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Power BI Essentials: Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

Power BI Online Training: Comprehensive introduction to Power BI Desktop, the Power BI service and Power BI mobile apps
Grant Gamble
7,508 students enrolled
English [Auto]
How to use Power BI Desktop to import and model data and create reports.
How to use the Power BI service for the creation of dashboards, collaboration and sharing of content.

Microsoft Power BI offers users true Self-Service BI. Power BI enables business users to interact with corporate information and to extract the reports and intel they need. Power BI allows users to access reports and dashboards using familiar tools and devices.

Self-service BI has never been so user-friendly!

Microsoft Power BI Introduction will show you how to create compelling visualizations and reports which provide deep insights into your data.

By the end of the course, you will be confident in using the three main components of Power BI:

  • Power BI Desktop
  • the Power BI Service
  • and Power BI Mobile Apps.

You will know how to connect to a wide variety of data sources, using both Power BI Desktop, and the Power BI Service.

You will be able to use the Query Editor to transform and morph data into the right format for your reporting purposes.

You will be able to perform complex data modelling operations using relationships, calculated columns, measures, and DAX expressions.

You will learn how to share dashboards and reports, with colleagues, business partners and potential clients.

And how to use Power BI’s sophisticated security features to control the exact content your audience is able to view.

In short, this Microsoft Power BI Introduction will equip you with all the skills you need, to start using Power BI with confidence.

1. Welcome

Welcome to the Power BI Essentials Course
2. Downloading the course files

This ZIP file contains all of the files you see being used in the tutorials of this course.

2. Getting Started

1. The Power BI product

In this lesson, we examine the different components of Power BI: Power BI Desktop, the Power BI service and Power BI mobile apps. We also discuss the differences between the free edition of Power BI, Power BI Pro and Power BI Premium.

2. Using the Query Editor in Power BI Desktop

Here, we compare the three main components of Power BI: Power BI Desktop, The Power BI Service and Power BI Mobile Apps

3. Creating a report in Power BI Desktop

When creating content in Power BI, you work with three main elements: datasets, reports and dashboards.

4. Publishing a report to the Power BI service

In this video, we will publish the report created in the video to the Power BI service. Although Power BI Desktop is the main tool for creating reports, it is possible to edit reports in the Power BI service.

This video will show you how to edit a report in the Power BI service and download it, so that you can continue editing the report in Power BI Desktop.

5. Creating app workspaces

Any reports published to My Workspace, in the Power BI service, will only be available to yourself. To make reports available to other users in your Power BI tenant, you will need to save the report to an app workspace.

This video will show you how to create an app workspace and upload a report to it.

6. Creating dashboards

Dashboards are single page summaries, on a single analytical theme, which can contain content from multiple sources. This video looks at creating dashboards in the Power BI service.

7. Publishing an app

Once the content in an app has been finalized, publishing the app will make it available to other users. In this video, we look at the process of publishing an app; and how authorized users then consume the app.

8. The Power BI mobile experience

In this video, we discuss the Power BI mobile user experience and look at Power BI's tools for optimizing reports and dashboards for mobile phone display.

9. Connecting to GitHub in the Power BI Service

In this video, we'll look at creating a GitHub report, using one of the pre-created content packs which are built into the Power BI service.

10. Connecting to Google Analytics (Service and Desktop compared)

You can connect to online sources in two ways: either using the Power BI service, or using Power BI Desktop. This video compares connecting to Google Analytics using both methods.

Summary of 1. Getting Started

3. Connecting to Data Sources

1. Connecting to CSV files

CSV (Comma Separated Values) is a standard used by many systems as a method of export. In this video, we look at importing a CSV file into Power BI Desktop.

2. Connecting to Excel data

This video explains how Power BI Desktop allows you to connect to three different types of Excel object: tables, named ranges and worksheets.

3. Connecting to a Folder of data

If you have a series of files which all have the same format, one useful strategy that you can use in Power BI desktop is to place them in the same folder and then connect to the folder. The folder connection will  produce a single table containing all the data currently in the folder.

4. Connecting to a web URL

In this video, we look at importing data from a web site. Naturally, however, when connecting to web sources, there is no implicit file format that you will always be importing.

5. Connecting to web page content

In this video, we will look at connecting directly to a web URL; in other words, connecting to the web page itself and importing data stored in HTML tables.

6. Connecting to a Microsoft Access database

In order to connect to a Microsoft Access database, Power BI Desktop uses the Microsoft Access database engine. This video explains the process involved, and the potential problems, in connecting to Access tables and queries.

Summary of 3. Connecting to Data Sources

4. Cleaning up and transforming data

1. Trim, Clean and Case

This video examines the Query Editor's Trim and Clean commands, as well as its functions for changing the case of columns of data.

2. Renaming and adding metadata

This video examines some useful housekeeping features which you should get into the habit of using: renaming queries, query steps and column headings and adding metadata to query steps.

3. Splitting columns

This lesson examines the Query Editor's Split Columns function, which is very similar to Microsoft Excel's Text to Columns command.

4. Removing rows

When you connect to data sources, it is often the case that your data does not start on row one. This video shows how the Query Editor's Remove Rows command can be used to suppress any unwanted rows which may precede your data.

5. Replace Values

This video examines the Query Editor's Replace Values and Fill Down commands, both of which are very useful for changing the actual content of the data which you are importing into Power BI.

7. Unpivot Columns

When importing reports generated by other systems into Power BI, you may encounter data which has already been subdivided, or pivoted, into separate columns, restricting your options for data analysis. This video shows how to use the Query Editor's Unpivot command to reverse this pivoting.

8. Rearranging columns

When connecting to data sources, reordering columns can be a useful way of improving your productivity. This video shows you the tools and techniques available for doing this in the Power BI Query Editor.

9. Creating custom columns

This video discusses the creation of custom columns whose data is based on calculations performed on other columns.

10. Append queries

This lesson explains how to use the Query Editor's Append Queries command to "stitch together" matching columns of data from separate sources.

11. Merge queries

This lesson explains how to use the Query Editor's Merge Queries command to "stitch together" matching rows of data from separate sources.

12. Grouping data

This video shows how to aggregate data as you import it into Power BI, a technique which is useful where there is far more granularity in the raw data than you need for your reports.

Summary of 4. Cleaning up and transforming data

5. Data modelling

1. Adding data to the data model

We'll be working on a single project throughout this section and the section which follows. In this video, we connect to the data source which will give us the data model with which we will be working.

2. Examining the data model

This video explains the nature of the Power BI data model; what it is, how it works, and the data modelling tools available in Power BI Desktop.

3. Creating relationships automatically

Whenever you import multiple tables, relationships, both existing and implied, are automatically recognized and created within Power BI. This video explains this process and how to control it.

4. Creating relationships manually

This video explains the manual creation of relationships in Power BI and the various options and settings available.

5. Creating a composite primary key

When attempting to create a relationship between two tables, Power BI does not allow the use of composite keys; this video explains a workaround for this limitation.

6. Creating a date table

Date tables are used to provide the unbroken sequence of dates required by DAX time intelligence functions. This video explains how to create a date table using Microsoft Excel.

7. Creating calculated columns

This video demonstrates how to use a DAX formula to enhance the data model by adding calculated columns to selected tables.

8. Creating measures

This lesson explains the difference between calculated columns and measures, how to create measures and how to create a table for storing measures.

9. Using the SUMX function

This video explains how to use DAX SUMX function in a measure to iterate through a table, performing a calculation on each row, and then aggregating the results.


This lesson discusses the use of the RELATED and RELATEDTABLE functions to take advantage of the relationships between tables and perform calculations across related tables.

11. Creating a calculated table

This video demonstrates the use of calculated tables to enhance the data model.

Summary of 5. Data modelling

6. Creating a Power BI report

1. Overview of report

In this video, we examine the report which we will be creating. You can find the completed report in training folder; sub-folder 6.1.

2. Backgrounds, logos and images

Before you start building any report, you'll probably want to start thinking about the page as a whole. This video explains the different background options that are available, as well as how to work with image tiles.

3. Working with themes

In this video, you will learn how to use a JSON file to specify report theme colours which will replace Power BI's built-in theme.

4. The card big-picture visual

In this tutorial, we begin our creation of the report by using the card visual to display a series of "big picture" metrics at the top of each page.

5. Using visual filters

This lesson will show you how to make "big picture" visuals more versatile by attaching a permanent filter to them. In this example, we will use visual-level filters to display revenue for specific countries.

6. Using the format painter

The format painter is found in many Microsoft applications. In this tutorial, you will learn how this simple tool can be used in Power BI Desktop to save time by copying formats from one visual to another.

7. Gauges and targets

Here, we examine the second of Power BI's "big picture" visual; the gauge; and look at how it enables you to highlight the differences between actual and target values.

8. Creating bar charts

The bar chart is one of Power BI's simplest and yet most useful visuals. In this lesson, we learn how to create and format a bar chart.

9. Editing visual interactions

This tutorial explains how to use Power BI's powerful Visual Interactions mode to specify which visuals on the page will be filtered or highlighted when the user interacts with the report. (This is specified on a visual-by-visual basis.)

10. Using slicers

In the last video, we looked at how clicking on on visual can be made to filter other visuals on the page. In this video, we turn our attention to the Power BI visual whose sole purpose in life is to filter the data displayed in other visuals; the slicer.

11. Using the treemap visual

This video discusses the benefits and drawbacks of Power BI's treemap visual.

12. Creating a map visual

In this tutorial, we will create use Power BI's map visual to display the location of our clients and the revenue they generate.

13. Date hierarchies and drill-down

In this lecture, we will discuss the various techniques available for exploiting Power BI's useful drill-down feature by creating both formal and informal hierarchies, as well as using automatically generated date hierarchies.

14. Using time intelligence functions

This video discusses the use of DAX time intelligence functions and the implications regarding the link between the main data table and the dates table.

Summary of 6. Creating a Power BI report

7. Sharing and Collaborating

01-Creating Users in the Power BI service

In this video, we examine one of the fundamental building blocks of sharing and collaboration; the user.

2. Creating groups for collaboration

This video explains how to create groups in the Power BI service to enable collaboration on the creation of reports.

3. Creating groups for distribution

Although groups are primarily used in the Power BI service to enable collaboration, as this video explains, they can also be used as mechanism for distributing content.

4. Dashboards and Q&A

This lesson focuses on the creation of dashboards and the optimization of datasets for the use of the Power BI services's Q&A feature.

5. Sharing dashboards with your organization

In this video, you will learn the technique provided by the Power BI service for sharing dashboards, which lands the dashboard straight into the workspace of another user.

6. Creating content Packs

This lecture discusses the main mechanism used in the Power BI service for sharing dashboard, reports and datasets within an organization; the content pack.

7. Publishing reports to the web

In this video, we will discuss the use of the Power BI service's Publish to web feature to share reports with a wider audience, including those who are not Power BI subscribers.

8. Row level security

In this lecture, you will learn how to use Power BI's row level security to provide different user experiences, and data, to the consumers of the same report.

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7 hours on-demand video
6 articles
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