Getting started with Power BI can seem like a dauntless and overwhelming task at the beginning. Because the reporting platform is so powerful, there is a lot to learn! This article breaks down the main areas to dive into with Power BI reporting and provides some readily available training resources for each.
Typical Power BI Reports are built with the Power BI Desktop App and are designed to be more graphical and analytical in nature. They are meant to be interactive, so they consist of a series of dashboards and screens that are best viewed online. This type of report is best used for summarizing and analyzing data and is intended to be used to provide insights into the data that will help you make informed business decisions. Instead of just looking into what happened at a given point in time, the business analytics features of Power BI enable you to dig into why something happened.
Link to download Power BI Desktop app: Download Microsoft Power BI Desktop from Official Microsoft Download Center
Dashboard in a Day is a great free Microsoft Sponsored training option: Dashboard in a Day Power BI Training | Microsoft Power BI
Guy in a Cube YouTube Channel: Guy in a Cube - YouTube; Playlist: Getting Started With Power BI; Video: Create your first Power BI report (2021) - YouTube
Paginated reports are used for reporting that requires a more traditional printed report format instead of an analytical dashboard with visuals. This could be a table report that has multiple pages of data (eg. a list of all sales for the past quarter sorted by customer), or a structured report for printing (eg. a statement or invoice).
These paginated reports are built using a different tool, the Report Builder desktop app, which is similar to building an SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) report. Below are some of the resources we have found to help you get started with Paginated reports:
Link to download desktop Report Builder app for Paginated Reports (similar to SSRS tool): Download Microsoft® Power BI Report Builder from Official Microsoft Download Center
Link to paginated report samples: Sample Power BI paginated reports - Power BI | Microsoft Learn
Paginated Reports in a day video course: Power BI Paginated Reports in a Day course - Power BI | Microsoft Learn
Paginated Reports “Gotchas” (Gray skull Analytics video series): Paginated Reports - YouTube
Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a formula expression language used in Analysis Services, Power BI, and Power Pivot in Excel. DAX formulas include functions, operators, and values to perform advanced calculations and queries on data in related tables and columns in tabular data models. Many functions can be accomplished in Power BI without coding. However, if you wish to create more complicated measures in your reports, you may need to become familiar with DAX formulas and syntax.
While this is not necessary to get started using Power BIand Paginated Reports, there are several resources available to help you learn DAX functionality as you need it:
Microsoft DAX Overview: DAX overview - DAX |Microsoft Learn
Website: Home -SQLBI
YouTube Channel: SQLBI - YouTube
Hopefully these suggestions and links will be helpful to you as you get started with your own Power Bi journey! If you have questions or ideas for other topics you would like to see covered, please let us know!
Please contact us to explore how SDP can leverage these resources to create a competitive edge for your business.
Aimee Krummenacher is a Project Manager/Business Analyst at Software Design Partners.