Skip to main content

The Oscars with Power BI

Headshot of article author The Power BI Team

Move over Winter Olympics at Sochi—it’s time for the 86th Academy Awards! While we roll out the red carpet, what better time to step behind the scenes and into Microsoft Power BI to create some visual effects on the most significant movie awards of the year?

We tapped into Wikipedia data for historic nominees and winners over the years, The Numbers for budget and box office information, Bing for search data, and IMDb for ranks and ratings. When it came to importing, merging, and shaping data from so many sources, Power Query was our trusty assistant.

From all of that, here are some interactive Power View dashboards that you can explore.

Now, we’ll feature some interesting points related to search volume for movies, actors, and actresses:

  • For “Best Movie” nomination, we can see that The Wolf of Wall Street is consistently the most popular film since nominees were announced. This result does not correlate to the favorites, which are 12 Years a Slave and Gravity. Also, interest in Dallas Buyers Club has picked up, since its performance has been outstanding during the awards season preceding the Oscars.
  • For actors, we also see some interesting behavior. There are spikes in search volume that correlate to Leonardo DiCaprio hosting Saturday Night Live and Chiwetel Ejiofor winning the British Academy Film Award for Best Actor). Again, popularity seems to determine the total traffic with DiCaprio as a clear winner. Score!
  • For nominated actresses, we see similar action. Search volume spiked for specific events such as Sandra Bullock dropping the F-bomb during her Critics’ Choice speech, and for thanking Jay Leno for his support throughout her career; and for Amy Adams’ receipt of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival 2013 Cinema Vanguard Award.

Because our audience may be interested in the financial side of movies, we wanted to answer the question: “How much does an Oscar cost?” By relating budget data to historic performances, we created a dashboard that shows the average price of an Oscar by decade since the 1920s and how it’s going up. With a few exceptions, it is becoming quite expensive to make a winner!

Before we cut to a Power Map tour that shows the history of the award for Best Foreign Film since 1947, the merit award for Best Business Intelligence Tool goes to….