This course is designed to familiarize you with Microsoft Power BI’s business intelligence capabilities in the most logical order.
The course consists of 30 sections, arranged into seven groups that reflect the way in which Microsoft Power BI works and the order in which operations are carried out: Getting Started, Connecting to Data, Data Wrangling, Data Modelling, DAX formulas, Visualization, and Publishing & Sharing.
Each of the 30 sections in this course starts with an overview and ends with a section summary which recaps the key topics covered and reminds you where these techniques fit into the overall Microsoft Power BI cycle.
So, take your time and work your way slowly but surely through the course material; and when you’re done, you should find that you know Micrososft Power BI pretty well.
The first group of sections is, naturally enough, Getting Started. This is where you’ll get up and running and download all of the resources you’ll need; and where you’ll get an overview of the Power BI product, Microsoft Power BI tenants and Power BI licenses.
CONNECTING TO DATA
Then we dive straight into using Power BI and the first business intelligence skill you need to master: connecting to data sources.
In these five sections, you’ll learn how to bring data into Power BI from Text Files, CSVs and Excel Files; as well as how to connect to a Folder of Data, either on your own file system or in a SharePoint library, and automatically combine all the files inside the folder into a single table.
You’ll also learn how to Connect to data on websites and how to scrape data from the web page itself.
And, naturally, you’ll get plenty of practice in connecting to Power BI’s most frequent data partner: SQL Server. You’ll learn how to work in import, DirectQuery and composite modes and how to retrieve data from both views and database tables, as well as by executing SQL statements.
Once you’re comfortable with getting data into Power BI, we’ll move on to the next stage in the Power BI cycle: Data Wrangling.
It’s very rare that the data you connect to is already optimized for reporting; so our four sections on data cleansing and transformation will fully familiarize you with using Power Query, the utility built into Power BI whose user-friendly interface allows you to carry out powerful and sophisticated transformation with just a few mouse clicks, as well as how to edit the underlying M language code generated by the interface.
After mastering the first two steps in your Power BI journey, connecting to data and data cleansing, you’ll be ready to move on to the next stage: data modelling.
In this group of sections, you’ll learn how to combine the various tables that you need into a single entity called a data model.
Having created a data model, our next group of sections focuses on using the DAX language to add insights and enhancements.
We’ll look at the three types of calculation which you can create using the DAX language:
And we’ll get to grips with the most important function in the DAX language: the CALCULATE function.
And we’ll end the section by looking at DAX time intelligence functions which enable you to compare calculations based on different time periods, to provide such insights as year-on-year growth and year to date sales.
Once we have built our data model, we’ll move on to the next phase in the Power BI development cycle: visualization and report creation.
We’ll start with what I like to call the big-picture visuals, those which give your audience with key metrics at a glance. As you’ll see in this section Power BI has three big picture visuals: the card, the KPI visual and the gauge.
And, of course, we’ll talk about many other visuals and visualization techniques as we work through these sections.
We’ll even look at using DAX measures to enhance the user experience by making titles change dynamically as users interact with them.
PUBLISHING AND SHARING
OK, so now we have a report, in our last group of sections, we will look at how we can make our content available to our intended audience.
First, we’ll look at publishing from Power BI Desktop into the Power BI service.
Then, you’ll learn how to create dashboards in the Power BI service and the different ways of adding content to them.
You’ll learn how to create app workspaces and how to grant access to fellow report developers, so that your team can collaborate on the creation of content; and how the different strategies for sharing that content throughout the entire organisation.
And, in our section on Power BI mobile, you’ll learn how to create reports and dashboards which are optimised for mobile viewing.