Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video What you need for Power BI, part of Power BI Features in Depth.
Everything we've built up to this point has been built using a really small toolbox. We've used Microsoft Excel and four free add-ins, one of which is even bundled with Excel, to be able to do some remarkable things. We've created different queries pulling in information from a wide range of sources with Power Query. And shaped the data being able to transform it or to remove columns, to use different rows as headers, to change the data type. Those queries then, we can use in Power Pivot. We can also Pivot our Power Queries to be able to represent and summarize our data. But what Power Pivot gives us is the ability to combine multiple data sources that are related in the same way that we might have used a look up table in earlier versions of Excel. So, with Power Pivot, we can create complex data models, the same kinds of data models that we might see in SQL Server, or Oracle, or in Access database. Power Map allows us to visualize the information that we've put together in Power Query or in Power Pivot. And Power View allows us to create fabulous visualizations. All different kinds of reports in one interface. And include things like slicers that would allow our users to be able to manipulate the data. Interactive reports that are based on Power Pivot or directly on Excel data sources or perhaps on data from SQL Server analysis servies. Where do we go next? Well, there are some more things we can do in business intelligence. This is beyond Excel self-service and now we're in to Power BI for Office 365. This is a set of features that keeps expanding, almost on a daily basis. While I was in the middle of recording this course, some new items were added to the stack. So, it's not that unusual to see more features available than what I can show you on a course or in any book you'll pick up or any other documentation. Because this is web-based. So it's changing all the time. Microsoft's constantly improving this product. One of the things that it gives us right out of the box is the ability to share the fine work that we've done up until now. That we can take a Power Query and share it so that other users can create reports based on that query. And the time you've invested in shaping a query does not have to be only for yourself. But you can share it with your team. And you can also take your Power View reports and share them. We do this on Power BI sites, which are a type of SharePoint site. Power BI is actually an app that runs in SharePoint. It needs to be downloaded for free. It then needs to be configured by your administrator and you need to be licensed for it. Right now, you can get a free license for the Power BI that you will need. That may or may not be true at the time you're watching this. But, somebody needs to configure your site either way. Power BI also includes Q&A, which is a natural language query tool, so that users can go in and can ask questions in text, saying, I'd like to know more about this or can you tell me this. Now, this assumes that the person who has built a query or who has built a report has taken the time to take it into Power Pivot and create some synonyms that would be useful for our users. But it's amazing functionality and you're going to love it when you see it. I also have Query and Data Management. So the queries that I post myself: I have the ability to remove them, I have the ability to change them, and I have the ability to see how often they have been used so I can do some basic reporting on my data. And finally, in the Windows Store, you'll find a Power BI app that is not the same as the SharePoint app in the SharePoint Store. This is in the Windows Store and it allows us to make our Power BI data mobile. What do we need to be able to do this? Well, first we need an Office 365 subscription. As of the time I'm recording this course, I can get a 30 day free trial for Office 365. And this is Office 365 Pro, not the Home or Student version because I need the more robust version of everything. It will include SharePoint for me at this point. And it includes Excel 2013, which you probably have if you've made it to here, and I'll need to get Power Map and Power Query and install them in Excel 2013 if I have not done so already. Power Pivot will already be there in Excel but I may need to enable it if it was not enabled already. So that's the promise of Power BI, a product that allows us to share broadly and to create some really exciting Power BI sites and to share, not just our queries, but our reports with others to make them accessible for people who aren't Power user of Excel and a product that continues to grow as Microsoft expands its functionality. Let's take a look at what we can do with Power BI.
- Understanding data analysis and business intelligence
- Installing Office BI add-ins
- Searching for online data with Power Query
- Shaping data in the Query Editor
- Connecting to data sources
- Modeling data with Power Pivot
- Enhancing PivotTables and PivotCharts with PowerPoint
- Visualizing geospatial data with Power Map
- Creating and formatting Power View reports
- Sharing your data using Power BI for Office 365