Why I Moved from Excel to Power BI as a Sport Scientist

excel power bi Dec 12, 2023
Excel vs Power BI in sport


Having worked as a sport scientist for a number of years, I have experienced the rapid change and improvements in the technology space. In the early stages, Excel was my trusted tool. It was familiar, flexible, and seemingly capable of handling all my data needs. But as the sports science field evolved, so did the complexity and volume of data. This evolution led me to discover and transition to Power BI, a move that has revolutionized my approach to data analysis. But first, what’s the problem with Excel?


The limitations of Excel in sport science
Working in Excel is comfortable I get that, and some might say there is no need to change away from it. However, the environment around us is changing and therefore we also need to adapt to that. What we see is an explosion of data available from various sources, and with this increase Excel starts to show some of its limitations. Processing large sets of athlete performance data became increasingly cumbersome, and integrating data from various sources was challenging. The time required to create reports when the coach was asking for something ad-hoc was too long, and the sharing of your excel workbook too high of a risk.


Discovering Power BI
My introduction to Power BI came at a time when I was seeking a more robust and efficient tool for data analysis. The first encounter was a mix of intrigue and a bit of a learning curve. But as I delved deeper, I quickly realized the potential of Power BI in transforming the way I worked with data. Let’s have a look at some of the key benefits I have experienced:


Data Integration
Power BI’s ability to seamlessly blend data from diverse sources into a unified dashboard was a game-changer. This integration allowed for a holistic view of an athlete’s performance, health, and development.


Advanced Visualization
The advanced visualization capabilities of Power BI far exceeded the basic charts in Excel. These tools enabled me to uncover deeper insights and present data in a more impactful way.


Handling large datasets in Excel was often a frustrating experience due to slowdowns and crashes. Power BI’s architecture is designed for large volumes of data, ensuring smooth performance even with complex analyses.


The collaborative aspect of Power BI has been invaluable. It enables real-time collaboration among interdisciplinary teams, ensuring that insights are shared and acted upon promptly.


Creating custom calculations and metrics specific to sports science is straightforward in Power BI. This level of customization, which would require complex formulas and macros in Excel, is vital for nuanced sports analytics.


The Transition Process
Moving from Excel to Power BI does is something everyone can do. Having helped hundreds of people making the step, the only way is to just start. Yes you heard me, just start. Download the software, open it up and connect to an excel workbook and of you go. Learn the basics first and don’t have the ambition of making the most complex analysis on your first day. The longer you wait to get started, the further behind you will be.


The Impact of Power BI has had on my career
Firstly, adopting Power BI has not just streamlined data analysis but also opened new avenues for insights. Whether it’s predicting injury risks or optimizing training programs, Power BI has provided a more robust and nuanced understanding of the data at hand.

Secondly, my transition to Power BI has turned out to be a significant step in my career. It has allowed me to secure new jobs, help hundreds of individuals and organisations develop their skills to become more valuable, and triple my income. I am excited to continuing this journey, exploring new ways help others in Power BI so they can unlock insights and drive athlete performance to new heights.


If you’re still relying on Excel, I strongly recommend exploring what Power BI can offer.

Need help to get started? Drop us an email [email protected] and we help you on the way.


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