An Introduction to Power BI


Power BI can seem complex but it breaks down into 4 key areas:-

Data Transformation – Reshaping data to our needs

Data Modelling – Relating the data to other data tables and creating ways of aggregating the data

Data Visualisation – Making it all look pretty

Administration – Essentially Publishing data to the web, sharing it, and administering it.


Before we do all this, let’s ask ourselves if it is even worth the effort of doing so.

Let’s look at a few Power BI reports I’ve prepared in the past (sadly, these are only links that I’ll be able to use)

Power BI Forms Pattern (Citizen Devs the Good Bad and the Ugly)

Puppy Finder

Darwin Explorer

British Birds

Gartner BI

Premier League

Storytelling App

Let’s Get Started

Stage One

This is a short course. To begin with we will create the worlds simplest Power BI report, from blank going through all the stages above.

To do this we’ll open up Power BI

Create a table by entering data

Stage Two

We will take a half built report and make this work properly

BMM Total Revenue = Sum(factSales[Revenue])
BMM Total Revenue Actual = CALCULATE([BMM Total Revenue],factSales[Scenario]=”Actual”)
BMM Revenue Budget = CALCULATE([BMM Total Revenue],factSales[Scenario]=”Budget”)/50
BMM Budget Var = [BMM Total Revenue Actual]-[BMM Revenue Budget]

BMM % Var to budget = divide([Budget Var],[Total Revenue])
BMM Sales PY = Calculate([BMM Total Revenue] SAMEPERIODLASTYEAR(dimDate[Date]))

Stage Three

We will take a look at the Microsoft Dashboard in a Day material and begin to work through it.