Welcome to the Power BI Community Blog

On this blog you will find articles, guides and information created by our community members and, from time to time, roundups and community news.

Many of you know that Power Query is an amazing tool for data import and data transformation. It is powerful an easy to use. But there is always a BUT. It is a pain to write custom M code. The Power Query Advanced Editor comes without intellisense (auto completion), no parameter hints, no syntax highlighting, no help texts, which explain what the functions do, no nothing. The fact, that M is case sensitive doesn’t make it easier at all. In 2015 I read the following article, written by Matt Masson. Matt is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft and member of the Power BI Developer Team. He showed how to create an editor for Power Query with Notepad++. At that time I did not even know that it was possible to create a custom language in Notepad++. 

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There is a wealth of information with regards to Power BI, but not a simple to use Info Graphic that can be viewed to show people how all the pieces of Power BI are strung together.

 

In this quick and easy to read blog post I share my Info Graphic with the community.

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I recently came across a particular data modeling and analysis challenge that I felt would be beneficial to generalize as I believe the basic design pattern has numerous uses. This blog post summarizes the challenge, discusses the possible uses of the design pattern and presents a simple solution as well as a more complex solution that factors in such things as row level security. A special thanks to @Vvelarde for his guidance in helping to solve the final pieces of this puzzle.

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Power BI y Azure Table Storage

by jbocachica Member on ‎01-03-2017 10:29 AM

Azure Table Storage como repositorio, pros y contras!

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Consumir listas de Sharepoint puede sonar a algo trivial, sin embargo cuando llega la hora de actualizarlas es cuando llegan los problemas.

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Q&A (Natural Query Language) is by far one of the features that I find really gives the WOW factor when showing people the capabilities of Power BI. And in my opinion it is awesome.

So I thought I would give a quick blog post in terms of how best you can leverage this, and hopefully also enable you to be able to WOW people.

The aim of this blog post is to show you how to quickly see and understand how use the WOW features in Q&A

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In this part of our Text Analytics tutorial we will learn how to extract key phrases from text messages with a little help from Microsoft Cognitive Services Text Analytics (AKA Azure Machine Learning). In the first part of the tutorial here we imported Clinton's and Trump's Facebook posts. It's time to learn how to extract the Key Phrases from those messages using Microsoft Cognitive Services Machine Learning, and with no help from IT, Developers or Data Scientists.

 

When we are done, we will be able to create stunning reports that will correlate key phrases with our metrics. In our example: We will be able to see which key phrases triggered the highest number of shares, and slice them by positive, neutral or negative sentiment, as shown in this report:

 

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Text Analytics in Power BI - Extraction of key phrases from Facebook messages (part one)

by DataChant Member on ‎11-10-2016 10:51 AM - last edited on ‎11-10-2016 11:45 AM by Power BI Admin Jessica

In my last community blog here we learn how to apply sentiment analysis in Power BI with Microsoft Cognitive Services API (aka Azure Machine Learning) and with no help from IT, developers or data scientists. In the follow-up articles we drilled down into different aspects of the Sentiment Analysis implementation in Power BI, and shared the technique in several community events. Following the great interest in these scenarios, in today's blog post we will use similar technique to extract key phrases from text messages. To make it interesting, we will pull Facebook messages from the public pages of Clinton and Trump, extract their key phrases, and correlate it with engagement levels and sentiment in cool visuals (As seen here).

 

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You can really change up the look and feel of Power BI reports by utilising this simple technique or pattern. By adding a manual disconnected table and using the SWITCH function your report can take a different shape almost immediately.

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Do you or your users wonder how recent the data they are seeing in Power BI is? If so, there are two new easy-to-use capabilities in Power BI that make it easier for you and your users to understand the status of the data in dashboards.

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Are you facing issues while refreshing CRM Online Data in your power BI reports?

Has your customer reported report failure or the message "Unable to read data from the transport connection"?

Read on for an alterntive approach to the OData connector to access CRM Online Data using FetchXML!

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There were already written few blog posts both about Row Level Security. I would like to add one more about this topic. I use this pattern for several years in SQL Server Analysis Services. Biggest advantage of this approach is, that you don’t have to fight with table relationships, which can be sometimes tricky to make work correctly.

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Are you looking to test and implement Dynamic Row Level security. But it seems like it just does not want to work as you are expecting it to? Well in this blog post I give you some tips in order to ensure that you can get it up and running.

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This time we will look at the new way of connecting dynamically to a data source within Power BI Desktop. As with monthly power bi desktop updates we see new features getting released that makes it even more enterprise capable and solve real world problems that we face in day to day work. Power BI Desktop update for July 2016 included ability to reference queries as a source for parameters and so we are going to look at how to achieve dynamic selection of source using query parameters.

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The Languages of Power BI

by smoupre Super Contributor on ‎09-16-2016 08:39 AM - last edited on ‎09-29-2016 11:37 AM by Power BI Admin Jessica

Struggling with deciphering all of the various languages used with Power BI? Confused about when to use DAX versus "M" versus SQL, versus R? Fear not, this article will clear up the confusion and set you straight on all of the various languages of Power BI and when to use them. Each language you will generally encounter when using Power BI is covered including what it is, when to use it, where to use it, why you would use it, how you would use it and its overall level of difficulty ranging from 1 being easiest to 5 being the hardest.

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Tired of creating Power BI calendars? Well, me too, so let's put a stop to that.

 

In this blog post you will learn how to create (or download mine) a proper calendar that ”self-generates” when you open the file and is configurable.

If you download mine, you most likely will need to add columns that are relevant to you, but using the methodology explained in the post, you will do it only once.

 

Note: You need to have the latest Power BI Desktop update installed.

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Sentiment Analysis in Power BI

by DataChant Member on ‎08-04-2016 10:35 PM - last edited on ‎08-22-2016 04:28 PM by Power BI Admin Sandy

You may think that Sentiment Analysis is the domain of data scientists and machine learning experts, and that its incorporation to your reporting solutions is the domain of advanced developers and expansive IT projects. Well, today this is going to change.

 

Today I will show you how to gain Sentiment Analysis insights without the help of machine learning gurus or software ninjas. All you need to do is open your Power Bi Desktop and follow the steps below.

 

Oh, and to make it fun, let's pretend we are the social media analysts of the US Presidential Candidates, and analyze the sentiment of their Facebook posts. When we are done, we will be able to tell who is more positive on Facebook, Trump or Clinton, and if we see a trend of positivity or negativity over time.

 

Are you ready to begin? Here is the dashboard you will be able to create if you continue reading.

 

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Maps in power bi have improved significantly over past few releases and works fine across desktop, service and mobile app. However I recently saw a post by user where he had several addresses listed in the dataset and when plotted on map he realised number of plottings on map seemed little less than actual records in the dataset. Upon investigation it was found some addresses where not listed on Bing Maps but they were on Google Maps. If there was latitude longitude values it would have been easier since they would come up on Bing maps regardless of the address. That prompted me to explore the idea of geocoding and reverse geocoding in Power BI.

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On previous blog posts, I have showed you how to create monitoring dashboards for both Google Analytics and Adwords.

I use those dashboards myself even though I am not a big fan of monitoring dashboards. Here is why:

 

Are monitoring dashboards useful? Yes, they surely are, specially in picking up variances and allowing you to react and learn from changes.

 

Are they needed? I would like to answer NO to that one.

 

One of the greatest features that Google analytics have, is Intelligence alerts where you get an email when variances occur (set up by google and yourself) and therefore you eliminate the need for those awful monitoring dashboards.

 

Can we do this in Power BI? Yes, with a but..

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Past releases in power bi have seen new enterprise related capabilities coming out which lets you manage power bi usage within your organisation. Few such feature that came out with Power BI desktop April update is query parameters and template files. In this blog post we will look at how to utilise those two features within power bi desktop to meet specific organisation needs.

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This dasboard is the first part of a series of blog posts on how to track and improve adwords performance.

In Part 1, we will start tracking our Ads to understand which ones are performing well and which ones we need to: either cancel or modify.

On coming series, once we have identified which Ads are underperforming, we will learn how to modify them to increase their performance.

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The purpose of this article is to demonstrate how to use an R script to load and prepare data source in Power BI desktop. R is open source powerful statistical analysis and visualisation language. Integrating R in Power BI lets you undertake complex data manipulation tasks. In this post I am going to use two sample csv dataset that contains raw data for import and export amounts for various Australian territories, and using R transform it to right format to be visualised in Power BI desktop. I am only going to cover basics of R to get data into the shape required so that you can use more interesting features of R in future.

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You have used if...then...else for defining custom columns. But did you know you can also use if...then...else statement for code branching. M being a functional language is unlike other programming languages (say Visual Basic/VBA or C#). So things work a little differently here. This post will show you how you can execute two separate code paths in M based on a given condition.

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Ever wonder why some questions get answered so quickly while others languish or are seemingly completely ignored? Fear not, this article will help guide you into getting your question answered quickly by the Power BI Community.

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Creating Custom reports with the ability to filter data by predefined shifts and customized time ranges.

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Excel's VLOOKUP function is perhaps an oft abused by handy little function for cleaning up and transforming data but no similar function exists in either DAX or Power Query "M" language. Fear not, this article provides numerous solutions for emulating VLOOKUP in DAX, "M" and even a codeless solution!

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I recently moved a site from wordpress.org to wordpress.com.

 

I was hosting the site on my server, but as it reached (sometimes) 800 visitors a day, it took too much of the server capacity, so I decided to move it. As I am not monetizing the site, I moved it to wordpress.com.

 

During the move, something went really wrong and all my images’ URLs got broken. The site was live but no images to show and as this is a how-to site, without the pictures, well..., half the value was gone. In wordpress.com it is not possible to access the database, so I was stuck.

 

Here is how Power Query came to the rescue and saved me tons of hours of meaningless updating. Read on to find out how!

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Power Query and DAX have limited looping capabilities. And by limited, I mean almost non-existent. However, Power Query does have one looping method that can be used to solve a variety of problems, recursion. This article demonstrates how to leverage Power Query's recursive capabilities to solve a particularly vexing issue in converting hexadecimal values to decimal values. This same technique can be used to solve a variety of challenging data import and conversion issues.

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Row Level Security in Power BI

by ankitpatira Super Contributor on ‎04-25-2016 12:13 PM

In this blog post I am going to demonstrate Row Level Security feature that was announced at Data Insights Summit and has been released in preview recently. This is one popular feature announced at Data Insights Summit because it allows owner more control over how they want their reports and dashboards to be accessed by other users. There could be several scenarios where this feature is going to be absolute must. Having associated with Healthcare industry currently I can think of a situation where you may have a patient level report and you want nurse to access that report but only for the patient he or she is looking after. Well now you can do that with RLS in Power BI. Similarly you can have employee, manager, CEO level access to your reports and thus ensure users can only access the data based on their access level. Fact that design of this feature allows you to define DAX queries to restrict data shows that Microsoft is giving more freedom to us to choose complexity level rather than them controlling it.

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Have you seen SandDance? The new visualization for Power BI?

I spent some hours during my easter holidays playing around with it and here are my findings and thoughts about it.

 

There is not a lot of information available yet for it, so some of my comments/ findings below might be mistaken. Please feel free to correct me if that is the case.Smiley Happy

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