This first week of the new year has been a lot of housecleaning for me (literally and figuratively… my office desk and cabinet will be clean by the end of the day!). Three years into teaching classes and workshops on being productive with Power BI, it continues to be a product requiring a lot of work to stay current. New features are introduced in every Power BI Desktop monthly update; not to mention updates to the cloud service and on-prem server. You would have to be a child of the 80s to get the Never Ending Story reference. Otherwise, it’s just a really bad flying dog – and pop song, which are both hard to explain, so we won’t. The point is that it’s an ongoing effort to keep skills, courseware and presentation material up-to-date.
If you’re like me, sometimes all these updates can be a bit of a distraction (we’re talking about Power BI again – not the dog, movie or song… case in point). I’m excited by the continual innovations and improvements to Power BI. However, the foundational rules of good design don’t really change that much. Effective data curation, correct modeling and good core visualization design are as critical as ever. The trick is to know which new features may be used to improve foundational design and which ones you can leave as icing on the cake for minor enhancements. Updating courseware and workshop labs seems to be a never ending task and I’m hard at work revising older material and adding new content to prepare for new events this year. An important topic I will continue to revisit this year is how Power BI is used along with other Microsoft tools to create different types of solutions. I’m working on a new presentation to describe all of the incarnations of Power BI, used to deliver everything from self-service desktop reports – all the way up to enterprise-scale solutions for corporate users with governed and secured data – and most everything in-between.
The first workshop of the new year will be a one day preconference before the Redmond SQL Saturday, on Microsoft campus Friday, February 9. You can sign-up for this event here. I’m working on a few others in the following months and will update this and other blog posts when they are scheduled. I hope to see you there. You are welcome to send me questions or suggestions about specific topics of focus. Just add a comment to this post, or reach me through Twitter or LinkedIn.