Author Archive for Matt Allington

Power BI Free is the Main Problem Here - I am an enthusiastic sponsor of Microsoft BI. I have been fortunate enough to build a new career off the back of the great products Microsoft has developed, specifically Power BI, Power Pivot and Power Query.  Having said that, I am definitely disappointed with the new licensing agreement changes have been released in the last […] Read More
Power BI Licences Changes–The Good, The Bad and The Why - Microsoft today announced that it is changing the way it licences its Power BI service product.  I want to provide my personal view on why it is doing this, what is good and also what is bad about this change. The Problem MS is Trying to Address Let me start by explaining the problem that […] Read More
How and Where to Get Help for Power BI - Regardless of what stage you are at in your Power BI/Power Pivot/Power Query journey, at some stage you are going to need some help.  Believe me I am no different to you – we are all learning and we all need help sometime or another.  There are basically 3 options that I want to talk […] Read More
How to Find Overlapping Pivot Tables - A client contacted me recently and asked me to solve a problem for them.  They have a large Power Pivot Excel workbook with lots of Pivot Tables.  All was good except sometimes when they refreshed the data, the newly loaded data changed the shape of some of the pivot tables causing at least one of […] Read More
New Power BI Reports from a Golden Dataset - Last week I wrote an article at PowerPivotPro.com explaining how to create a new report on PowerBI.com that connects to an existing dataset already loaded on PowerBI.com.  I then discovered (thanks to reader feedback) that Microsoft has already delivered a preview of a new feature called “Power BI Service Live Connection”. This new feature allows […] Read More
Which to Use – Power BI or Excel? - Level: Beginners One of my regular blog readers (and graduate of my live training course) Phil Cross asked me last week if I knew of anywhere to find a comprehensive guide for Self Service BI users of when to use Excel vs Power BI to author new data models. I thought this would make a […] Read More
Quick Measures and Query by Example - 2 fabulous new updates again in the April update of Power BI Desktop.  Here is my quick review so you can see how great these things are. Quick Measures Quick measures are designed to help you get started with DAX, without knowing any DAX!  OMG I will be out of a job!! Once again this […] Read More
Power BI Desktop – Memory Usage - Some time ago I developed a tool that allows you to automatically connect a local Excel Pivot Table to a local running instance of Power BI Desktop.   You can read that original article here if you like.  It works kind of like Analyze in Excel but using Power BI Desktop running on your local PC […] Read More
Uses for DAX as a Query Language - This is the final article in my series about DAX as a Query Language.  In my first article I introduced DAX as a Query Language and then in my second article I went in deeper to the specifics on how to use some of the more useful DAX query functions.  In this final article today […] Read More
DAX as a Query Language Part 2 - In my last article I introduced DAX as a Query Language and explained why learning to query your data model can be useful.  I covered the basics about using a tool like DAX Studio to query a database and return a table of data as a result.  In this article I am going to go […] Read More
An Introduction to DAX as a Query Language - Level: Intermediate I have written quite a few articles that contain embedded references to DAX Queries and DAX Table functions in the past.  Today I am writing an article that introduces the DAX query language from the beginning so you can learn how to use it and how it will help you to become a […] Read More
Power BI Skills – Thinking of Data in Tables - Level: Beginners One very important concept that Excel users often struggle with when starting on their Power BI and Power Pivot journey is that they need to learn to think about data in tables rather than thinking about data in cells.  In the spreadsheet world every cell can be a different formula or value, but […] Read More
Relationships in Power BI and Power Pivot - Level: Beginners Power Pivot is a database that has been designed from the ground up to be optimised for reporting and analysis in Power BI, Power Pivot for Excel and SSAS Tabular.  The technology is essentially the same across all of these products so I will generically refer to Power Pivot in this article. Power […] Read More
Download Report from Power BI Service to Desktop - I love to celebrate successes with the Microsoft Power BI team, but I am also not shy in shouting out when I am disappointed.  Back on 25th Nov 2016 I blogged about the then new “Save PBIX from Power BI Service”.  At the time I was disappointed in the way it worked because it didn’t […] Read More
The Top 30 Reasons You Should Be Considering Power BI - I wrote this article to be a definitive list of the top reasons you should consider using Power BI in your organisation (in case you haven’t already made the decision to do so).  In fact there is only one thing that worries me about this list, and that is I think many people may be […] Read More
SQL Saturday Melbourne Feb 2017 Materials - I am currently in Melbourne for PASS SQL Saturday 2017.  SQL Saturday is an annual one day conference event that occurs in many major cities around the world.  It is focussed on helping SQL Server professionals learn more about their profession and also network with other like minded people.  I have a lot of people […] Read More
Use Power Query to Compare Database Records - I was helping a user on http://community.powerbi.com this week. The user had a list of service desk tickets for multiple customers and the requirement was to identify when a customer opened a second new ticket within 7 days of closing a previous ticket.  This is not an uncommon scenario so I thought it would make […] Read More
Power BI On Premise – Not in the Cloud! - Microsoft has recently released a technical preview of Power BI that can be installed on premise inside a company firewall and the Power BI reports can be securely published over the Intranet (not Internet) via SSRS.  Today I am sharing my experiences setting up the technical preview for the first time.  I installed the software […] Read More
Best Practices for Power Pivot, Power Query and Power BI - Level: Beginners There are many best practices for Power BI, Power Pivot and Power Query.  I know these things so intuitively now that it is very easy to forget how I incrementally learnt these things along the journey.  Most of these things are not “right” vs “wrong” – they are more often simply “better”.  I thought there […] Read More
DAX Time Intelligence Explained - Level: Beginners I help a lot of people on forums who ask questions about time intelligence for DAX.  If you are just starting out then the chances are that you may not even be clear what time intelligence is and hence sometimes you don’t even know what to ask.  Often the question is something like […] Read More