For those of you that know me or have followed me for some time, you will know that I have always been a lover of Excel. When Microsoft introduced the Excel Power Tools, Power Query, Power Pivot and Power View I was in my element.
In 2015 Microsoft released Power BI – A self-service business intelligence tool made up of Excels Power Tools. Now Excel is my second favorite tool to use because Power BI is just way more awesome.
Although Power BI is a self-service BI system, there is a lot involved and so you deserve a resource list to master Power BI.
First there is Power Query, used to get and transform data. This allows you connect to data sources and make changes to the data with a few clicks of a mouse. But my experience has shown that query’s become broken and it can be hard to trouble shoot if you don’t know anything about the query language used. The language behind Power Query is known as M.
Once you have data, it’s time to model it and carry out any calculations you need. The language used for these calculations is known as DAX. DAX is a functional language. Its base is Excel formulas, structured to work on tables and subsets of tables of data rather than cells and ranges. In addition to the heap of excel functions available in DAX, DAX also has some unique functions that make it so much more powerful.
On the Visualizations side there is also much to learn. Selecting the right visualization takes practice and there has been much written on Dashboard best practice.
Finally Power BI also works with R and SQL. R is the language of Data Science, used for analysis and SQL is used to query data.
As there is so much involved, I can understand why people fear using Power BI. But remember, it is a self-service tool. Originally created from Excel. If anyone can learn Excel, anyone can learn Power BI. It’s really not that hard.
To help you Master Power BI, I have put a list of resources together. Places you can go to improve your skills. To Learn Power BI and Master Power BI. I have put these in categories, but you will find many of the blogs cover way more than just the category I have put them in.
DAX (Data Analysis eXpressions)
Curbal DAX Fridays
Chris Webb’s BI Blog
The Excel 2013 Power BI Tools by WiseOwlTutorials
Visualizations in Power BI
Data visualization and storytelling
Power BI Services
Guy in a Cube
Using Power BI with Facebook
DataChant – Gil Raviv
Power BI and R
Radacad – Reza Rad
Other Useful blogs where you can find loads of tips and tricks on Power BI
Official Power BI Community