Are you new to Power BI? If the answer is yes, where do you start to learn how to use it? There is a lot of useful information on the Internet, but how do you know if it is any good? Look no further, I have compiled a list of useful resources that I have used over the past couple of years to teach myself, initially, how to use Power BI and then how to use it’s more advanced features including coding in DAX and M (power query).
Resources to learn the basics
One of the most useful and comprehensive resources I used is the Analyzing and Visualising Data with Power BI course on the EdX site.
You can sign up to the course for free and it gives you six weeks access to complete the content (video tutorials and labs). It covers the following topics:
- Introduction – Overview of Power BI
- Transforming Data using Power BI
- Data Modelling in Power BI
- Visualising your data
- Working with Power BI Services
- Working with Excel in Power BI
- Direct Connectivity (e.g. connecting to an Azure Database)
- Developer API
- Mobile App
At the end of each section there are exercises for you to complete that give you practical experience of what you have covered in the video tutorials.
A second resource that covers Power BI basics is the Microsoft Power BI Guided Learning website.
It has a large selection of short tutorials that you can watch a video and read the accompanying written material. Note that for some of the shorter tutorials the is no accompanying video.
The topics that are covered include:
- Exploring what Power BI can do
- Analysing data with Power BI
- Getting started building with Power BI
- Getting Data with Power BI
- Modelling Data
- Using visuals in Power BI (tables, charts, maps etc.)
- Exploring data in Power BI
- Publish and share report
- Introduction to DAX
Advanced Power BI Resources
So, once you have mastered all the basics, where do you go for more advanced Power BI resources?
If you want to learn more about DAX coding, the sqlbi site is a good place to start.
The website has a vast array of articles on how to use DAX code to enhance your Power BI reports. Some examples include:
- Naming temporary columns in DAX
- Creating a slicer that filters multiple columns in Power BI
- Filtering the Top 3 products for each category
- Creating a simple date table in DAX
There are also video tutorials that you can watch on DAX.
There is also some freely available course material on this site at the following location:
If you want to splash out an buy the whole course, it will set you back $349 (USD)
2. M – Power Query
If you want to get to grasp with Power Query M formula language the best place to go is to the Microsoft Docs page.
It provides a great overview in its M quick tour. It also provides example expressions that you can start from.
If you really want to get into the details Microsoft have a PDF containing information on the M language specification. There is loads of good information in this document, but don’t start reading until you have a understand and have practiced writing M language for some time.
Hopefully this provides you with some good reference material for using Power BI. Happy report building!
Alison Rowe is part of our team of data analysts who make sense of data which enables better decision making. Check out the beginners guide to learning Qlik Sense, or connect with Alison on LinkedIn.
We run 1-day workshops on defining data requirements and data modelling where you learn the BEAM* method. You can find more information here.