Microsoft Power BI - A Complete Introduction
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Microsoft Power BI - A Complete Introduction

Learn how to use Microsoft's Power BI Tools, including Power BI Desktop, Power BI Service and PowerBI Developer
4.6 (273 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
1,617 students enrolled
Last updated 6/2017
Current price: $10 Original price: $200 Discount: 95% off
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  • 10 hours on-demand video
  • 3 Articles
  • 26 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • At the end of this course students will be able to analyse data from different data sources and create their own datasets
  • Students will be able to comfortably work with the different tools of the Power BI universe and know how the different tools work together
  • Students will have the required knowledge to dive deeper into Power BI and find out more about its advanced features
View Curriculum
  • For the majority of the course you must have a computer with Windows as operating system
  • Basic understanding of data analysis is a plus but not required
  • For multiple modules of this course a work or school email address is required to sign up

You want to analyze data from single or multiple sources? You want to create your individual dataset based on these sources and transform your results in beautiful and easy-to-make visualizations? Moreover, you want to share your results with your colleagues or collaborate on your project? Finally, you want to be able to access your data from multiple devices?

Then the Power BI tools are the tools to choose for you!

In this course you will learn why Power BI offers you a comprehensive set of Business Intelligence tools for your data analysis goals and how to use these tools to fulfill all of the above tasks - and more. Imagine to quickly structure your data, to easily add calculations to it and to create and publish nice-looking charts in just a few minutes. 

This is what you will learn:

  • Get to know the different tools of the Power BI universe and how to use them
  • Understand Power BI Desktop and its components
  • Learn how to use the Query Editor to connect Power BI to various source types, how to work on the Data Model and understand the difference between those two steps
  • How to work in the different views of the Data Model
  • How to create calculated columns and measures
  • How to build relationships between different tables
  • How to create a report with different interactive visualization types
  • Learn how to use Power BI service to create dashboards and to share and publish your results
  • How to access your results from multiple devices using Power BI Mobile
  • How to create custom visuals using typescript and the Power BI Developer Tools
  • And more!

This is what this course offers, but is this the right course for you?

If you...

  • ...never worked with the Power BI tools before
  • ...have a basic understanding of selected tools of the Power BI universe and want to learn how these tools work together
  • ...want to understand the latest updated version of Power BI Service, including the newly introduced App Workspaces and the creation and publishing of Apps including your dashboards, reports and datasets
  • ..want to understand the basic concepts regarding the creation of customized visuals using the Power BI Developer Tools

...then this is the right course for you.

I would be really happy to welcome you in this course!

Who is the target audience?
  • People who never worked with Power BI and who want to understand how to use these tools
  • Anyone who is interested in learning how to connect the different Power BI tools with each other
  • People who want to understand how to create customized visuals with the Power BI Developer tools
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Curriculum For This Course
122 Lectures
Getting Started
8 Lectures 36:26

Let's get started by introducing you to the content of this course.

Preview 02:41

Before we dive deeper it's time to answer one important question first: What is Power BI actually and what tools will we use?

Preview 07:01

Time to start our first project. Let's install Power BI Desktop and connect it to our source data.

Preview 06:29

We connected Power BI Desktop to our data, let's work on the data in the Query Editor now.

Preview 06:50

Let's finish our first project by loading the data into the data model and by creating a beautiful visualization.

Preview 06:26

After finishing our first project, let's take a more detailed look at what this course offers you.

Preview 03:02

You will find files attached to various videos to work on the projects. Let's make sure that you are comfortable in using those files.

Preview 03:12

The Locale is an important option related to the formatting of dates and numbers in Power BI Desktop. This article ensures that the Locale is set correctly to ensure that you get the most out of this course.

Preview 00:45
An Introduction to Power BI Desktop
4 Lectures 17:09

Before we start learning more about the functions of Power BI Desktop, we should take a look at the general workflow of this tool.

An Overview of the Workflow in Power BI Desktop

In the data model, we have different views. Let's understand why we have those views and what we can do in them.

Introducing the Different Views of the Data Model

After understanding the interface of the data model, we will now take a look at what the Query Editor is and understand why we need it in Power BI Desktop.

Taking a Closer Look at the Query Editor Interface

Before we start our course project, let's make sure that the options in your and my Power BI Desktop project are set equally.

Before we Dive Deeper: Recommended Settings
An Introduction to the Query Editor
25 Lectures 02:03:55

Let's take a look at the workflow of Power BI Desktop again and understand why we should start our project in the Query Editor.

Just to be sure: What is the Query Editor?

Every project starts with source data: Let's learn how we can connect Power BI Desktop to our data sources.

Connecting Power BI Desktop to our Data Sources

We added our queries, now it's time to take a look at the data and see what adjustments we have to make. First, we will work on the rows.

Editing Rows

After cleaning the rows, we now want to combine our queries. Let's learn why the append function can be a big help to structure our data.

Understanding Append Queries

The rows are fine already, but what about the columns? Time to take a closer look at those right now.

Editing Columns

We have wrong data in our queries: Let's learn how we can work on this problem using the replace function.

Replacing Values

We finished our initial data cleaning. Now let's take a look at the Query Editor's formatting options.

Formatting Data

Let's dive deeper into the structure of our queries and learn how to use the pivot and unpivot functions.

Pivoting and Unpivoting Columns

Time to learn how to split columns depending on a specific delimiter to get rid of information not required in our data.

Splitting Columns

We need more structure as we have created multiple queries in our project. Let's organize our project by creating groups.

Creating a New Group for our Queries

We made a great progress so far, time to add some more structure to the data in our Query Editor and to start shaping our data.

What we Achieved until Now and How to Continue

Let's learn about the basic concepts of a star schema and how we can apply this schema to our course project.

Introducing the Star Schema

We need to copy our combined query. Time to learn the differences between a query duplicate and a query reference.

Duplicating and Referencing Queries

Let's learn how to create our first dimension table to save our geographical information in it.

Creating the DIM Region Table

We need additional data: Time to learn how to add information without external sources by entering data manually in the Query Editor.

Entering Data Manually

Let's learn why merging queries helps us to structure our data and how we can use that function in our project.

Merging Queries

We added a lot of information to our DIM region table so far. Time to finish it by merging it with another query.

Finishing the DIM Region Table

We need another dimension table. Let's learn why how we can create the DIM agegroup table.

Introducing the DIM AgeGroup Table

Our different age groups must be identified. Let's make sure that this works correctly by creating an index column.

Creating an Index Column

Time to learn how to duplicate a column and how to apply the extract function to this newly created column.

Duplicating Columns and Extracting Information

We want to define categories for our different age groups. Let's learn how to do this by creating a conditional column.

Creating Conditional Columns

Time for the last steps in the Query Editor. Let's finish our star schema by adding the FACT population table.

Creating the FACT Population Table

As a last step, let's learn how to apply mathematical operations to specific columns by using the multiply function.

Performing Basic Mathematical Operations

Before we finally load the prepared data into our data model, it's time to take a look at the performance and to understand how we can improve it.

Improving Performance and Loading Data into the Data Model

Let's summarize what we learned about the Query Editor and its functions in this module.

Module Summary

Welcome to this assignment. Now that we understand what we can do in the Query Editor, it’s time to practice!
Time to Practice - Query Editor
1 question
Working on our Data Model: Data & Relationship View
17 Lectures 01:13:15

Time to take a look at the Power BI Desktop workflow again to understand what we achieved so far and what additional steps we have to go now.

Module Introduction

Before we dive deeper, let's take a look at the main differences between the Query Editor and the data model.

Query Editor vs. Data Model

We build the base for our data model in the previous module. Time to understand why it is now important to add relationships between the different tables.

Introducing and Understanding Relationships

Let's understand what we can to in the relationship view and what additional functionalities the manage relationships function offers.

Editing Relationships

Time to understand cardinality, what different types of relationships we have and how we can use them to enable the communication between different tables.

Understanding Cardinality

We need to understand many-to-many relationships and how they are related to the cross filter direction in Power BI Desktop. Let's learn that in an example.

Cross Filter Selection and Many-To-Many Relationships

We understood cardinality and cross filter selection. But what about active properties?

Active Properties

Let's understand the key differences between the M-language in the Query Editor and the DAX in the data model.

Understanding the differences between the M-Language and DAX

Time for an example to demonstrate the differences between the M-language and the DAX in our project.

M vs. DAX applied: Calculated Columns

We understood the differences between the two languages. How do we continue?

M vs. DAX: Conclusion

Time to get an overview of the DAX language and understand the various functions available. Let's do this in a project example by creating a calendar.

DAX - Basic information

Let's take a closer look the DAX and create some basic formulas to understand the concept of calculated columns.

DAX and Calculated Columns

Now that we understand calculated columns, it's time to introduce measures and how they are different when compared to calculated columns.

Calculated Columns vs. Measures

Let's learn how measures generally work and apply some basic measures to our course project.

Introducing DAX-Measures

We understood the basics, now it's time to create some combined formulas.

DAX-Measures Continued

Let's understand why defining categories for our data is important and how this helps Power BI Desktop to present our data correctly.

Categorizing Data

Time to summarize what we learned about the data model, relationships and the DAX-language in this module.

Module Summary

Welcome to the second assignment. In our last assignment we loaded our prepared data into the data model. Let’s see what we can do right now.
Time to Practice - Data Model
1 question
Working in the Report View to Visualize our Results
13 Lectures 01:16:12

Before we dive deeper: Time to take a last look at the workflow of Power BI Desktop to see what we achieved so far and why we need to work in the report view now.

Module Introduction

Before we start creating our visualizations it's time to take a look at the options we have in the report view.

Understanding the Interface of the Report View

Time to visualize our data: Let's start with creating a line and a column chart.

Creating our First Visualizations

After creating our first charts, we now want to understand how these charts interact with each other and how we can add tooltips.

Editing Interactions and Adding Tooltips

Let's understand how to add color saturation to our visualizations and how this affects the way our charts are displayed.

Adding Color Saturation

Let's add more information to our visualizations and change the level of detail of the displayed data by applying hierarchies and enabling drill-down.

Understanding Hierarchies and Adding Drill-Down

Time to take a look at the formatting options in Power BI Desktop and understand how to change the sorting order of the data displayed.

Formatting Charts and Sorting

We talked about interactions: Let's now learn how slicers work and how they can increase the interactivity of your report page.

Introducing Slicers

Let's learn how to add multiple slicers and how these can interact with a treemap and a table visualization.

Adding Treemaps and Tables

We want to specify what data should be displayed in our report: Let's understand the different filter types available in the report view.

Applying different Filter Types

We already know different visualization types. Let's now learn what cards are and how we can use them in our report.

Creating (Multi-Row) Cards

Time to understand how to display different data in one visualization using combined charts. Additionally, let's learn how to create waterfalls.

Understanding Combined Visualizations and Waterfalls

After finishing this module, it's time to summarize what we learned about visualizations in Power BI Desktop.

Module Summary

Welcome to the last assignment. Now it’s time to finally visualize the data we prepared in the last assignments.
Time to Practice - Visualizations
1 question
Power BI Service & Power BI Mobile - How to Continue?
20 Lectures 01:23:35

We finished our work in Power BI Desktop - What now? Let's take a look at where we are now.

Module Introduction

Depending on what we want to achieve, we have different options on how we could continue. Let's understand these options.

Continuing our Work and why we need Power BI Service

We work with Power BI but we have to be aware of the different versions and the changes in 2017. Let's take a look.

Comparing Power BI Free, Pro and Premium

Time to leave Power BI Desktop and time to use Power BI Service the first time.

Logging in to Power BI Service

Let's understand what we generally can do in Power BI Service before we start our deep-dive in the next videos.

Understanding the Interface

We worked on our project in Power BI Desktop, now we want to import the project data into Power BI Service. Time to understand how to do this.

Importing our Data from Power BI Desktop to Power BI Service

We imported our data. How does the dataset menu work and what can we create in there?

Understanding the Dataset Menu

We understood the dataset. What about the reports? Where can we find our report created in Power BI Desktop and how can we create new reports?

Working on Reports

Dashboards? Let's learn what dashboards are, why we need them and how we can create dashboards in Power BI Service.

Introducing Dashboards

Let's take a look at our workspace and at the additional options we have for our datasets, reports and dashboards.

Exploring our Workspace

We imported our data. But we want to refresh the imported data regularly. For this purpose, we need to take a look at gateways.

Understanding Gateways

We now know why we need a gateway. But which is the right one to choose for our purposes? And how do we install the gateway? Let's take a look.

Comparing Personal and On-Premise Gateway and Installing a Gateway

So far, we worked alone on our projects. But what if we want to work together with other people? Let's understand how this works.

Working alone or Collaborating with Colleagues

We know how to import and connect to our data. Now it's time to understand app workspaces to be able to work together on our projects.

Collaborating in App Workspaces

We finished our work, now we want to share the results. Let's take a look at the options we have.

Sharing the Results

Let's learn how we can publish our app and how we and our colleagues can access the shared data.

Publishing the App

We worked on our project data. Time to take a look at predefined content packs from online services to understand how these work.

Content Packs from Online Services

We took a close look at Power BI Service and we know how to access our data from the computer. Let's now understand how to access our data from mobile devices.

Power BI Mobile: Installing and Understanding the Mobile App

We learned how to share our project in an app. But what if we only want to share the dashboard and the report without the underlying dataset? Then we don't need an app, we only need to use a specific function in our workspace.

One Last Thing: Excluding Datasets from Sharing

We now understand why we need Power BI Service and Power BI Mobile. Let's recap what we learned about those two tools.

Module Summary
Other Data Sources
6 Lectures 28:32

Let me introduce you to this module.

Module Introduction

JSON is a popular data format which allows you to work with nested/ structured data. Learn how to import JSON files in this lecture.

Importing JSON Data

What if you want to import data directly from a RESTful API? That's of course possible with Power BI and this lecture shows how it works.

Importing Data from REST APIs

I also want to show you how to import data from a MySQL server - so let's create one!

Preparation: Setting up a MySQL Server

This lecture teaches you how to import data from a MySQL Server and also explains how to get the data from any other SQL Server.

Importing Data from a MySQL Server (and other SQL Servers)

Let me wrap this module up.

Wrap Up
Creating Custom Visuals (Power BI for Developers)
28 Lectures 01:59:29

Which prerequisites should you bring to succeed in developing for Power BI?

Developer Prerequisites

Let me introduce to this module and what you're going to learn in it.

Module Introduction

It's of course key to understand how custom visuals work behind the scenes and which skills you therefore need to get the most out of them.

How do Custom Visuals Work?

Of course we want to get data into our visual and since it uses web technologies, we can conveniently use a JavaScript package for that. Learn more about that in this lecture.

Using Data Driven Documents (D3)

Time to create and use our first visual. This lecture explains how to install the Power BI Developer tools and create a first, very basic visual.

Creating and Using a Visual

Since we're programming our own visual, we need a development tool. In this lecture, will install a free IDE which makes coding much easier.

Installing an IDE (Code Editor)

How does a custom visual work under hood, which roles does this strange visual.ts file play? This lecture dives into these questions.

Understanding the visuals.ts File

What's the role of all the files and folders the developer tools created for us? Learn more about it in this lecture.

Understanding the Project Structure

As mentioned earlier, we of course want to work with data in our HTML document (which our visual technically is). Learn how to install a fitting package (d3.js) in this lecture.

Installing d3.js (Data Driven Documents)

Time to leave the boring text-only visual and our first shape!

Adding a First Shape

Having a basic, static shape is nice but boring. Time to connect it to some (static) data source!

Connecting Shapes to Data

Thus far, our visual doesn't scale at all - time to change that in this lecture!

Scaling Shapes

Using static data isn't the most exciting thing in the world. Let's prepare our visual to take some dynamic data provided by the user.

Managing Visual Capabilities to Allow Data Input

Now that the capabilities have been set, let's start adding some code to extract the input data.

Starting the Data Extraction

This is a basics section, so let's keep it simple and limit the data input to just one dataset.

Limiting the Data Input

We're finally there, let's complete our data-extraction code in this lecture!

Extracting Data

With the data extracted, let's now add some code to finally display it and connect our shapes to that data.

Displaying the User Data

The code is working but not optimized. Whilst this is no advanced section, let's still put some optimizations into place.

Optimizing the Code

We connected our visual to dynamic data but the coloring is pretty monotone. We can change that! This lecture shows how it works!

Adding Dynamic Coloring

Do you remember that you could select shapes in visuals to also affect other visuals? Learn how to add such a functionality to your own visual!

Making Bars Selectable (Cross-Visual)

Right now, we have to guess which bar belongs to which category. Learn how to easily add an axis to your visual!

Adding X-Axis Labels

Most built-in visuals give you some configuration options. In this lecture, we'll start adding our own ones for our own visual.

Adding Custom Visuals Settings

Allowing the setting of options is nice but let's now also have a look at the code we should add to extract the configuration.

Extracting the Visual Configuration

To finish the custom config part, we need to inform Power BI about it. Let's do that in this lecture.

Informing Power BI About the Custom Configuration

Let's have a look at some possible next steps.

Next Steps

You probably don't want to stick to using your custom visual in your own Power BI service dashboard for testing purposes only. This lecture explains how you may package your visual to either use it in Power BI Desktop or distribute it.

Packaging the Custom Visual

Let me wrap this module up.

Wrap Up

Want to dive deeper or learn more about the packages and languages used in this module? This lecture is for you!

Further Resources
Course Roundup
1 Lecture 01:42

You finished this course, great job! Let's take a look at what we learned and how we can continue now.

About the Instructor
Manuel Lorenz
4.6 Average rating
294 Reviews
1,946 Students
2 Courses
Professional Business Analyst

Having worked as a business analyst in both a major consultancy and an investment bank, I always found myself confronted with both various and complex datasets and challenging client demands. Therefore, the increasing amount of data required constant adaption of new methodologies to analyze data efficiently and to make the move from basic Excel-driven analyses over VBA-driven automation to more elaborate business intelligence tools. 

Being an early adopter of new and quickly evolving tools, I always enjoyed both learning these tools and passing on my knowledge to my colleagues and fellow students. It's that combination of self-taught data analysis experience and its application in a highly competitive consulting environment for various clients which gave me the ability to evaluate tools from an industry perspective as well as from a learner's perspective. The latter also allows me to identify the pain points students might hit when learning these tools.

Since I always found it hard to find high quality, understandable and comprehensive learning materials focusing on the key capabilities of the specific tools, I decided to take a shot and to create such materials on my own.

And of course I am not only passionate about creating these materials but also about passing on my knowledge using these materials to you.

Maximilian Schwarzmüller
4.7 Average rating
42,549 Reviews
131,002 Students
15 Courses
Professional Web Developer and Instructor

Experience as Web Developer

Starting out at the age of 13 I never stopped learning new programming skills and languages. Early I started creating websites for friends and just for fun as well. This passion has since lasted and lead to my decision of working as a freelance web developer and consultant. The success and fun I have in this job is immense and really keeps that passion burningly alive.

Starting web development on the backend (PHP with Laravel, NodeJS) I also became more and more of a frontend developer using modern frameworks like Angular or VueJS 2 in a lot of projects. I love both worlds nowadays!

As a self-taught developer I had the chance to broaden my horizon by studying Business Administration where I hold a Master's degree. That enabled me to work in a major strategy consultancy as well as a bank. While learning, that I enjoy development more than these fields, the time in this sector greatly improved my overall experience and skills.

Experience as Instructor

As a self-taught professional I really know the hard parts and the difficult topics when learning new or improving on already-known languages. This background and experience enables me to focus on the most relevant key concepts and topics. My track record of many 5-star rated courses, more than 100.000 students on Udemy as well as a successful YouTube channel is the best proof for that.

Whether working as development instructor or teaching Business Administration I always received great feedback. The most rewarding experience is to see how people find new, better jobs, build awesome web applications, acquire amazing projects or simply enjoy their hobby with the help of my content.