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What is Power BI? Get Free Access Purchase the entire course

21 December 2018 · · 3950 views

Power BI Course

What is Power BI?

Before you start to learn about how to use Power BI, it’s important to understand what Power BI actually is. This free, 1-hour, demo-packed video from Chris Webb introduces Power BI in detail. Log-in or get a free account to watch it!

In the past, Microsoft used the brand name “Power BI” to describe its strategy of enhancing Excel’s BI functionality through the Power Query, Power Pivot, Power View and Power Map add-ins. However, today’s Power BI is significantly different (even though a lot of the same technology is used behind the scenes): it consists of Power BI Desktop, a desktop-based application for report design, and the Power BI cloud-based service. Excel is still an important part of the story, but the Power BI brand is not now used to describe Excel functionality.

Note that in the video I say that Reporting Servicesis the futureof Power BI on-premises. Since this was recorded Microsoft has named its on-premises Power BI server Power BI Report Server. It is built on top of Reporting Services, and is a superset of Reporting Services functionality, but it is considred a distinct product.

The Power BI reporting lifecycle consists of several stages. After you have chosen whether to use Power BI Desktop or Excel to build your reports, you need to import data from your data sources. Some data sources will be easier to work with than others, and a data warehouse is still very useful to have as a place to store clean, conformed data. You’ll then need to model your data. This involves linking individual tables together using relationships, setting various properties that control how data behaves in your reports, and defining calculations. Finally, you publish your report to the Power BI cloud service.

One important question to ask at this stage is who in your organisation is going to be building reports. The term “self-service BI” is often used to describe scenarios where end-users build their own reports, but it can be used to mean several different things. In fact, all successful BI projects involve close collaboration between end-users and IT, where the skills of each group are used where appropriate.

In order to work with Power BI, you’ll need to download and install Power BI Desktop. If you want to use Excel, you’ll need to check which version, edition and bitness of Excel you have installed . You will also need a subscription to the Power BI cloud service and be aware of how the pricing and licensing works. For most purposes your users will need a Power Professional subscription.

Power BI is a fast-moving product and significant new features are released every week. This rapid change is a good thing, but it can be challenging to keep up with it!

Log in or register for free to play the video.

  • Power BI New Features and Course Updates 1-min Free—Watch Now

  • What is Power BI? 59-min Watch with Free Subscription

  • Licensing 8-min

  • Connecting to Data Sources 42-min

  • Connecting to Data Sources (2018 Updates) 23-min

  • Data Import Concepts 55-min

  • Transforming Data with the Query Editor 1-hour 20-min

  • Transforming Data with the Query Editor (2018 Updates) 13-min

  • Advanced Data Loading 49-min

  • Modelling Data 1-hour 10-min

  • Modelling Data (2018 Updates) 14-min

  • DAX and the Data Model 31-min

  • DAX and the Data Model (2018 Updates) 10-min

  • Power BI Desktop vs Excel 37-min

  • Cloud and Desktop Power BI Dashboards and Reports 45-min

  • Power BI Reports (2018 Updates) 40-min

  • Building Reports in Excel 32-min

  • Sharing, Distribution, and Security 42-min

  • Data Refresh 8-min Free—Watch Now

  • Administration and Auditing 11-min Watch with Free Subscription

  • Azure Analysis Services 1-hour 3-min

  • Power BI Premium and Power BI Embedded 36-min Watch with Free Subscription

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