Why Learn Power BI?

In today’s business environment being able to make data driven decisions is critical to an organizations success.  Using Power BI for data analytics enables you to quickly explore data with interactive visualizations and integrated machine learning.  Unlike some tools, Power BI allows you to consume data in almost any format, transform and mash up data to create rich reporting and dashboards.

Top 3 Reasons to Learn Power BI

1 – Ease of Use

Turn data into meaningful information quickly. Microsoft Power BI makes this possible with a large library of drag and drop visualizations.  Create reports, publish to the web and access on your phone.  You can have a report or dashboard going in minutes after you import your data.

2 – Share Your Insights

Publish your content to the web and allow team members to leverage what you have built.  Share reports and create subscriptions to automate your reporting and alert team members via email.

3 – Update your skills

Advance your professional skills by learning a data analytics tool will enable you to enhance your current role or find a new role.  Data is getting more important and knowing how to wrangle data and make data driven decisions will be a critical skill.

Components of Power BI

Power BI Desktop

Power BI Desktop is the development application installed on your local computer.  Using this software you connect, model or transform, and visualize your data.  Reports are created from a variety of visualizations and can be interactively filtered by clicking on parts of the graphs.

Download Power BI

Power BI Service (cloud)

Provided as Software as a Service (SaaS) also known as Power BI online.  The service controls security, reporting folders (apps) and is where users consume the visualizations.  Once reports are deployed to Power BI online, individual visualizations can be mashed up into a consolidated dashboard via display tiles.  Data refreshes are automated and scheduled in this online bi service.

Login to the service at http://app.powerbi.com

What is the Power BI Service

Power BI Mobile App

Power BI Mobile allows you to stay connected to your data from anywhere.  Download the app on your tablet or phone and securely connect to your data with mobile business intelligence.  Reports can be designed to be viewed on these smaller devices and maintain the ability to filter and interact with the data.  Setup push notifications to get updates when data changes.

Lear more Power BI Mobile

Power BI Data Gateway (on-premise gateway)

Companies use the on-premise data gateway to connect to the Power BI Service.  Data is able to be accessed securely via the Azure Service Bus.  One gateway can be used for multiple on-premise data connections.

Stay up to date on the Power BI Data Gateway

3 Ways to Leverage Data in Power BI

Data Preparation

Connect to almost any data source such as Excel files, databases, Azure or other cloud providers.  Stay updated on what data sources are available – Power BI Data Sources

Add data from multiple sources to mashup your data.  Create relationships between the tables to enable interactive visualizations to slice and dice your data.

Once you have connected your data.  Spend time modeling the data in Power BI Desktop to standardize data columns such as dates or currency.  Split data into new columns and create logical groups to drill into data.  Use Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) to build formulas and expressions that enable you to create new columns and measures to better enable  data analytics.

Data Visualization

Humans can interpret data better in a visual format rather than simply a data grid.  Use Power BI to spot data trends and outliers in your data.  Choose from the Microsoft visualizations that are part of Power BI or import custom visualizations developed by partners.  Design reports and dashboards that enable your team to make data driven decisions and focus on operational areas that need improvement.

A Beginner’s Guide to Data Visualization

Create Interactive Maps

Power BI comes with the ability to map your data points via Bing Maps or ArcGIS.  Create heat maps that start at the zipcode level or geo-code your addresses to get to specific points.  The example below shows the exact location of railroad accidents in the Houston area.

Power BI Map Example

Power BI Map Example

Tips and Tricks for Maps

Data Analysis

Data Modeling in Power BI

Connect data from various sources into a single Power BI report.  Data can be joined in the designer using key data from each source such as a date field, customer id, product id, etc.  To model the data you have several options.


Data is imported or connected to Power BI and is used in the designer in the form of a table.  Data in the table looks just like an Excel sheet.


DAX Calculated Columns

DAX Calculated Tables

DAX Measures

Why Learn Power BI?

Connect to almost any data source and start building reports to improve your business.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft’s Power BI is software as a service online BI (business intelligence) software.  It enables you to visualize your data and gain new insights.

How long does it take to learn Power BI?

Learning how to build Power BI reports can be done in a few hours.  Like all software, hands on experience designing real solutions speeds up the learning curve.  We offer 2 or 4 hour classes to get you up to speed on the core product.

Is Power BI just for Analysts?

No, Power BI is used by everyone.  Executive dashboards enable strategic views of data.  Operational reports allow for monitoring and improving business performance.

From Excel to Power BI

CDO Advisors Power BI Partner

Contact Us to Learn More

Contact us today to learn more and get your team creating better reports and dashboards.

We have designed and built Power BI environments for Executives, CFOs and Sales teams.

Microsoft Power BI Consulting

Executive Dashboards with Power BI

Connect to your Azure SQL Database and enable powerful Power BI Reports leveraging Azure data – Azure SQL Database with DirectQuery

Microsoft also provides great support for Power BI – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/desktop-qna-in-reports

CDO Advisors Microsoft Power BI Solutions:

BI as a Service – Low Monthly Fees, Pay Per Month Per User

Executive Dashboards – Get Dashboards in 4 Weeks

Healthcare Dashboard Proof of Concept – SEE your data visualized

Microsoft Power BI Demo – Compare your current reporting to Power BI

Power BI Quick Start Solutions – Ready to start or enhance your Power BI?

Train Your Team – Remote Power BI Developer and End User Training

Use Power BI for Finance Teams – Learn how Power BI can improve operations

Virtual Chief Data Officer – Confused by all your data?  We can help

Power BI Samples – Training Videos for Free

We have created a series of short training videos that get you started developing on Power BI.  Our Power BI samples shows a completed report that is used in the next videos to walk you through step by step how to build the report.  Visualizations from reports are mashed up to create dashboards

Build a Sales Dashboard

Import Power BI Data Sample

Power BI Samples – Import Data

Learn how to Import Data into Power BI in this Power BI Training Segment. I show you how importing data is done in Power BI, what data sources are available to import and then load the supermarket sales data into my Power BI report.

Power Query Basics with Power BI Training

Learn how to manipulate data into Power BI in this Power BI Training Segment. I show you how access Power Query and replace values to make the Branch Names more descriptive. When you apply changes in Power Query these scripts are applied each time you refresh your data.

Power BI Samples - Power Query Basics

Power BI Modeling Data

Power BI Samples – Modeling Data

Learn how to change data types in Power BI in this Power BI Training segment. I show you how to change decimals to currency, add a new column and finally how to hide a column from the users in Report View.

Add DAX to Power BI

In this segment, I show you how to add a new column to your data with a DAX formula. This is useful when you need to modify or enhance your data inside of a Power BI Desktop report.

Power BI Samples - Add DAX to Your Model