Blog

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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Use Power Query to Compare Database Records - I was helping a user on 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Save PBIX from Power BI Service Under Delivers - This blog post was going to be about how excited I was to hear that there is now an option to download a PBIX file from the Power BI Service to your PC.  Unfortunately all that glitters is not gold.  This new option in the Power BI Service promises a lot but delivers little – […]
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 […]

Ten Things I Wish I Knew When I Started With Power Pivot.   Learn  Without The Pain!

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