Monthly Archives: May 2016

Need ideas for new posts?

Power BI Community

Let your Visitors, Google Analytics and Power BI help you!

Original sourceMicrosoft Power BI Community - Ruth Pozuelo - Curbia Blog

If you are like me, you have probably stared at a white page wondering what your next topic should be on your blog or what additional content could be relevant for my site. I have written about the everything, what else could be said?

With our new dashboard, you will get help from your site visitors to get ideas on new topics.To be able to recreate this dashboard you need to configure site search in your site.

Don’t, worry it is very easy to do.

What insights can we get with this dashboard?

As we normally do, let’s start with the results first:


Curbal blog

In this dashboard you will be able to understand:

  • Find ideas for new content
  • Find new topics that your readers would be interested in
  • Understand if your blog is driving the right users to your site
  • Are your important pages hidden from your readers?
  • What is your audience looking for in your site
  • Publish your content on the most relevant places on your site.

As we normally do, let’s start with the results first:

What insights can we get with this dashboard?

If you would like to see a live version of the dashboard, you can watch it in our YouTube Channel, but if you prefer text, continue reading.

Don't want to create the Power BI file?

If you are a member on our site (it's free), you can download it by following this link. You will also get an in-depth guide on how to use the dashboard.

You will need also to change the data source from my account to your Google account.

Creating the dashboard: Get Data

Building the Dashboard


Create the visualisations

Custom visualisations

Now its your turn, what gold is your site search hiding?

Davos: Businesses grapple with Big Data challenge

Business Intelligence

The digital universe is growing at a rapid rate, and at the World Economic Forum in Davos business leaders are debating how to analyse the massive amounts of information they are now collecting – and how much protection they should give their consumers.

Tanya Beckett reports on the debate over Big Data.

YOU Don’t need BIG Data?

Business Reports

I Constantly hear people say

Business Reports

Business Intelligence

Our database is less than a terabyte. Big data SIMPLY isn’t for us

You might be right?

However, before you jump to that conclusion, I have a few questions for you to consider?

  • Do you collaborate with partners, suppliers?
  • Do you use open source data? For example, government, NGO’s, commercial, databases.
  • What about social media?​
  • What about data from sensors or machines?
  • Do you have offices, overseas?​​
  • Would the ability to be able to identify areas in the world susceptible to political, economic instability prior to such conditions becoming a serious issue to trade, be beneficial to you?

Obviously the answer is yes.

If you were able to Answer YES to some or all of the questions above, then BIG DATA is for YOU.

Perhaps weather patterns affect demand for your product service offering?

Being forewarned might help you with inventory planning?

An example of this is a retailer matches weather patterns to purchases. Using such data, you just might find a real gem. Data patterns may clearly illustrate, particularly weather conditions, leads to explosive demand for a specific item. You may also find moving slower selling items next to explosive demand items increases your sales for these slow shifting higher profit items.

Social media

Possibly you want to know what your customers are saying, feeling about your product service offering?

For good or bad you need to pull the data into your system and once there you need to analysis the data.

Think about this way. You start an advertisement campaign only to discover a few months into the campaign the results aren’t quite what you expected. Immediate feedback would have empowered you to make real time fortuitous decisions based on facts, not intuition.

Think about this way. You start an advertisement campaign only to discover a few months into the campaign the results aren’t quite what you expected. Immediate feedback would have empowered you to make real time fortuitous decisions based on facts, not intuition.

We are rapidly moving towards the INTERNET of THINGS.

Before you dismiss this factor.

If you manufacture machines and or devices then you are probably thinking about connecting such things to the internet. For example aircraft engines generates one terabyte of information an hour. Buildings, devices, cars you name it, will generate data.

Analysing this type of data correctly, could deliver a competitive advantage. Examples of this are building managers having the ability to manage power consumption, another example motor insurance companies fitting on board devices to monitor driving behaviour. The data generated is used to determine insurance premiums.

Another example, a car service. The mechanic plugins the car into a terminal. The information is sent to the manufacture. The manufacture uses the data to determine how parts are performing and this data may result in changes in manufacturing or a software updates. Yet another example, driverless cars are a very real possibility in next few years.

So as you’ve just learnt, sensor data has already become a reality for us all, and this will only increase.

What I’m trying to state is, increasingly, your internal databases, CRM, Accounting, blogs, social media, analytics, data warehousing aren’t your only concern. Competitive advantage necessitates interaction with external data sources.

So the final question has to be:

ARE competitors stealing an advantage by finding these hidden data gems?

Google records EVERTHING you look for

Big Data

Good or bad you may be surprised to learn Google makes some of this data available to you and I!

So with total abandonment, let’s explore all this lovely data.

So let’s begin at the beginning?

We start by using a website called Google Trends.

To be able to make use of this service you really need a Google account.

If you don’t have one, you can sign up for free account, by clicking here...

Your browser choice is entirely your own but why not use Chrome for this exercise.

Using your preferred browser, in the address bar type The site will enable you and I, to learn what other people are looking for on Google and how frequently they do so.

Recently England hosted the Rugby World Cup and this was reported as being a success for all. So let’s investigate the supposition.

Begin by typing the term “2015 Rugby World Cup” then press the enter key or click the search button.

Reviewing the regional interest section, I was surprised to learn Fiji leads global interest in rugby, ahead of New Zealand. I was shocked and surprised to learn England wasn’t even listed.

Use Google Trends to learn what people are looking for.

Let’s enter another search term, this time “Winter” and below the “Worldwide” search field select the UK.

It’s not surprising the search term “Winter” begins to increase from August onwards and declines in April.

If you choose a southern hemisphere country, the results are reversed. Scroll down to see related searches.

You can run searches to find out which sports are popular in which countries.

Just add a comma between each sport for example “soccer, cricket, rugby, snooker”. Question the returns, do you think there is a pattern, does the country have an imperial past and has that influenced their sporting interests.

Men are from Mars and woman are from Venus?

Click to Tweet

Men are from Mars and woman are from Venus?

Obviously the answer is NO.

But are there any differences in the way people choose presents for their partners?

To make it interesting conduct a worldwide search by typing in “gift for men, gift for woman” and then “gift for boyfriend, gift for girlfriend” then “gift for husband, gift for wife”.

Look at country differences and investigate what occurs when the term changes gift for men and gift for woman then search for gift boyfriend and gift girlfriend.

Change the time period to compare changes.

  • Try the last twelve months.
  • Last ninety days the last hour.

Assuming you wish to manipulate the data further using Excel or spreadsheet application download the CSV file. To do this Google requires you to have an account. Once logged in you will be able to download the CSV file.

There are other resources for example Wikipedia. Visit and in article name box type “Christmas”, “Bank of England” try changing the time period.

If you are interested in investigating the surges in Wikipedia Bank of England article, try searching for corresponding time period by visiting online newspapers, broadcasters’ website for example BBC business section reports.

Well done, if you’ve read this far. My very hearty congratulations.

Why not spend a few minutes investigating what else is out there for FREE.

The Power of BIG DATA

Data forecast the future

A really good illustration of the Power of BIG DATA by the Epc Group

What's impressive when you use Office 365 and Power BI, you don't need a data analyst.

Christopher Bird
MS BI Consultant             

Money for Nothing?

Owen Bennett Jones and guests take an in-depth look at a topic in the week's news

What if governments paid all their citizens a basic income?

Whether rich or poor, you would receive the same amount of money, and you would keep it whether you went out to work and received a salary or not.

It is an idea that has been around for centuries, but one that has been gaining traction in recent times as welfare payments become ever more complex and expensive to administer. Proponents also argue that it would remove the 'poverty trap' where people are dissuaded from seeking work because they would lose their benefits if they did so.

There is also the issue of machines taking over many of the jobs that we all do to earn a living - not just basic manual tasks, but increasingly 'intelligent' work that will in the future be carried out by robots. Join Owen Bennett Jones and his panel of expert guests as they discuss the future of work and how we pay for it. Should we give free money to everyone and let robots take the strain?

Raises some interesting solutions to a changing world of work.

Continue reading

Future Economies

Post-capitalist world

Future Economies

Post-capitalist world

Sharing economy

Weekly discussion programme

BBC Radio 4

BBC Radio 4

On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks ahead to a future dominated by automation, cyber security, the 'sharing economy' and advanced life sciences with the innovation expert Alec Ross, computer scientist Steve Furber and the journalist Paul Mason who predicts such changes heralding a post-capitalist world.

But cutting-edge advances in robotics and computers will have a huge but uneven impact on working lives: while previous industrial revolutions affected blue collar workers, in the future traditionally middle class jobs will be under threat. The journalist Hsiao-Hung Pai focuses on the most marginalised sector of the white working class - the British far right.

Producer: Katy Hickman.

BBC Radio 4 Podcast

The program raises some interesting implications for us all.

What do you think?