Case Study

Examine and Predict Election Results with Power BI Dashboard

Interactive Power BI dashboard allows users to forecast electoral college outcomes.

Business Case:

During the 2016 US presidential election cycle, a client needed a touch-based system for displaying election results. The final product needed to showcase each state’s historical electoral college results and let users predict winners, state by state, for future elections.

We created a solution using the Surface HUB to:
  • Predict winners by state, on a US map.
  • View and select past election results from 1972 to present.
  • Display a summarized tally of US presidential winners based on user selection.
  • Insert previous election results (from 1972 on) as a template and edit the results.
  • Quickly refresh the dashboard and restart.
Key Challenges:
  • Create an easy-to-use application that provides two-way interaction with Power BI.
  • Allow users to edit previous election results.
  • Make the application easy to refresh.

Solution:

We created an integrated Power BI application that relies on Power BI’s ability to use two-way data transfers.

Key Highlights:
  • Pulls data from online data sources.
  • Applies dynamic business rules.
  • Showcases data and trends.
  • Sends user feedback back to the data source.
  • Stores a variety of data on end users’ interactions with the application.

Users can select which political party they believe will win each state by single clicking for the Republican candidate or double clicking for the Democrat candidate. For example, clicking once on Washington state converts it to Republican, and clicking again changes the state to Democrat. A tally of all electoral votes for each party is provided at the top.

The application draws from historical data dating to 1789, the year of the first US presidential election. Starting with the 1972 map, users can update the map to see how their expectations of the 2016 election compare to past results. Users can also start with a previous year and modify the results according to predictions for the future election.


Business Outcome:

The interactive election map lets users view historical election results and forecast future outcomes from any touch-screen device. It also collects user election predictions and transmits the results to a database on the cloud.

Outcome Highlights:
  • Saved time by reducing effort to download data for multiple US presidential elections.
  • Simplified predictions by dynamically updating the electoral vote count.
  • Preconfigured template-based data import.
  • Easy reset functionality to start over.
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