Even Spiderman Can Use a Bit of Business Intelligence

When I first heard of the Microsoft PowerBI Demo contest, I figured it would be a great opportunity to explore the business intelligence capabilities of Excel 2013. With the preview of Power Maps and Power Query, I thought it would be fun to play around with these features. Besides, I’ve seen some fancy demos at the last PASS Summit.

Being a story teller and presenter, I can’t help but think of a way to showcase these features without having a story around it. So, while having dinner with my family one day, I told my 11-year-old son (who is into creating stop motion videos) if he might be interested in working on a project with me. I told him about the contest and what it’s about. More importantly, I told him about a story that I already have in mind which I was absolutely sure he’ll love: enter Spiderman. The story revolved around the fact that Spiderman needs to pay his tuition soon but he doesn’t have enough money on his savings. He just got fired from The Daily Bugle so there isn’t really much he could do. However, he can go back to delivering pizza around New York City since he’s done it before. But this time, he needs to be strategic and efficient. He needs to identify which boroughs in New York City has the highest mean household income so that he can focus his efforts on that particular area. He also needs to find out which boroughs have the highest number of complaints and crime incidents for the past few weeks. That way he can avoid bumping into situations where he may need to stop what he was doing just to go on a rescue mission. This is where he starts using his wits and gets working on his computer to search for publicly available New York City data. With the insights he came up with  based on the data he gathered, he sets out to pursue his plans until he hits his first roadblock.

I had fun working on this project with my son (he enjoyed it a lot since he was the one who created the Spiderman scenes). I hope you like the video, too. And if I may ask, can you vote for the video by clicking on this link? The final video is embedded below.

And you can try it out for yourself. Download the Power Maps and Power Query preview on the Microsoft Download Center and enable them on your Excel 2013 workbooks. I bet you’ll have fun the way I did.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

One thought on “Even Spiderman Can Use a Bit of Business Intelligence

  1. LOL pretty funny and creative way to teach how to use PowerBI. If Superman ever loses his job at the Daily Planet I will recommend he comes to you for some insights on how to make some good money!

    From a technical perspective, that looks like a very useful and powerful tool for self service BI. Thanks for sharing and good on you for getting your son interested in data early on 🙂