)

Please Register Now (Please register so that we can have your name badge pre-printed)


  • 12:45-1:00 : Check-In
  • 1:00-1:15 : Microsoft BI User Group Updates and Announcements
  • 1:15-2:15 : SQL Server 2016
  • 2:15-2:30 : Break
  • 2:30-3:30 : Getting the new year started with Microsoft Power BI!
  • 3:30-5:00 : Networking and Pizza


Session 1: SQL Server 2016

Microsoft is continuing to invest heavily in BI and Analytics with SQL Server 2016. Reporting Services and Analysis Services are receiving major enhancements and will deliver modern and mobile reporting as well as powerful modeling capabilities. SQL 2016 also brings new advanced analytic capabilities with R Services and enables hybrid BI scenarios to benefit from existing on-premises investments. In this sessions we’ll go over the new BI features of SQL 2016 and talk about the future of BI in SQL Server.

Speaker: Will Weber

Will Weber is a Data Platform Solution Architect with Microsoft. He’s been an active participant in the SQL community in the Twin Cities for a number of years and looks forward to continuing that work in the future. And if the PowerBall gets back up to $1.5 billion he’ll definitely consider buying a ticket.

Session 2: Getting the new year started with Microsoft Power BI!

In this session we will take a look at the changes that Microsoft has released for the Power BI Service, Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Mobile Apps. Microsoft continues to release updates to Power BI on a weekly and monthly basis. Some of the changes since we last met include items such as Custom Visualizations, Full Screen Mode, Pop-Out for Visualizations, Printing, Export Data, QR Codes, Excel Add-In, Widgets, R Visuals Integration, Improved Image Support, and much, much more. Come and check out all of the latest capabilities of Power BI and be amazed!

Speaker: Dan English

Dan is the Senior Data Warehouse Architect at Constellation, Inc. He is also a Microsoft Data Platform MVP, author, technical editor, and community leader. He has been developing with Microsoft technologies for over 15 years, and over 10 years with Data Warehousing and Business Intelligence. He has been working with SQO Server since version 6.5 through 2014 and is exploring 2016. Dan has videos on Vimeo, is an avid blogger, and tweets. Dan is the chapter leader for the PASS Business Analytics VC and on the executive leadership team for the MN Microsoft BI User Group.

Planning on attending the Data Insights Summit or the PASS BA Conference?  If so, make sure to associate yourself with our user group.

Data Insights Summit – Our 3-digit Power BI User Group (PUG) code is 102.

PASS BA Conference – Use the following code to save $100 off registration USMO03

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PASS Business Analytics VC Feb Meeting–Building Business Recommenders with Azure ML

Posted by denglishbi on February 5, 2016

The next PASS Business Analytics Virtual Chapter meeting is coming up on Thursday, February 11.  This month we welcome Professor Giuseppe MascarellaPASS_BAVC_Logo_New_201502 from Florida Atlantic University, College of Business.


February 11 – Building Business Recommenders with Microsoft Azure Machine Learning


Netflix knows if you are going to like a movie before you watch it, so do many other leading companies in what they sell. How do you build capabilities like this for your business? A cost effective way is by using a Matchbox (Large Scale Bayesian) Recommendations algorithm in Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. In this session we will go step-by-step in what is required to build one for any opportunity you might have.

Bio –

Prof. Giuseppe Mascarella is a former Microsoft consulting manager and has won WW awards on leading cloud and business intelligence programs at a global level. He works as an Adjunct Prof. of Social Media Analytics and Data security at FAU and is a Principal at Value Amplify where he works on Machine Learning and IoT solutions.


If you are planning on attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference use the following discount code and save $100

Save $100 right now using discount code BAVCBA

If you are interested in speaking at an upcoming PASS BA Virtual Chapter meeting we are always looking for speakers, please leave a comment or send us an email at PASSBAVC@SQLPASS.ORG

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