Discover insights with the “Sand Dance” visual, query your dataset with Natural Language Queries and Cortana integration


This post is in continuation of an earlier post where I applied Excel’s Business Intelligence tools (PowerPivot, Power Query and PowerView) to analyse the Sales data of an E-Commerce Company.  So, just for starters, in that post, I have basically sliced and diced the Sales dataset of an E-Commerce Company from multiple perspectives/facets to know the performance of this Company by Categories, Products, SKU’s, Shipping Cities, Modes of payment etc.

After analysing the data, I have also visualised that data using PowerView.  From the link shared above, you may download the workbook, watch the YouTube video and see a PowerBI desktop custom visual (“Sankey Diagram”). In this post, I have taken the same dataset and showcased/discussed the following:

1. How one can discover insights from this data with minimal effort using a Custom PowerBI desktop visual called “Sand Dance”; and
2. How one can query the dataset using “Natural Language” on a web browser (using; and
3. How one can query the dataset using “Natural Language” using Cortana (Microsoft’s personal digital assistant in Windows 10).

For aspects 2 and 3 above, here are a few “Natural Language queries” which returned the correct result:

1. Show total revenue and growth in total revenue over previous month where order status is delivered by month in ascending order of month order as a Table
2. Show total revenue by category as a column chart
3. Show total revenue by order period as a pie chart in descending order of total revenue
4. Show total revenue by order period as a pie chart in descending order of total revenue where day of week is Sunday
5. Show Business generated from new categories by month where order period is mid day, payment type is COD sorted by month order in ascending order as a table
6. Show total revenue where portion of month is first half of month

Enough talking!!.  You may view all three aspects mentioned above in this YouTube video

You may download the Powerbi desktop workbook from here and play around with the Sand Dance visual yourself. The service also allows one to Publish reports to the Web (which can be viewed and interacted with by anyone).  This is currently in preview stage and may become a payable service later.  You may view and interact with the Sand Dance visual here:

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