Working with data for over a decade now I have come across some exciting tools. Some of them ahead of there time, while others limited and basic in functionality. In this article, I will provide a high-level overview of 5 useful tools which you can use today to sharpen your analysis further and save you time. While there are many other tools on the market, we will only discuss the ones we have used, and feel will provide value to you as the end user.

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  • Patients and Time
  1. Identify 5 useful tools for professional punters, investor and analysts
  2. How can each tool be used?
  3. Where to get them from and how much do they cost?

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Tool Importance: Critical, must have.

Yes, we are stating the obvious as the first tool. Microsoft Excel. Why? Let me explain in more detail.

Every week I conduct regular excel training sessions to professional investors, punters and business analysts who claim they know how to use excel. Whenever I ask the question, “who here knows how to use Microsoft Excel?”, Everyone puts up there hand. I then ask the follow questions and roughly receive the following results

  1. Who knows how to copy and paste data into excel? Response 10/10 people
  2. Who knows how to sum more than 1 cell together at a time? 8/10 people
  3. Who knows how to lookup value’s from one data set to another. 4/10
  4. Who knows how to connect to a database, extra out 20,000 lines of data, get the average price, calculate profit and loss and return on investment via excel. 1/10
  5. Who knows how to automate a script via macro code in excel to do all the above automatically? 0/10

If you know how to complete steps 1 and 2, that is equivalent to someone knowing how to sit in a car, putting your seat belt on and start the engine. You can not drive out of the driveway and onto the main road and by no means merge onto the highway in traffic. We have a basic tutorial online called “Horse Racing Excel Data Tutorial” which can help you reach level 2-3 within 60 minutes.

Why do you need excel?

  • Track and Save your results
  • Analyse and filter data sets
  • Capture commentary, critical notes which can be easily forgotten
  • Automate calculations and formula’s via excel macro.
  • Connect to data sources, e.g. sports and racing database tables and queries.
  • Share data and results with others.

How much does it cost?




Tool Importance: Recommended for analysis of large data sets.

The second tool, another is Microsoft one called Power BI. Power BI Desktop is FREE and helps you visualise large data sets within seconds; it allows you to model and query data across multiple databases and files.

How can I use this tool?

Let’s take a real working example. You have an excel data file which has 20,000 lines of sports or racing data, and each line has a win, loss, starting and profit and loss is calculated for each row. You can load this into power BI and

  1. Create a visual chart, month by month, day by day show profit and loss
  2. Create a graph which shows by distance, class where there is an edge over the market.
  3. See which variables have higher strike rates than others.
  4. Find patterns in the data visually.

The sky is the limit with this tool; you can connect directly into a SQL database and crunch over 100,000 lines of data if required.

How much does it cost?

Check out our post What time is the Melbourne Cup race in Australia? which provides some visual examples if Microsoft Power BI Tree mapping.

#03 – MARIADB – MySQL Database


Tool Importance: Recommended for storage of large data sets.

The third tool as a database. A database is used to store data for future analysis and processing. Once you master excel and begin collecting excel sheets, you will ultimately end up in a position managing multiple excel files is becoming time-consuming and a limitation. Further to this, excel files can grow to such a large size it can become almost impossible to open on your pc.

Now, there are many fantastic databases out there. Microsoft SQL, Oracle, SAP HANA but for this tutorial we are going to focus on one called MariaDB which is a MySQL database that packs a punch. It is open source and maintained by original developers of MySQL which was taken over from Oracle. They regularly update the database version and add enhanced features to the system.

The MariaDB installer comes with a client tool called HeidiSQL which allows you to connect up, create views and stored procedures and load data into tables.

How can I use this tool?

If you have multiple data files and have outgrown excel to store data. You can load the excel, data files into database tables and query them very quickly for further analysis.

How much does it cost?

  • Maria DB is free and open source
  • There are heaps of youtube video’s online on how to use the tool. We will be creating some of our own over the next few weeks.
  • If you are an organisation wanting to use this database, we recommend via Amazon AWS as they provide support and production quality services.
#04 – Betting Bot

Tool Importance: Nice to have, will save you time.

Without going into detail of each different type of betting bot available today, what I can say is that there is no need to sit behind a PC and manually bet. There are software bots out there that can do this for you. You can set up your selections in the morning, configure some settings, and away you go. We will cover in future blogs more detailed tutorials on bots, how to automate your database to spit out an excel file with daily selections etc.

How can I use this tool?

You can set up your selections each morning, configure some settings within the bot, e.g. stake size, staking plan, when to bet etc., press/activate and spend the remainder of the day analysing data, working your day job or spending time with family and friends.

How much does it cost?

Betfair have a fantastic hub with a full list of paid and free ones here:


Tool Importance: Nice to set up, helpful if you are losing a lot of hours a daily moving and organising data files.

Many of you are now probably thinking, why on earth is “Windows Task Scheduler and MS-DOS” recommended as a useful tool for an analyst. Well, let me explain how this free gem from Microsoft can change your life. “IT ALLOWS YOU TO AUTOMATE AND SAVE TIME”.

If you are copying or moving files from one folder to another as a daily task, you need to automate the process to free up your valuable time with something more productive, e.g. making money and analysing data.

How can I use this tool?

With windows MS-DOS you can create some basic command which can

  1. Move files from one folder to another, and rename them
  2. Combine 100 CSV files into one large file, e.g. 100 days of racing data into one file.
  3. Backup your data files
  4. Schedule tasks to import data into a database.

Windows Task Scheduler can

  1. Schedule the commands to run every day at a specific time

So, if you are repeatedly doing some repetitive process every day, even if it takes 30 minutes, multiply that 30 minutes by 365 equals 182.5 hours a year. It’s a significant saving, from such a small, simple task.

How much does it cost?

  • “MS-DOS” and “Windows Task Scheduler” FREE and included with your windows operating system.
  • There are numerous tutorials on youtube on how to move/copy files and schedule commands in windows task scheduler.

In conclusion, these are the 5 most useful tools in our opinion a professional punter, investor or analyst can use to help improve there craft. There are also plenty of other tools on the market which perform similarly and may be more aligned to your needs and worth investigating.

If you are seeking training for any of the tools above, please feel free to make contact via our partnering support organisation “VIT Solutions” at We can provide a range of affordable training sessions online via TeamViewer or in person to a team if required.

Kind Regards

David Vitali

The Orginal Freak


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