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.

We recently shared our full session catalog for this year’s Microsoft Data Insights Summit. This week we want to highlight some of the featured speakers  we’ll have at the event. The Data Insights Summit includes an amazing mix of BI experts, product partners, community members, and Microsoft product engineers – all at the conference to help you learn how make the most of your data. We’re thrilled to spotlight Amanda Cofsky, Brian Jones, Chris Webb, Danielle Dean, Jennifer Stirrup, Justyna Lucznik, Kim Manis, Marco Russo, and Rob Collie.

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How can you gain a competitive advantage using Microsoft Flow and Power BI?

 

To demonstrate the power of these two services, we will create a fictitious startup called StockholmICE that will compete in the home delivery market of ice creams in Sweden.

 

(yes, despite the weather, people eat a lot of ice creams in Sweden J)

 

Curious? Great, keep reading!  

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Vote now for the next Power BI t-shirt!

by Power BI Admin Jessica ‎03-29-2017 10:40 AM - edited ‎03-29-2017 10:41 AM

A week ago we asked you to submit new designs for our next Power BI t-shirt, and we had an amazing response! Now it's time to vote for your favorites.

 

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In February, we announced that our Microsoft Data Insights Summit will return for the second year, and invited you to register and join us June 12-13, 2017 in Seattle, WA. This is THE user conference for Power BI, SQL Server BI, Excel, PowerApps, and Flow.

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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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Have you ever wished that there was a forum where you could just hang out and talk Power BI? Not an online message board but a live conversation with live people. You could ask questions, share comments or seek guidance about whatever is on your mind.

Keep reading about my adventures with a "Radio Style" Power BI Talk Show, I host each Friday 9AM Pacific. The whole thing started when I was...

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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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We’re excited to announce the Microsoft Data Insights Summit, our user conference for business analysts, is back June 12 – 13, 2017 in Seattle, WA. This two-day event is designed to help you identify deeper insights, make better sense of your data, and take action to transform your business. The conference sold out last year – and we don’t want you to miss out – so we encourage you to reserve your spot soon. 

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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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What is R-script?

 

R is a language and environment used for statistical and graphic computing. It is a modification of the S language, so there is code written in S, which is capable of being implemented in R without modifications.

R provides a wide variety of statistical models (linear and nonlinear models, classical statistical tests, time series analysis, classification, grouping, etc.) and graphic techniques, which makes it a very extensible and manipulative tool on the part of user.

One of R’s strengths is the ease with which publication graphics can be produced with good quality and design, including mathematical symbols and formulas where necessary.

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Being an analyst with modern visualization technology is fun and enriching. Who doesn’t enjoy a stunning visual with useful and easily consumable insights? The reality is: even the most thoughtful authors have blind spots. Why? Because authors have significant amount of background knowledge that is not carried through via visualizations. In the absence of that, users relay on visual cues and the knowledge they learn from elsewhere to interpret what they see. This often cause communication gaps in data visualization, particularly in situations where report is authored by one person and used by many users from different teams, different backgrounds, and have different background knowledge and chart reading abilities.    

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Using DAX to compare data or metrics over time is incredibly efficient. Using a range of techniques in this post I'll show you how to analysis performance of these metrics over multi-year time periods.

 

Multi Year Performance Analysis.JPG

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Sure, there's a nice video on how to use the new Power BI Preview Web Part in SharePoint Online. But, there's also a few important pre-requisites that the video does not cover. Fear not, this article will get you up and running with the Power BI Preview Web Part in no time!

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Security and Power BI Profiles

by gastoncruz Frequent Visitor on ‎02-08-2017 10:18 AM

Define Profiles

One of the queries that ask me many time is about problems that have many organizations and that consist in generate a report (sales, marketing, finance) but which claim that users who belong to a certain department, zone, region category assigned permissions only to view information about a target zone.

This is the case, for example, sales representatives can only view sales in the area to which they were assigned. This is the case that Marketing Managers must have their focus on a particular region, or in certain categories of products which are promoting.

Let’s step through an example where this profiling is defined from Power BI Desktop configuration, to implementation live in an example once published the report in Power BI Web.

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Inserting data into a PowerBI Dataset via Flow and the REST APIs

by Power BI Admin chass on ‎01-25-2017 12:28 PM - last edited on ‎01-25-2017 04:28 PM by Power BI Admin Jessica

Last week I was playing with the very cool Rest Getting Started Sample (written in C#). I morphed it into a big loop that deleted all the rows in the dataset, and sent a row with a random value from 1-10. The reason I did this was to try out the new Flow integration with Alerts so I could demo sending emails to groups of people as a result of an alert.

 

I tweeted about this demo, and had a bunch of private requests from people hoping for a sample of updating data in Power BI directly from PowerApps. This blog post will show you how to insert data into a Power BI dataset from Microsoft Flow.

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Estimating the actual impact of an investment is an essential part of management. An investment, in this context, can be any change in resource allocation but is most often a project or marketing initiative. By quantifying the major benefits realized we obtain an objective measure of the outcome. This is useful when discussing lessons learnt and often invaluable input the next time a similar investment is considered. From a business intelligence perspective too, there is great value in comparing the actual results with the initial projection/forecast to understand limitations of existing models, and to prioritize opportunities for improvement. In addition to the aforementioned, rigorous analytics promotes a learning culture with end to end accountability. It is an essential tool for continuous improvement.

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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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Holiday giving by the Power BI Community

by Power BI Admin chass ‎12-13-2016 04:35 PM - edited ‎12-13-2016 09:10 PM

See how a Power BI MVP, Avi Singh gave back to the Power BI Community

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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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It is amazing how much more efficient it is to complete reasonably technical analysis with Power BI. One business scenario where this will bring huge value to an organisation is when looking to understand your customers better.

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Managing Complexity

by Christian_Berg Visitor on ‎12-05-2016 10:28 AM

In part one, we considered how correlation plots can easily be integrated in Power BI reports to show how various factors relate to one another. That has been a useful starting point for me when looking at new data for the first time. Unfortunately, the world is often more complicated than that. For instance, revenue and inventory may be positively correlated during the high season but negatively correlated during the other months of the year (if a lack of stock hurts sales). A simple correlation plot would not be able to show that. In this post, we will therefore look at a simple approach to detect simultaneous interactions between multiple variables.

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Please help us improve International Power BI!

by Power BI Team Mira ‎11-28-2016 12:46 PM - edited ‎12-05-2016 04:42 PM

We want to invite all of you who use localized versions of Power BI or any international data formats to participate in Power BI International testing. We appreciate any participation which will help us improve international quality of Power BI components. We will give Windows Store credit prizes(https://microsoftmerchandise.com) based on random drawing of folks who file bugs eligible for drawing.

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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:

 

Screenshot_59.png

 

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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).

 

Screenshot_21.png

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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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Revenue and forecasting

by Christian_Berg Visitor ‎11-04-2016 11:33 AM - edited ‎11-04-2016 11:33 AM

Forecasting is an important part of most management positions. Knowing how many products will sell where and when, informs resource decisions like staffing and inventory. It is also an intuitive way to compare performance between different business units, product categories etc. For P&L owners it is an essential tool to proactively manage their margin by adapting investment levels.

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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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This article describes the approaches that can be used to connect Power BI to on premise data.  The impact of using the Power BI model, DirectQuery and LiveConnection are explored as well.

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Power BI – Live connection vs. Import, comparison and limitations

by jirineoral Regular Visitor ‎10-31-2016 02:13 PM - edited ‎10-31-2016 02:13 PM

Some of the data sources have option both to import data as well as use live connection. But there is no easy method to change it once you already built your report. So you should rather carefully decide which method you’re going to use upfront. To make this decision right, it is good to know limitations of each method. Purpose of this blog post is to cover these limitations.

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