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Microsoft offers a few interesting sample datasets. These datasets, provided by, are based on real business data that has been anonymized. They are useful to understand how a given analytical approach helps understand what is going on.



One is the Sales and Marketing Sample sample. It contains contains a dashboard and report for a fictitious manufacturing company named VanArsdel Ltd. The VanArsdel Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) created this dashboard to keep an eye on the industry and the company's market share, product volume, sales, and sentiment.

VanArsdel has many competitors, but is the market leader in its industry. The CMO wants to increase market share and discover growth opportunities. However, for unknown reasons, VanArsdel's market share has started to decline, with significant dips in June.

Dashboard for the Sales and Marketing sample

To run the dataset in the app, type "sales and marketing sample" in the "choose a sample dataset" widget.


If you can't wait, here is a quick preview of the findings.

VanArsdel gained shared in a growing market across the last year.

In the last month, however, VanArsdel has suffered losses of volumes relative to the corresponding month of last year, loosing 11% revenues versus the market's -3%.

These losses hit the Um-54 product, that lost 50% of its sales, and the Um-75 product, that lost all its sales, hard.


The market grew 10% driven by volume and mix.

waterfall (8)

Out of Vanarsdel 23.2M yearly Sales increase, 5M were related to Price variance and 18.2 to Volume variance.

This analysis is focused on either Volume variance or aggregated Price and Volume variance, not on Price variance separately. This said, the following 20 items explain 4.7 of the 5M Price variance.

waterfall (11)

Vanarsdel gained sales (+23.2M) and share...

waterfall (8)

...from 52 to 58%.

waterfall (10)

However things seem to be getting less rosy lately...


...with Vanarsdel under the sales level of the previous year period.

ac_vs_py (2)

Recent sales loss seems to be coming from the Central and East Regions...


...especially in the Moderation an Convenience Segments...

ac_vs_py (4)

in the Urban Category.

ac_vs_py (5)

The smaller players did better across the whole period, Vanarsdel lost steam the last month, other competitors generally maintained the same sales levels of the previous year.

ac_vs_py (7)

At the year level Vanarsdel did well, even though the growth was driven by two Products in the Urban Category at the expense of all others, that lost almost 28M in sales compared to the previous year.

waterfall (12)


The Um-11, Um-70 and also Um-12 drove Vanarsdel growth while sales of Um-75 disappointed.

waterfall (15)


Urban was indeed the only Category that experienced healthy growth in both volumes and price...

visualization (2)

...which translates into a positive Volume and Price variance.

waterfall (14)


Vanarsdel sales were essentially flat in the last quarter compared to the year before...

waterfall (16)


In the last month the market lost 3%...

waterfall (21)


..while Vanarsdel lost 11%, with the Um-54 product losing half its sales.

waterfall (22)


Let's examine this last set of results in a bit more detail.

Out of all Vanarsdel Products, the Maximus Um-54 lost the most sales, 2.16M, all in the Urban Category. Um-70 was newly launched, while Um-75 ceased production.

waterfall (1)

Um-70 was launched in all three Regions.

waterfall (2)

The East and the Central Regions were equivalent in Sales, but the Central Region suffered the most in the last month in absolute and percentage terms.

waterfall (3)

Excluding Um-54 variance, the Central Region saw a 1.76M increase in Sales of Um-70 and a 2.74, 35%, decrease in everything else.

waterfall (4)

Um-75 also lost the full amount of its sales, 937k, in the remaining two Regions, East and West.

waterfall (6)

The last item, a 1.841M, 28% y-o-y Sales increase from 6.48M to 8.32M can be further broken up as follows.

waterfall (7)


Um-11, Um-12, Um-70 and Um-33 are clearly the Products that had a largest Sales variance.