Tuesday 23 August 2016

Intro to Microsoft PowerBI with Office 365

So I was at a client the other day and they started chatting about PowerBI in Office365. Once again I thought...ah I better get learning again so I have done a quick summary post based on a very helpful video I found online so thanks to the person who created this. A link is available to the entire 1hr video at the bottom of the page.

If you come from the old Microsoft Business Intelligence world, must of what is in here will seem familiar. The key is that its now in O365 and is much easier to configure. Users are much more empowered to create queries and reports directly in Excel without having to go near SQL or Reporting services. Reports can be stored in the cloud so are accessible from anywhere :).

Hope you enjoy.

Excel is at centre of it all and provided a BI Front end

Power Query allows you to pull in data from other sources into Excel by literally searching the net for it (S&P 500 data for example). This is really neat. There are loads of free datasets available for you to import. This list is growing. You can view them in this post:  Search public data (Power Query). Can also pull from SQL, SharePoint, another table. All sources available in excel.
Power Query can let merge data from multiple sources. Like them via keys etc. Really nice and easy and available to users who don’t need to know tonnes of SQLServer.

PowerPivot will allow you to manipulate further to do sums, counts and filters etc.
PowerView is a great way to generate reports dynamically.
PowerView allows you to add fields, counts and filters. For example you might have some stats on sales split across country. You can see a map of the sales sizes. This can then be filtered if you want.

PowerMap allows the data to be displayed on a 3d map and view it animated over time. Essentially its a video tour of data. Really cool stuff.

Power BI Sites is added as an app in a SharePoint site.
Power BI Sites then edit the whole lot in the browser. You don't need the client.

Power BI admin centre: allows sharing of queries and data sources and the management of gateways etc. A Data Management Gateway (installed on SQL server) allows sql sever to be accessible by power BI. Data Sources can then be created in the BI Admin center online using the connection string. One the admin is configured other people within the organisation can access it through excel and bobs your uncle :)


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