By Duncan Ritchie
07-July-2020 on Tips9 minute read
Power BI is one of the best-known Business Intelligence (BI) tools on the market. Developed by Microsoft Office for their Office 365 suite, it allows you to import and visualise a large volume of data and use it to create intelligence reports. In this article, we explain step by step how to prepare your Nacsport data and export it to this tool.
This article has been inspired by the work of Mario Prieto, data and video analyst at Trival Valderas FC, a football team from Madrid (Spain). Mario has collaborated with Nacsport by making a tutorial video on how to extract the data generated within Nacsport in order to create a dashboard with Power BI. You can view this video here (Spanish only) or read on to get a comprehensive summary of the content.
At Nacsport, we are committed to making your work as simple and comfortable as possible. In fact, it is our reason for being. And we believe that building new bridges with other pieces of software is an import step in this. It allows you to see the synergy between Nacsport and other tools and expands your sports analysis arsenal.
Although Power BI is not designed specifically for sport, its indisputable growth as an intelligence tool has led to it being positioned as one of the world’s favourite Big Data platforms for collecting data from several different sources.
We should say that there are many similar data visualisation tools on the market, such as Google Data Studio, KlipView and Tableau. The steps given in this article will be largely similar for each of these programs, should you be inspired to try one, although there may be slight differences in their operation.
So, without further ado, here is a step by step guide for integrating Nacsport and Power BI…
This step may seem like a no-brainer…but it is absolutely critical in ensuring that the export to Power BI is a complete success.
Imagine advancing in the process and reaching the last step only to realise that your data is not optimal and all your work up to this point has been for naught.
We always recommend that you design your button templates on paper before getting down to business with Nacsport itself.
If you are planning to use this data with Power BI, this phase becomes even more critical as you must decide, not only which buttons you are going to use, but also the order you are going to register them. The positioning of the button template is extremely important, as we will see in the next step.
It is extremely important to design the button template based on the work you have planned in the previous stage and that the button layout maintains a logical flow when registering. By doing this well, the data will be arranged in exactly the way you need it for Power BI.
In other words, the buttons need to be ordered in the way you are going to click them. For example:
• First, we click a category. For example, if we are analysing a football match, we may click “Shot on Goal”. We then click the descriptors in a specific order.
• Descriptor 1: If the shot was from inside or outside the box.
• Descriptor 2: If the shot was to the outside or inside of the goal.
• Descriptor 3: If the shot was taken with the head or the foot…or any other legal part of the body.
• Descriptor 4: If the shot ended in a goal or was saved.
• Descriptor 5: The time when the shot occurred.
Infographic showing sports analysis Chain of Notation by AnalysisPro
You can see how the information is distributed so that the registration is easily exported to Excel at a later stage.
Consistently registering actions in the same order as we set out in the previous stage, is of utmost importance. Every shot on goal will be registered in the manner we set out above.
Why? Well, as we will see later, Nacsport will sort the descriptors by order of click. If they fall into different columns, the export to Excel will not be correctly and, therefore, the import to Power BI will be worthless.
Nacsport Dashboard created by Mario Prieto
Nacsport has five different options for exporting data to Excel. Each one organises the data in a different way. With the second option, the export is done in such a way that the descriptors are organised in columns, in the same order as they were registered.
This video will explain the five export options in more detail:
If we have done our registration correctly, as outlined in previous steps, and we use export option 2, we will get a document which is organised in the same way as we designed in steps 1 and 2.
If the previous steps have been done correctly and all the columns are well organised, we can skip this step.
If you do run into some problems and need to re-organise the data collected in the Excel document, don’t worry, this is very easy to do and among some of the basics of working with Excel.
So, as you can see, it’s possible to add or delete rows and columns in order to add new data. Split columns into two, move data around at will and generally rework the data until it properly meets your needs.
To sum up, the important thing at this stage is to have everything ordered correctly in the appropriate columns and showing the correct information.
If this is your first time using this system, you can import your data to BI now and give it a try. However, if you plan to accumulate data for several matches, over a full season, for example, you will want to continue adding data to the Excel file. Simply add data from another match below the previous, making sure that the columns align correctly.
Now you are ready to import your data. There are simply too many functions in Power BI for us to cover them all here and now and this article is more designed to show you how to prepare your Nacsport data for import.
You can find many tutorials on how to use Power BI on the internet and in many different languages, levels and durations. Here are a couple of examples:
The first thing we would recommend you do is create your own dashboard which is fed from from Excel and then, from there, experiment and find the best way of working for you. Enjoy!
So, that’s all for now. We hope this tutorial has been of use to you and, you have any more questions about this process, you can contact us at email@example.com or through any of our social network channels.
We’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!
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