A Simple and Thorough Power BI Tutorial for Beginners

Introduction

We live in a data-driven world where Business and Data Analytics is a trending science. Analytics is concerned with the discovery, interpretation, and processing of data. However, data and Business Analysts have many tools to select, and determining the ideal option for a particular project can be difficult.

The Power BI tool is a set of tools, data connectors, and software services used to acquire data from many sources, process it, and generate usable reports. It’s a software framework developed by Microsoft.

This power BI tutorial will help you choose the right tools for business management. 

What Is Business Intelligence?

In this power BI tutorial, we will first understand BI Basics.

Business Intelligence is a tech-driven methodology for analyzing and providing meaningful data to facilitate corporate leaders, business professionals, and other users to make the right business choices.

What Is Power BI?

Power BI is a Data Visualization and Business Intelligence tool for processing data from data sources into engaging dashboards and analysis reports. Power BI offers cloud-based services for attractive visualizations with a simple interface for end-users to create reports and dashboards.

Power BI learn versions like Desktop, SaaS, and mobile Power BI applications are used for many platforms. It offers a wide range of software interfaces and Business Intelligence services.

Why Power BI?

Power BI is an overarching term that encompasses various distinct types of services.

  • Power BI Services is a cloud-based service leveraged to view and share dashboards.
  • Power BI Desktop is a desktop-based reporting interface.
  • Power BI Integrated is another valuable tool that operates on the Azure cloud platform and can be used for report designing, ETL, and data analysis.

Further, in this power BI tutorial for beginners, let us understand a few things related to why Power BI is an essential tool for businesses and why we need it.

  • Power BI can do real-time analysis by connecting directly to information sources. It also keeps data up to date to the most recent second through data refreshing.
  • Custom visualizations from the visuals gallery can be used. There are various categories for custom graphics.
  • You may rapidly search for critical insights and datasets inside your data using the Quick Insights option.
  • Create a live or non-live connectivity to on-premises data sources like SQL Server and access information through data gateways using a secure channel. Because on-premises interfaces safeguard data transfer and make the technology robust and secure, Making Power BI is enterprise-ready.
  • Power BI can link to other services, including SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), Microsoft Excel, and more.
  • Power BI is a digital era tool that uses cutting-edge technology, including column store databases,  HTML 5.0, cloud computing, mobile apps, and more. This enables to keep Power BI at the upper edge and appealing by regularly updating it with new features.

Types of Power BI Tools

Now, in this power BI tutorial, we will know different types of Power BI tools.

Power BI Desktop

Power BI desktop is Power BI’s principal composition and distribution tool. Professionals and power users leverage it to build entirely new models and BI reports.

Costs: No cost

Power BI Service

Power BI data models, reports, and dashboards are hosted online via SaaS. Administration, sharing, and collaboration all take place on the cloud.

Pro license: $10/user/month

Power BI Data Gateway

Power BI Data Gateway serves as a connection point between the Service and on-premise data sources like Import, DirectQuery, and Live Query. BI Admin sets it up.

Power BI Report Server

It can host KPIs and mobile and Desktop reports. The IT department implements and manages it and updates it every four months. Users can make changes to reports and other BI reports made by the development team.

Power BI Mobile Apps

The Power BI mobile application is available for Android, iOS, and Windows devices. Microsoft Intune CAN be used to manage it. This tool lets you view reports and dashboards from the Service Report Server.

Data Connections in Power BI

In this power BI tutorial, we will comprehend different data connections to get information.

You can retrieve information for Power BI from several data sources. You can link to data files on your Excel files, local system, Facebook, Azure SQL Database, Power BI datasets, Google Analytics, and more.

You can use online services, gateways, direct connections, and other methods to link to cloud-based and on-premises data sources. Below are some most used data sources.

  • File: XML, PDF, Excel, Folder, JSON, SharePoint.
  • Database: Access database, Oracle database, IBM, Impala, Google BigQuery, Amazon, etc.
  • Power BI: BI datasets and dataflows.
  • Azure: Azure SQL, Azure Analysis Services, etc.
  • Online Services: Salesforce, Google Analytics, Dynamics 365, Facebook, Adobe Analytics, GitHub, etc.
  • Others: R script, Python script, Hadoop File, Web, Spark, OLE DB, ODBC, Active Directory, etc.

Key Terms Used in Power BI

Term Description
Visualization A visual representation of the data used to achieve one or more objectives. It displays   
information on a single screen. It notifies users of administrative, efficiency, and personal 
problems.
Datasets A dataset is something to which you can connect or import. Renaming, refreshing,
removing, and exploring datasets can be done.
Dashboard The dashboard is a set of zero or more modules and widgets. It represents a personalized
perspective of a segment of the core datasets.
Reports A Power BI report consists of one or more pages of visualizations. It can be built from the
base, loaded into a dashboard, or built with datasets.
Tile It is a single visualization found in a report or on a dashboard box containing all of the
visuals.

The Architecture Of Power BI

Data Integration:

Businesses have to work with the various data originating from multiple sources, which can be in different formats. The data should be retrieved from a source, which might be servers or databases. This data is consolidated into a standard format in a staging point.

Data Processing:

The consolidated data is processed for visualization. For example, repetitive and incomplete values will be deleted from the data set.

Data Representation:

Once the data has been imported and processed, it can be visualized more effectively using the different visualization tools available in Power BI. The use of dashboards and reports allows for more comprehensible data representation. This graphic report assists business end-users in making the right business decisions.

Power BI Installation and How To Run Power BI Desktop

  • Step 2) You will be routed to the Microsoft Store, where you should click the Get button.
  • Step 3) Select the Install option.
  • Step 4) The screen displays the progress status.
  • Step 5) Before the welcome page, you will be asked to register to enter.
  • Step 6) A Welcome screen will appear when you launch Power BI Desktop.

Power BI Dashboard

Power BI is a Microsoft Business Intelligence and data mining software package that includes several services. These services have a specific purpose and coordinate to ensure that Power BI functions as a whole. 

In this part of the Power BI tutorial, we will understand the components of power BI and their uses. 

  • Power Query:

Power Query is a service that enables users to access, search, and manipulate data from various data sources.

  • Power View:

This provides various tools for visually representing and analyzing data.

  • Power Pivot:

This gives tools to model data extracted from the in-memory data source to use it for analysis.

  • Power Map:

Power Map includes tools for displaying geographical data and information in a 3D model on a map. These maps are used in a Power BI report.

  • Power BI Desktop:

Power BI Desktop is a tool that works in tandem with Power Query, Power View, and Power Pivot. In Power BI Desktop, import data from a data source, analyze and convert it, and then utilize it in visualizations to produce reports.

  • Power Service: 

The Power Service allows users to share spreadsheets and data views with other users. The data is updated regularly from cloud-based or on-premises data sources.

  • Power BI Website: 

An online platform for viewing and sharing Power BI apps or solutions. Using BI Website, you can make dashboards from reports, share them with other users, and segment data inside a report.

  • Power Q&A: 

With the Power Q&A option, search for data or uncover insights by using natural language queries. It recognizes your inquiry promptly and offers relevant answers.

  • Power BI Mobile Apps: 

Through mobile hosted Power BI instances, business users see and engage with reports and dashboards published on a cloud service. The Power BI mobile apps are compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows devices.

  • Data Catalog: 

The Data Catalog option allows you to search and reuse searches.

  • Data Management Gateway: 

This component handles data updates regularly and data feed reading.

Who Uses Power BI?

  • PMO – Project and Portfolio Manager
  • Business & Data Analyst
  • Developer & Database Administrator
  • Consumer for End User Report
  • IT Team, IT Professional
  • Data Scientist

What Is a Dax Function?

In this power BI tutorial, we will now comprehend about the Dax function.

DAX is a mathematical expression language also known as a functional language. The entire code is contained within a function that can be utilized with various visualization tools such as Power BI. Data types in DAX programming formulae include Numeric and Other. Each is related to the other by having shared columns.

Power BI can be used in three things:

DAX –

  • Calculated Columns
  • Measures
  • Tables.

Explore all these Power BI examples and understand how DAX functions work.

Calculated Columns

Calculated columns help you make new columns depending on the information.

For example, there is no ‘Last price’ column in the Goods table. In this, the DAX function calculates a new column when the last price & quantity are given.

Price = List_Goods[MRP]*List_Goods[Qty]

In this Power BI example, now each row will have the calculated price.

Measures

You can do a calculation using the measure function without adding data. This is useful for reports where the price can be shown without needing a new column to keep it.

For Example,

Total of the maximum retail price column * Quantity column

Tables

DAX functions in table format returns the tables. For example, To get a list of all the clients from different countries. Use the function:

countries = DISTINCT(Client [City])

Power BI DAX Functions

Some Important DAX functions are:

Average

Average function allows you to calculate the average from a set of values.

Example –

AvgCommission = AVERAGE(List_Goods[Price])

Max

Get the maximum value from a set of values.

Example – Find out the highest price.

HighestSale = MAX(List_Goods[Price])

Min

Get the minimum value from a set of values.

Example – Find the lowest price.

LowestSale = MIN(List_Goods[Price])

Count

Count the numerical data.

Example – Count the number of passes sold.

PassValue = COUNT(Invoice[Pass])

Concatenate

Use to join values in calculated columns.

Example – Concatenate the Product names and selling prices will give a code for all the price points.

ProductMrp = CONCATENATE(List_Goods[Good], List_Goods[MRP])

TotalYTD

Used to calculate the sum from the beginning of the Year to the given date. It calculates based on a calendar year.

Example – Calculate total sales for the selling price column.

CumiSale = TOTALYTD(SUM(List_Goods[Price]),Invoice[Date])

Advantages of Power BI

Here are some of the advantages of using Power BI:

  • Pre-built dashboards and reports
  • Provide dashboard updates in real-time
  • Connect securely to your data sources in the cloud
  • Safe environment, easy implementation and hybrid configuration
  • Natural language queries are used to explore data
  • Dashboard visualization feature
  • New features are often added that benefit Excel users
  • Database connection capabilities that are extensive. The Q&A segment has been published on the web
  • To use visualizations, interaction with both Python and R code is required
  • Power Query includes several tools for wrangling and cleaning data
  • After uploading the data to the Power BI online service, scheduling a refresh without requiring manual involvement is possible
  • Power BI is underpinned by AI and machine learning, two superpowers.

Conclusion

In this Power BI tutorial, we have read Power BI is a Business Intelligence application that allows you to create innovative reports and dashboards for improved decision-making. We have also comprehended Business Intelligence and its significance, how Power BI works, and firms that use power BI basics for getting visual insights. We hope this blog has helped you lay a solid foundation for the Power BI tool. This software offers enterprise-grade analytics, smart tools, and secure data. Your business deserves a stronger supply chain and enriched retail execution.

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