Archive - Blog Posts on How to

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
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
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
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
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
Extract Tabular Data From Power BI Service to Excel - Someone asked me a question yesterday about exporting data from the Power BI Service into Excel.  There are a few options to do this however they all have their problems (these problems are not covered in great detail in this post). Power BI has an inbuilt export data feature (there is an export limit of […] Read More
Cleansing Data with Power Query - Today I am combining a few techniques to show how to build a robust cleansing approach for your data using Power Query.  This article will demonstrate the following Power Query techniques Joining tables (Merge Query) Self Referencing tables Adding Custom Columns Sample Data I am using some sample data as shown below.  The Country data […] Read More
Data Modelling with OneDrive Source Files - Last week I shared how it was possible to easily create an online survey using Excel for O365.  Once such a survey is created, the data can be imported into PowerBI.com and used to create a simple report.  The biggest issue with directly connecting to OneDrive like I showed last week is that you can’t […] Read More
Easy Online Surveys with Power BI Reporting - I think today’s article will be of interest to my readers even though it is a little astray from my normally pure Power BI, Power Pivot and Power Query content. I will show you how to quickly and easily create an On-Line Survey that you can distribute to anyone that has an Internet connection, and […] Read More
How to Document DAX Measures in Excel - I often get asked if there is an easy way to create documentation for DAX measures when using Power Pivot for Excel.  I am not a big fan of documentation for the sake of it, but I do see value in having “some” appropriate level of documentation.  I think a good balance of the right […] Read More
64 Bit Power BI Desktop with 32 Bit Office? Can do! - As many of you would already know, 32 bit applications do not always play well with their bigger sibling,  64 bit applications. There are lots of “under the hood” files and applications that are always designed to be either 32 bit or 64 bit – not both.  In the case of Microsoft Office, you must […] Read More
Import Tabular Data from PDF using Power Query - Today I am sharing a process I developed that allows you to import tabular data from a PDF document into Excel (or Power BI) using Power Query.  I didn’t want to purchase software to do this task so I started experimenting on how I could do it with the tools I already have, and I […] Read More