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Analyzing your data with Power BI for BI Professionals

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Introduction to Power BI

Power BI is a product that covers many things: Power BI in Excel, Power BI Desktop, the Power BI online service, ... . In this introduction we set the scene for the rest of the training, introducing the different aspects of the Power BI product.

  • The need for Business Intelligence
  • Self-Service BI versus Enterprise BI
  • Power BI basics
  • Overview of Power BI Desktop
  • Introducing the Power BI Service

Creating Queries using Power BI Desktop

In this chapter you will learn how to create queries using Power Query in Power BI Desktop to extract data from source systems like SQL Server, Oracle, Excel files, CSV files,... Applying transformations that can filter, sort and clean the extracted data will also be covered.

  • Overview of supported Data Sources
  • Importing data, Direct Query and Live Connections
  • Loading data from CSV and Excel files
  • Loading data from relational databases
  • Combining data from multiple files
  • Applying basic transformations
  • Query Folding

Writing Advanced Queries in Power BI Desktop

Often your data sources contain data that requires extra processing. You will learn about the more advanced transformations that Power BI has to offer like the Pivot, Unpivot, Columns By Examples,... . Combining data from multiple queries into one query will also be covered in this chapter. In the second part you will learn about query parameters, learn how to write query functions and manage data source definitions.

  • Advanced Transformations in Power Query
  • Appending and Merging Queries
  • Working with Query Parameters
  • Defining and using Query Functions

Building a Data Model

Participants learn why and how to create a data model, including data sorting, data types and formatting, hiding tables and columns, creating hierarchies, ... . We will also have a look at the storage of data in import mode, including the techniques that are used for compression. We will see the Vertipaq analyzer as a tool to analyze and reduce storage costs.

  • Why do we need a Data Model?
  • Authoring data models in Power BI Desktop
  • Data model storage
  • Vertipaq Analyzer


Participants will learn about the different types of relationships available in Power BI, including 1:n, 1:1 and n:m relationships. We will see the limitations of relationships, including the fact that there can only be one active relationship between two tables. We will see how to overcome this limitation for role-playing dimensions. Finally, we will discuss the concept of filter direction, and have a look at single- and cross filter directions.

  • 1:n relationships
  • n:m relationships
  • Role-playing dimensions
  • Filter direction
  • One way versus both way filters

Storage modes

We will have a look at the different storage modes that are available (Import data, DirectQuery and Live connection). We will discuss a solution for the problem that in this era of big data, we often face data sources that are too big to be imported and too slow to be directly queried. The solution for this dilemma may be to use a combination of a directly queried detailed table and an imported aggregation table. We will see how to create such a combination of tables.

  • Import data
  • DirectQuery
  • Live connection
  • Aggregation tables

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX)

DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) is the formula language used in the Power BI Datamodel, Excel Power Pivot data models, and in Analysis Services Tabular. Among other things, it's used to create calculated columns, measures and tables. In this chapter, we will introduce the basic concepts of DAX. If students are interested in a deeper dive into this language, we refer them to the two day course Mastering DAX

  • DAX introduction
  • Creating Calculated columns
  • Creating measures
  • Creating tables
  • Working with CALCULATE
  • Time Intelligence Functions

Designing Reports in Power BI Desktop

After the model has been fine-tuned we can use this to create our reports. Power BI allows you to create very impressive reports, and in this module you will explore many visualizations, as well as the interaction between these visualizations.

  • Overview of the Report Canvas
  • Adding textboxes, shapes and images
  • Using built-in visualizations
  • Add style and branding through themes
  • Printing a Power BI Report
  • Creating Power BI Templates

Enhancing Reports in Power BI Desktop

Sometimes a static report just isn't enough. In this module you'll learn how to make interactive reports which are easy to use for any type of end user. Take your reports to the next level.

  • Working with Slicers and Filters
  • Working with Drillthrough report pages
  • Creating custom Tooltips
  • Working with Bookmarks
  • Visual hierarchies and drill-down behavior
  • Grouping and Binning
  • What If Parameters
  • Using Custom Visuals
  • Create reports that are optimized for phones
  • Miscellaneous features

Introduction to Power BI Service

If you want to share models and reports with you co-workers, the Power BI service allows you to upload these to the cloud and manage and share them with others. In this module you will learn about the general features of the Power BI service, the next modules dive into the details.

  • What is the Power BI Service?
  • Power BI Service pricing and features
  • Overview of the Power BI Service UI
  • Creating and using App Workspaces

Creating Datasets and Reports in Power BI Service

For some types of reporting you do not want to go through the hassle of creating a dataset in Power BI Desktop. That's why for a limited set of data sources we can start using them directly from the Power BI service without the need to first create an offline model. In this module you'll learn how to create these models directly in the Power BI Service.

  • Creating Datasets in the Power BI Service
  • Using Quick Insights
  • Creating Reports in Power BI Service
  • Printing Reports
  • Export to PowerPoint
  • Embedding Power BI Reports in SharePoint Online

Creating Dashboards and Analyzing Data with Power BI Service

Dashboards allow you to combine visuals from different reports into one page for quick access. This module teaches you to build and customize these dashboards in the Power BI Service.

  • Creating Dashboards
  • Printing Dashboards
  • Configuring Dashboards for Mobile Devices
  • Working with Power BI Q&A
  • Analyze in Excel

Sharing Content in the Power BI Service

Power BI has different mechanisms to share content with other users: Sometimes you want to share in order to develop something together, or you want others to customize something, or maybe you want others to have read-only permissions on the shared object. In this module you'll learn how to accomplish this with the different sharing options in the Power BI Service.

  • Sharing Reports and Dashboards with internal and external users
  • Sharing content using App Workspaces
  • Creating Power BI Apps
  • Consuming Power BI Apps
  • Using Publish to Web with Reports
  • Creating Report Subscriptions

Working with Data Gateways

Data models that are uploaded to the Power BI Service need to have their data refreshed from time to time. This module shows the different options to configure the data refresh, for cloud data as well as data which runs on-premises.

  • The need for a Data Gateway
  • Installing and configuring a Data Gateway
  • Creating Data Sources on a Data Gateway
  • Scheduling Dataset refreshes
  • Logging in the Data Gateway
  • Configuring incremental data refreshes in Power BI Premium
  • Working with Direct Query and Live Connections

Working with Dataflows

Dataflows bring Power Query to the cloud, allowing for reuse of data preparation logic in multiple datasets or in other Azure technologies. In this module, we will discuss the concept of Dataflows, how entities can be mapped on the Common Data Model, and how to create Dataflows.

  • Create Dataflows to extract and clean data in the cloud
  • Dataflows, Entities and the Common Data Model
  • Creating Dataflows
  • Scheduling Data Flows
  • Using Dataflows in Power BI Desktop
  • Dataflow licensing

Securing a Data Model

Security roles can be defined in Power BI Desktop. In the Power BI service, we can enforce row level security by assigning (groups of) people to the different security roles. We will see how to set up Row Level Security in Power BI Desktop, including Dynamic Row Level Security, and how to enforce it in the Power BI Service.

  • Enhancing a Data Model with Row Level Security
  • Configuring Row Level Security
  • Implementing Dynamic Security
  • Security and Relationships

Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools to analyze data and share insights. Power BI Desktop transforms your company's data into rich visuals for you to monitor your business and get answers quickly with rich dashboards available on every device.

This course will teach you all aspects of creating Power BI Data Models and Reports and publishing and maintaining them on the Power BI online service. The course will cover technical topics on DAX and Power Query.  It also explains how to configure the Data Gateway so that you can connect the Power BI online service to your on-premise data sources. We finish the training with the brand new Dataflows and and an overview on how to implement Row Level Security in Power BI.

This course is intended for technical people who have a background in Business Intelligence. U2U also offers a 3-day course Analyzing your data with Power BI for Business Users targeted at people without a technical background.

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