Saturday, 21 November 2015

MS Ignite - Real World Power BI Techniques (DAT343)

Link to Session: https://msftignite.com.au/sessions/session-details/1611/real-world-power-bi-techniques-dat343

About the Session:
First off, I'd just like to say that Grant stole my idea of starting off the session with a chant of 'Power BI'!  Reckon he must have heard me chanting it on the way into the previous session.  I'm sure he didn't steal it, but was a surreal coincidence haha.

This was the final Power BI Session of the week, which is strange because it was the first session to run through step-by-step how to pull back real world data and report on it.  I would have thought the order would have started with the simple sally session then built up to the developer sessions through the week.  No bother for me, but something to consider for the next MS Ignite.

Session tips for speeding up your power reports:
  • Clean up your data using Power Query first
  • Create measures to display totals at the bottom of your raw data list.
  • Use brushing / ratios to gain better insight to your data instead of just slicing/filterin
  • You can easily add multiple columns to your slicer options in the ribbon
  • OLAP tools on pivot tables:  can use this function to move your pivot table data around, means your not restricted to having all the data in the 2-3 columns that the pivot table created.

Updates:
Power BI will soon support access to SSAS Cubes.

In Power BI Desktop you can:
  • Can import a folder in order to index all the files within it and report on their information
  • Pull table data straight from a Web Page, Don't have to copy/paste to excel first.
  • Can build multiple queries on the one screen, then connect them all up together.
  • Can pivot/unpivot multiple columns, by selecting the ones you don't want to change
  • You can set parameters in your queries so that it asks the user what they want to report on come run-time
  • Can create simple tables and queries in advanced editor too.

Musings:  The session was great for people who already had a background in the Power Suite, but was a pretty fast-paced explanation which I think would have confused some of the less techie attendees.  This meant that the story behind the data was not fully illustrated and the 'real world' connection slightly lost.  I've been to many of Grant's sessions over the years, all have been awesome, so maybe the magic was just lost on me because I'm across all of this technology now!

Still definitely worth a watch for any of you who have not seen Power BI in action!

Session Rating: 3.5/5

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