A smorgasbord of Microsoft Self Serve BI at TechEd 2014

Matt's curated best self serve BI content

Last week in Houston Texas, Microsoft held TechEd 2014 (North America, 12-15 May). I was browsing the videos from this conference and wanted to share the wealth of material that is available for anyone to view. If you just filter on the “Data Platform and Business Intelligence stream“, there are over 40 sessions focussed on everything from Power Query, PowerPivot, SQL Server and more.

One of the things I really love about my new career as a freelance Self Service BI expert is that I can consume content like this, and actually get value that helps me be successful in my job. I plan to watch a lot of these videos over the coming weeks, and I will share back here a brief summary of those that I find most useful.

What’s New in Power Query for Excel

Let me start with this beauty of a session. It runs for 1 hour 15 mins and it gives an excellent overview of why Microsoft has decided to build Power Query, as well as a number of excellent demos of the power of this great new tool. Towards the end of the video (at the 45 min mark) they start to show some of the new features that will be released in the near future. If you even wanted to answer the question “What is Power Query and why should I care?”, then this is the video for you.

Here are the highlight points in case you don’t want to watch it all, with the video below.

Video Topics
Time Description
0:00 Intros
2:20 Why they have built Power Query
11:15 Demo – pull data from web search transform and produce a Power Map chart
17:50 Demo – pull data from web URL transform and produce a Power View chart
23:20 Demo – data mashup pulling data from different data sources combining and producing a Power View time series chart
32:10 Demo – multi dimensional data demo (Business Objects Universe)
40:30 Demo – pull data from web page URL where data is spread over multiple pages. Uses advanced Power Query technique using a function written in the "M" language.
45:25 The start of all new stuff not currently released.
47:30 Demo – demo of new tool to "transpose" data direct in Power Query
49:30 Demo – demo connecting to Microsoft Exchange to analyse emails over time (very interesting) – already available.
60:20 Demo – recent data sources feature that keeps a list of previous data sources
64:00 Q&A

Here is the link to all the videos: http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/TechEd/NorthAmerica/2014#fbid=

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