Learning to work with Microsoft Power BI: a Short Guide

With the invention of new business intelligence and technological modules, various problems of management and organization have emerged. If we go down to the basics of monitoring and report preparation, the tedious tasks of reading lists, sharing data and analyzing records have proven to be time and effort-consuming.

Microsoft Power BI is a revolutionary improvement in the way we monitor processes in any organization. Addressing the issue of easily accessing reports and records, the software tool brings a competitive advantage to the table.

Power BI: the Most Comprehensive Tool for Data Analysis and Exploration

Power BI is a cloud-based business analytical tool, developed by Microsoft, with the purpose of enabling you to analyze and, more importantly, visualize data with speed and efficiency. The main advantage of this tool is its functionality and ease of use.

Due to the nature of our visual perception, it is difficult to grasp unstructured information that is presented in form of a table. By allowing to visualise large data sets Power BI helps you to dig deeper into your data to find meaningful connections and patterns. You can view your reports and dashboards in a visually appealing way that provides you a complete overview of what’s happening within your company. Additionally, you can monitor your data in real-time with the help of nearly any type of device including smartphones.

If you’re new to Power BI, here’s a breakdown of some of the core advantages that Microsoft Power BI brings to the table:

  • It is now easier to integrate software like Power BI within your existing business environment. It allows you to report capabilities and adopt analytics seamlessly.
  • The rich personalized dashboards of Power BI can be customized according to the needs of your organization.
  • Power BI gives you the ability to publish reports securely by setting up automatic data refresh to gather the latest information.
  • Power BI does not require any dedicated technician or support to be operated. The analysis and agile inquiries can be obtained without any hurdle.
  • Power BI provides a balanced transfusion of simplicity and productivity. In-memory analysis and DAX scripting language are some examples of it.
  • Power BI also supports advanced data services and, therefore, can be used together with advanced cloud services. It can even be used with Cortana or Bot framework on mobile devices.

With so many features, you may start wondering about learning Power BI before getting hands on it completely. To help you out, we have described several options that allow you to learn more about the use of Power BI.

Learning from Microsoft Documentation

One of the most common ways to learn how to use Power BI is by visiting and exploring the official documentation section. According to Microsoft, here you get expert information and answers to address your needs, regardless of how you use Power BI. This includes manuals, reports and in-depth articles.

In the Guided Learning section of Microsoft Power BI documentation you can find videos and articles related to the use of Power BI. To accomplish both simple and complex tasks, you can explore various examples of dashboards, desktop files, and reports.

You can also stay up-to-date with the latest advancements and upgrades by reading different blog articles on the official Microsoft Power BI website. Along the way, if you face any hurdles, you can simply contact the support customer representative of Microsoft.

Learning from Power BI Community

Another way to embark on the learning journey is to join the Power BI community. It is a platform where you can learn, connect and discuss your concerns with peers and business intelligence experts. The community is a good way to read blog posts, post your ideas and find solutions to bugs or problems related to Power BI.

Besides community blog posts, in Power BI community you can also find:

  • Showcases, including
    • R Script showcase
    • Data Stories Gallery
  • Forums that further include:
    • Service-related discussions
    • Desktop-related discussions
    • Developers content
    • Mobile apps related discussions
    • Discussions including topics related to integrations with services and files.

One interesting aspect of the Power BI community is the “Ideas” tab on their website menu bar. Here you can share your ideas about the improvement of Power BI. You can post ideas on several topics including administration, adoptions, analytics, custom visuals, Power BI dashboards and others. You can also peek into various shortcuts for using the software for different purposes. While these are all helpful facets, the main idea is to get reviews from Power BI users in order to improve its efficiency and functionality.

Microsoft also hosts various events to inform Power BI users about different updates and share knowledge. You can find out about current events in the Power BI community page.


Learning from Power BI Online Courses

Nowadays you can find a great multitude of services that can make your work with particular software easy and hassle-free by providing learning materials. Such is the case with Power BI. There are several online courses you can join that will provide you with tutorials, online classes, guidelines, videos and more. Power BI online courses will guide you on your way of transforming your company data into meaningful insights.

Keep in mind that you might have to register and pay a fee before starting some of these courses. You should always check the legitimacy and authority of the course provider before investing any money. This can be easily done by reading reviews and references online. Online courses are suitable for a wide variety of individuals who work with data, including IT professionals, developers, business analysts, project managers, business executives and others.

Learning from Social Media

An alternative way of learning how to use Microsoft Power BI is by watching videos on YouTube. There is a large amount of videos uploaded to YouTube by Power BI users that describe various methods of using the tool in a proper way. You can explore different topics, depending on your previous experience and existing knowledge about Microsoft Power BI: for example, you can watch some tutorials that teach you the basics or you might want to watch a webinar, where a more complex topic is being explained in detail.

In addition, you can also seek knowledge by joining Power BI groups on Facebook or LinkedIn. These are user-maintained communities where users share useful information and exchange experience with peers. This can be a great way to learn as you will be able to find answers not only to general, but also fairly specific questions thanks to the help of other group members.

Conclusion

Power BI is a tool that has been introduced to simplify data exploration within organisations. It allows you not only to find valuable insights, but also to share your discoveries with others. By devoting time to learn how to use this tool, you can lead the road to a better-managed company with a good business intelligence platform.

How did you learn to use Microsoft Power BI? We’d love to hear about your learning journey in the comments.

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