Archive - Blog Posts on Learning Resource

Show or Hide a Power BI Visual Based on Selection - I have written a few articles in the past that toy with the ideas of changing visibility and text colour based on selection.  I started to wonder if it was possible to make a visual appear (or not) based on a selection from the user.  There is no out of the box way to do […] Read More
Simple Filters and Syntax Sugar in DAX - Level: Intermediate There is a concept in the DAX language called “Syntax Sugar”.  Simply put, the developers have created simplified versions of more complex formulas to make it easier for people to learn and use the DAX language.  Here are a couple of examples Total Sales Syntax Sugar = SUM(Sales[ExtendedAmount]) Total Sales Full Syntax = […] Read More
Affordable Power BI Premium for Small Business (Part 2) - Level: Advanced This is the second in my series of articles explaining how to use Microsoft Flow, the Azure APIs, the Power BI APIs and SharePoint Online to help make Power BI Premium more affordable for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  You can read the first article in this series from the following link: Affordable […] Read More
Affordable Power BI Premium for Small Business (Part 1) - Level: Advanced This is another one of those articles that has been swirling in my head for a very long time, about 2 years actually.  I have long been frustrated by the lack of a suitable scalable Power BI pricing model for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs).  You can read my rant about that […] Read More
Conditional Formatting with a Text Field in Power BI - One of the things I like about my live, online training courses is that I get to hear great questions from the trenches from people learning DAX and Power BI.  Last week, John asked me how to apply conditional formatting with a Text field (not a numeric field).  I knew it could be done, but […] Read More
What is the Best Training for Business Analysts? - Updated Feb 2019.  This is an edited version of my original article which first appeared on my site in Feb 2016. The rate of change in the tools available to a Business Analyst has never been faster than it is today.  The market is changing so quickly that many Business Analysts (BAs) are only just […] Read More
Extract Numerical Data Points from an Image - Today Gartner released the 2019 magic quadrant for Business Intelligence.  As expected (by me at least), Microsoft is continuing its trail blazing and now has a clear lead over Tableau in both ability to execute and completeness of vision.  I thought it would be interesting to see a trend over time for the last 5 […] Read More
Create a Planning View of Your Outlook Diary in Power BI - I was chatting to my wife the other day discussing all the things we want to do next year. It has long been a pain in the butt to get a high level (big picture) view of your Outlook diary to see what is happening (think forest, not trees).  In the past I have used […] Read More
Power BI Dataflows, and Why You Should Care - Microsoft recently released a new feature in Power BI called “Dataflows”.  You may have seen it pop up in a recent release of Power BI Desktop under Home\Get Data\Power BI Dataflows (beta) as shown below. It is also visible when you log into PowerBI.com and go to an App Workspace as shown in 1 below.  […] Read More
Power BI Training
Power BI is an Enigma, so What to Do? - Power BI is an enigma.  On the surface Power BI is an alluring product that promises to change your world of data analytics for the better – and indeed it can and will.  But sitting just beneath the surface, hidden from view, is the reality that there are many things you must learn if you […] Read More
When to Use SUM() vs SUMX() - Level: Beginners/Intermediate (Updated Oct 2018). This is a further (third) update/edit to an article I first wrote 3 years back and then updated a year back.  When I update my articles I simply change the original post with the latest data – that way only the current/latest version is available preventing people stumbling on old […] Read More
Create a Power BI Slicer Panel - There is nothing worse than having a Power BI report that has 50% of the space taken up with slicers.  When this happens, you only get half the page to visualise the actual data.  But on the flip side, if you don’t have the slicers it can be harder for the report users to filter […] Read More
Visually Appealing Power BI Reports - One thing I often get asked is “How do I create good looking Power BI Reports?”.  This is a very good question and unfortunately the answer is not straight forward.  I like to think of the visual appeal as the “Art” of communicating data insights.  The other major consideration is “what and how” to communicate […] Read More
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
Extending Power BI With R Visuals - Level: Intermediate Matt: This is the second one in a series of articles from Parker Stevens. In this article he talks about using R with Power BI. If you missed his first article “Introduction to DirectQuery” you can read it here. Parker: Power BI comes with a ton of built-in features but eventually you might […] Read More
Extracting Complex Data from Websites - One thing I did a long time ago was set up my own forum called PowerPivot Forum. This forum is open to anyone to join and to ask questions and/or help others. If I have any spare time (decreasingly so these days), I help people out on the forum too.  It occurred to me that the forum […] Read More
Keeping Track of Changes on a Website with Power BI - Level: Intermediate A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of my ideas that I have created at ideas.powerbi.com and asked you to vote for them if you agree with the concept (please go back and take a look if you missed it).  I thought it would be interesting to keep track of the […] Read More
Toggle Overlapping Time Periods using the Calendar Table - Level: Intermediate. I had a great question pass my way last week while I was at the Microsoft Business Application Summit. The problem presented by Matt (a different Matt, not me) was that he had around 200 measures already written, but wanted to be able to toggle the report pages between YTD and Full Year […] Read More
Phasing Income to Future Dates - Level: Intermediate I do lots of live training, face to face and online, and I always encourage students to bring along any business problems they would like some help with.  Last week I had a great problem that Debbie shared with me that I thought was worth creating this blog article.  I have modified the […] Read More
User Specified Growth on an Investment using Power BI - Level: Intermediate I wrote an article earlier this year that showed how you can take a table of future growth rates (different growth rates each year) and then calculate the future value of an investment using DAX.  I had a follow up question from Steve asking if it is possible to allow the user to […] Read More