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Administrator Sandy

History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

I'm the Program Manager for this community and I have been with Microsoft for over 17 years.  I have never been as excited about a product as I am excited about Power BI!  It is my job and my hobby!  The fact that you are here is evidence.  Smiley Happy


Early on as we were developing Power BI, I knew how transformational it was going to be.  True self-service BI was now available to the 'common man' which means incredible career opportunities for people.  In July 2014, I began a grassroots effort to get Power BI curriculum into universities, so that graduating students entering the workforce will be armed with an extremely powerful and transformational tool for their career.


My colleague, Siva Harinath, joined forces with me, and for over a year we worked diligently and creatively to develop the curriculum.  The initial foundation for this course started with a class that we created for Microsoft employees called "Dashboard in a Day" that takes students through a real world business scenario, with real business data and real business insights.  The student learns the basic features of connecting and transforming data, creating interactive reports, publishing to the cloud, and creating and sharing dashboards.


The "Dashboard in a Day" class that we created is now being taught by partners across the world.  Stay tuned here in the community for more information about Dashboard in a Day classes.


That brings us to today - the curriculum was further developed to include more: features, complex data and business scenarios.  While the logistics of working with universities was underway, we sought to reach more students in a quicker timeframe through videos and this EdX course.  Power BI will start showing up on university class schedules soon, but you get to experience that curriculum through this course now! J


Remember when I said at the beginning, how Power BI would be a transformational tool for careers?  I'm living proof of that, as my career has transformed because of Power BI. My passion to bring awareness of Power BI led to classes that reach millions of students, that was a very unique career experience.  My career path changed from being a Program Manager of features for Power BI, to now being the Program Manager for this community as well as Power BI User Groups across the world.  So my career now encompasses my passion for Power BI as I analyze and drive metrics for the community and user groups; but I also get to focus on reaching more people of whom Power BI can transform their careers as well.


I encourage you to find and then follow your passion as you discover the incredible career opportunities you will have as you grow your expertise with Power BI.  And if you take a look at the monthly release announcements from the blog, you will see the impressive numbers of features and capabilities release each month - you will then realize that this is just the beginning.  That also means that you are in the right place at the right time!!  (how often does that happen?)   You are in the perfect position to establish a rock solid foundation of knowledge of Power BI to build upon, and then grow and influence the direction of the product by making your voice heard.  It's YOUR product, it was built for YOU.  The product team uses the metrics of your of activity in this community and the ideas forum to drive the direction.


The advantage of being active in this community will accelerate your learning and make sure your voice is heard to influence the product.  Give a 'thumbs up' to posts you like.  Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from other people's experience and let them learn from yours.  Share your experience - ask a question if you can't find the answer already in the forum (someone else might have just discovered that answer); or you may know the answer to someone else's question - reply to the post and share your experience. Join a Power BI User Group in your area to interact in person with other Power BI users.  Or start a new group if there is not already one in your area. The in-person interaction, education and networking is invaluable!


As far as 'future', it comes down to this, there is no better time to learn and immerse yourself in Power BI.  It’s powerful and it’s FUN!  Congratulations on your choice of taking each next step towards the career you desire.   The Power BI Team and this community offer our full support!



Program Manager Power BI Communities and User Groups

SyedHussain New Member
New Member

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Very well said Sandy. All Power to the Power BI Community and team.

Best Regard,

Syed M. Hussain

SaurabhSingh Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

For the past 5 years... I liked Qlikview so much as if it was the ultimate BI tool for you to learn and build the most complex dashboard ever you can imagine, But when I saw the power of Power BI, its amazing... charts are build with ease and same level of customization are possible with less tweaks, natural language search etc...I am loving it !!'



Sudhashen Occasional Visitor
Occasional Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Thank you for this post.  Methods of providing relevant information at that right time and format is valuable.  I have an idea that the Powerbi tool and platform is something to be excited about - however I need to use it and see really how it works with real world examples to grow to appreciate its power.  This course seems to provide everything I need to get started - and provide more value to my clients!  Thank you for this.

emmet63 Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Similar to SaurabhSingh, in searching for a SSBI tool for my company we evaluated Qlik, Domo, Tableau and others and they were all great and believe it or not, each vendor touts that all you do is get on board with their service & your data will magically come to life. Those of us who have owned BI know that the complexities of our data landscapes often times prevents this plug-n-play so any path forward in selecting a solution would be a complex decision.
After interviewing vendors I engaged with Domo & Qlik for demo's & trials. While I was impressed with their capabilities I had concerns about migration to a new platform & acceptance by my organization as our users primary data analysis tool had been Excel, and while the tools both had claims of 'you like Excel, your going to love us' their tools are Excel like but lacking.
Enter Power BI. While I was evaluating vendors, our company made the switch to O365 Online and Power BI was available to all (access to all, single-sign-on, ...) and though the tool was new, its capability was clear. Integration from there has been on a steep trajectory. We have found that since Power BI was not only designed by the same people who built Excel, it was in a sense born out of Excel, our users have picked it up very quickly and are embracing it across all business units.
The exciting part is that we are changing the paradigm in our company of the IT BI teams being slow and unresponsive to the mass amounts of requests for our services, to where we are truly being viewed as a business partner in helping to enable our talented data scientists to get direct access to their data, in a tool with an easy learning curve and with the ability to share content across the company.
Sorry for the long post, but I am a huge fan of Power BI, the agile approach Microsoft is taking with bringing the tool to market, the open source approach being taken and the path ahead for the application.

emmet63 Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future


Is there a place to find info on what is changed between the revisions of the course?

I was enrolled in the course that ended in May 2016 and have enrolled in the new version, but I have not been able to find info on the differences in the courses.

sjmartin2630 Regular Visitor
Regular Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Great intro Sandy!

Would you share with us how to go about obtaining an email address so we can log in to Power Bi?  There have been a number of inquiries but no TA responses.  I look forward participating in the course.


I look forward to your reply.



Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Please refer to Set up the Lab Environment->Signing up for Power BI Service in course DAT207x.  you can sign up for an Office 365 trial firstly, then sign up Power BI

ChrisBerry Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

Is this course still going to be offered along side the new certification? Or what's your recommendation for someone looking to get certified in PowerBI? If nothing else, the EdX course seems like it'd still be great for labs and hands on practice. But as someone looking to get certified in the next month or so, I wasn't sure where I should be devoting the majority of my time. Would definitely welcome any suggestions. Thanks!


(So far I've gone through the guided learning videos on this site, played around quite a bit with PowerBI desktop and transforming data in the editor. Avi Singh also had some really good youtube videos. I have a couple years working with databases and SSMS, just new to PowerBI. Wondering if I'm on the right track and if taking the beta certification in a few weeks is reasonable.)

Re: History of the EdX Power BI Course, Your Future

If you are referring to DAT207x Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI, it's available on edX, and you can pay for certificate there. 


Recommend you another platform where you can find various courses, including Power BI.!q=power%20bi&lang=1033