– Ben Martens

Movie Draft With Power Query

I know I’ve been making a lot of Power Query posts lately, but once you get into it, you start seeing data everywhere! The latest example is a movie draft that I participate in with some friends. I won’t explain what a movie draft is except to say that it’s like fantasy football for movies. We participate in a huge league run by Brian Brushwood and friends. They post a spreadsheet with all the data here:

I pulled those spreadsheets into Power Query, cleaned up the data, and voila, now we have an easy way to track just the people in our little group! You can see it at We get interesting views like a leaderboard just for our group, and a list of the movies left for each one of us. I might add some more data views later, but these are the basics.

So if you’re in our movie group, how can you use it? You can use it passively by just visiting that bitly link every once in a while. I’ll update the data periodically for your enjoyment.

If you want to update the data yourself, add your own friends to the list of names to watch, and/or learn how the workbook was built, then you’ll need to do a little extra work.

  1. Install Office 2010 or 2013
  2. Install Power Query. If it fails then you don’t have the the right version of Excel. Sorry, you’ll have to stop here. (I continue to tell management that I think this is a bad decision.)
  3. Go to the bitly link and click Edit Workbook > Edit in Excel
  4. Save the file as a local copy.
  5. Click Data > Refresh All and wait a bit. When the status bar along the bottom of Excel completes then you should be seeing new data.
  6. You can see the Power Query queries that make up the workbook by clicking the Power Query ribbon and then clicking Workbook. You’ll see a side pane appear and you can double click any of those queries to start digging in.

Unfortunately I think Step 2 is going to stop a lot of you, but at least you can view the online link. And if Power Query doesn’t work with your version of Office, please feel free to complain in our forums!