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.

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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One type of analysis I like to use quite often is comparing this year totals to last year totals. I want to also always make it as dynamic as possible. All I should have to do is change the context of my calculation (ie. bring in a new dimension like regions/products etc) and everything should automatically re-calculate.

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Strategic decisions support through business driver analysis

by Christian_Berg Visitor on ‎10-17-2016 11:04 AM - last edited on ‎10-17-2016 11:49 AM by Power BI Admin Jessica

Having interviewed and worked with hundreds of business analysts and P&L owners, I am impressed by the capacity of human intuition. People who have been in role for more than a couple of years can often balance multiple complex considerations and quickly make a good decision. This frees up time for the employee. Unfortunately, this spare time is more often used to increase the frequency at which they look at the standard reports, rather than deep analysis to try and challenge their already impressive understanding of the business. A common problem with this is confirmation bias and existing misunderstandings of true drivers can persist or a change in underlying fundamental is overlooked. In the next couple of posts, I will share techniques that I have seen successfully employed to counter common heuristics and to increase the chance of continuous improvement.

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Become your organization’s strategic advisor by using Machine Learning and Power BI

by Christian_Berg Visitor on ‎10-17-2016 11:03 AM - last edited on ‎01-04-2017 10:32 AM by Power BI Admin Jessica

In this series of blog posts, I will provide a step by step guide on how to become the change agent that puts your organization on a path towards continuous improvement using the most valuable decision support techniques.

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One thing, unfortunately missing currently from Power BI is being able to create theme colours for your reports. The only way to change the colours within a report is to go and change the HEX values manually within the formatting section. You can obviously use the current palette, but quite frequently this isn't enough. There may be corporate colours to use or you even just may want your report to pop a bit more with some vibrant and coordinated colours.

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"Once upon a time...", a Power BI poem

by Power BI Admin Jessica on ‎10-11-2016 12:17 PM

This charming Power BI poem was written by Mike Davies, Creative Business Analyst for NHS England, to celebrate the conclusion of a project. We hope it puts a smile on your face, as it did with ours!

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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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We want to hear what's got you thinking about Power BI and Business Intelligence, from opinion pieces on the latest industry trends, to helpful tips and how-tos for your fellow Power BI users, to "trip reports" from your local User Group meeting or Microsoft event. 

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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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Angel Abundez and and the folks at DesignMind mentioned they are offering a $150 instructor led Power BI training -Sacramento July 22nd (SQL Saturday Precon)

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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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Calling REST APIs and Parsing JSON made simple with Power BI

by Power BI Admin chass ‎06-16-2016 01:54 PM - edited ‎06-16-2016 01:55 PM

What most people don’t know is calling REST end points and parsing the resultant JSON is really easy in Power BI. 

This walk through will show you how to call and report on your club and user group activities using the Meetup REST API.

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Going forward the Power BI team will be doing two webinars per week. The first will be on Tuesdays hosted by an industry expert or community leader sharing their knowledge, best practices and guidance with the world

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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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The best practices and best sessions on DAX rolled into one fun to whatch show by Paul Turley

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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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Free Power BI Webinar 5/24: Data Preparation is the Keystone by Reza Rad

by Power BI Admin chass ‎05-19-2016 12:59 PM - edited ‎05-19-2016 02:52 PM

During this week’s session by Matt Allington on getting started with Power BI for the Excel user; there were several questions about data prep and how to use Dax to create easy to use data models.  Which is a perfect segue to next week’s community webinar:

Data Preparation is the Keystone by Reza Rad

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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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Power Bi Webinar 5/17: Introduction to Power BI for the Excel User by Matt Allington

by Power BI Admin chass ‎05-13-2016 02:27 PM - edited ‎05-13-2016 02:40 PM

 

May 17th Matt Allington will be hosting a webinar on how to get started with Power BI for the Excel User. In this session Matt will cover the differences between Excel and Power BI, how to transferring your existing workbooks, and tips that will help you understand the differences and get the most value from Power BI.

If you are an Excel professional starting with Power BI this is definitely a webinar you will not want to miss!

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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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Integrating community and the development process

by Power BI Admin chass ‎04-25-2016 09:16 PM - edited ‎04-25-2016 09:28 PM

Integrating the Portland Usergroup opinions into the next set of Power BI features  

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