Archive - Blog Posts on Power BI

Q&A in Power BI Desktop - Regular readers of my blog probably get sick of hearing me rave about the latest new thing in Power BI.  This month there is an absolute cracker – Q&A in Power BI Desktop.  In case you don’t know, Q&A is a natural language query tool that allows you to ask a question about your data […] Read More
Virtual Filters Using TREATAS - Level: Intermediate I have been aware of the TREATAS function for a very long time.  I have tried to understand how it works a few times but could never really work it out. I think part of the problem is the function name TREATAS is not very descriptive.  To contrast this point, the FILTER function […] Read More
Line Chart Conditional Formatting - I’m really pleased and excited to introduce you to Daniil Maslyuk (Twitter: @DMaslyuk).  I first met Daniil about a year ago (originally via email) as he was preparing to move to Australia.  Daniil made the plunge shortly there after and migrated to Australia (from Russia) – he now works as a Power BI consultant for Agile BI here in […] Read More
Killer Tips to Write Harder Measures - Level: Intermediate Background I was reading the questions at http://community.powerbi.com today and saw an interesting question.  In short the OP wanted to know if there was a way to identify (via a measure) if the row in a table had a colour =”Blue”, but also to check that there were no other rows with the […] Read More
DAX UNICHAR Function in Power BI - I first learnt about the new DAX UNICHAR function in Power BI by reading Chris Webb’s blog (which was also the inspiration for this article today).  One of the uses of the UNICHAR function is to be able to include non text characters inside visuals.  When you combine a logical set of these codes (icon sets) you […] 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
Happy Second Birthday Power BI - The 24th of July, 2017 is the second birthday for Power BI.  I thought I would take the occasion of its second birthday to reflect on all the great work that the crack Power BI team at Microsoft has done over the last year.   I think it would be a tough job working in […] Read More
Secret Insider Update on New Power BI Features From MDIS - Today I sat through the Keynote session at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit.  As expected, James Phillips confirmed that MS has been holding back a few killer features to announce at the Summit.  Here is the list of new things that are coming that I wanted to share with you – I am truly excited. […] Read More
My MDIS Data Analytics Challenge Entry - I was reading a blog by David Eldersveld last week where he was talking about his entry in the Microsoft Data Insights Summit Data Analytics Challenge.  I originally was too busy to enter however I was inspired by his article and thought I should prepare an entry albeit with only a few days to go.  […] Read More
Microsoft Announces the Return of Export to Excel - At the start of May 2017, Microsoft announced that Export to Excel/CSV would no longer be available to Power B Free users, and would not be part of the new Power BI Premium offering either. Today Microsoft announced that it has listened to community feedback and has agreed to include this feature for all users again. […] Read More
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
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
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
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