Archive - Blog Posts on Beginners

Using Variables to Write Measures - It’s pretty early in the morning here in Sydney Australia (just after 6 am actually).  I just finished a fun YouTube session with Avi Singh where I demonstrated my approach to using variables in DAX to help write more complex formulas.  Avi streamed the session live on YouTube, and it is also there available to […] Read More
How Query Folding Works - Level: Beginners Power Query is a product that allows business users to extract data from any source, cleanse and transform that data, and then load the modified data to a new location, typically into an Excel spreadsheet or a Power BI data model.  Power Query is very easy to learn, and most tasks can be […] Read More
My Supercharge Excel and Supercharge Power BI Books Available on Amazon - After what seems like a lifetime of waiting for the paperback book economy to tick its required boxes, both of my new books Supercharge Excel and Supercharge Power BI are now available to ship to most countries in the world from Amazon.com. This is a good opportunity for me to clarify how these new books […] Read More
Publish to Web is not Secure - Today I want to issue a warning to anyone considering using Publish to Web to share corporate data internally within an organisation. Publish to Web is a standard feature on all Power BI accounts (free and Pro) – I first wrote about it two years ago here.  This is a great feature that is designed […] Read More
Text Filtering in Power BI - There are lots of different ways you can filter data in Power BI including: Slicers (with various configurations) Cross filtering from any visual object The filters pane on the right hand side of your report Custom visuals designed specifically for filtering Most of these standard filters require you to select on a specific value from […] Read More
Extract Table Size from Power BI Desktop Using DAX Studio - I was explaining to one of my blog readers recently how to extract table size from Power BI Desktop using DAX Studio and thought it would be useful for others.  I have covered the basics of DAX Studio in the past so I wont cover this detail again here. The latest version of DAX Studio can be […] Read More
Conditional Formatting in Power BI - Level: Beginners I blogged on conditional formatting in Power BI Table visual here when it was released in the May 2016 Power BI Desktop update. At the time of first release, the conditional formatting was pretty basic with only 1 formatting option available. Over time, Microsoft has improved this feature, and now, it is available in both Table and […] Read More
Power BI Accounting Format of Dollars - Level: Beginners As I often say, sometimes it is the little things that can make a big different for some people – in this case Accountants. I was teaching a Power BI class a few weeks ago and I was discussing how the number formatting options work in Power BI.  One of my students (Sheldon) […] Read More
New Functions – GENERATESERIES, SELECTEDVALUE - Level: Beginners/Intermediate In the August 2017 update of Power BI Desktop Microsoft released the new What If feature (first demonstrated at MDIS in July).  This new What If capability uses two new DAX functions to complete a task that you have always been able to do manually.  You still can of course still do it […] Read More
When to Use SUM() vs SUMX() - Level: Beginners/Intermediate It has been 2 years since I first wrote an article about SUM() vs SUMX().  I decided to write a new article to refresh this topic and add in the things I have learnt over the last 2 years. SUM() vs SUMX() First let me start with an overview of both of these […] Read More
My MDIS Presentations - Level: Beginners/Intermediate As those that read my blog regularly would know, I have been at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit in Seattle Washington for the last 2 days. I had the privilege and pleasure of presenting two sessions at the event. For those that were not able to attend, here are the videos of my […] Read More
How and Where to Get Help for Power BI - Level: Beginners/Intermediate 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 […] 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
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
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
Easy Online Surveys with Power BI Reporting - Level: Beginners 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 […] Read More
How to Document DAX Measures in Excel - Level: Beginners 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 […] Read More
Power Pivot Crashes? – An Update - Level: Beginners Today Avi Singh and I met with Howie Dickerman from Microsoft to discuss the Power Pivot for Excel Add-In.  You can read the background to this meeting at my blog post last month.  Howie is the Program Manager assigned to Power Pivot for Excel and has a wealth of experience with Excel and […] Read More