Getting Data Into Shape for Reporting with Power BI

Even for small, informal BI projects, shaping the data into a dimensional model alleviates complexity, speeds up slow calculations and reduces the data model storage size. I conclude this post by reviewing seven data architectures and the data shaping methods with different degrees of scale.

Full-day Power BI for Enterprise Solutions Workshop in Chicago, Sept 12

If you are in the Chicago area and haven’t already registered for the Data Insights Summit, please join me. I…

Use Paginated Reports to Create a Gantt Chart

A Gantt chart is an excellent example of where Paginated Report & SSRS were an ideal choice for the purpose. It is a running list of activities with the duration for each displayed as a horizontal bar depicting the beginning and ending day along a horizontal scale. The challenge is that this is not a standard chart type in either Power BI or SSRS/Paginated Reports. Furthermore, project planners may prefer to see activities as rows in the format of a printed page.

Doing Power BI The Right Way – for Enterprise Reporting

I started a series of blog posts back in 2020 about best-practice guidelines for planning and designing enterprise reporting solutions with Power BI. To make the topics covered in this series of posts easier to find and follow, they are listed on this page: Doing Power BI The Right Way – for Enterprise Reporting | Paul Turley’s SQL Server BI Blog which you can access from the main menu on the blog. We have a few more topics to go so check back and subscribe for notifications.

Doing Power BI the Right Way: 8. Delivery options

Part of the the series: Doing Power BI the Right Way When you sign-up for the Power BI service at PowerBI.com…

When to Use Paginated Reports vs Interactive Power BI reports

When should we use Power BI vs Paginated Reports for our reporting needs? You can use either tool to create different styles of reports for different purposes, but should you? Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

  • Can we use Power BI to create operational or transactional style reports?
  • Can we create scorecards and dashboard-style reports with SSRS/Paginated Reports?
  • Should we use a Power BI dataset as a data source for a Paginated report?

The following diagram depicts the relative capabilities and design purpose for these two reporting tools. See the overlap? On the left, you see that Power BI is optimized and best used to create interactive, visual reports, scorecards and dashboard-style reports. Contrast this with Paginated Reports on the right side, which is best used for “list-type” reports that continuously flow across multiple pages. SSRS/Paginated Reports was architected and works ideally with SQL queries, where filter values are passed into the query using parameters.

Hybrid Tables, Incremental Refresh and Table Partitioning in Power BI

The December 2021 Power BI Desktop update introduced a long-awaited upgrade to the partitioning and Incremental Refresh feature set. The update introduces Hybrid Tables, a new Premium feature that combines the advantages of in-memory Import Mode storage with real-time DirectQuery data access; this is a big step forward for large model management and real-time analytic reporting.

Are We There Yet? …Composite Models Using DirectQuery Over Power BI Datasets

Last year I wrote this post about the new composite model feature in Power BI that enables datasets to be…

Microsoft Data Community Interviews and Advice about Working Remotely

You may not know that I have been travelling the country interviewing community leaders from the Microsoft data platform, on…

Learn Databricks, ADF & Paginated Reports at the PASS Community Summit

Seven days and counting… For the past eighteen years, thousands of data tech professionals would travel to the PASS Summit…

Guy In A Cube Power BI Livestream

I just wanted to give a big big Thank You to Adam Saxton and Patrick Leblanc at GuyInACube.com for inviting me to participate in the Power BI Livestream yesterday. It was a blast and an honor to be hang with you the Saxton clan (even the sheep and the great dane!)

Power BI Live Stream this Saturday

Only the most dedicated data professionals are willing to invest their personal time and spend any part of a weekend…

PASS Data Community Summit & Orlando Live! Sessions

There e are two conferences in November where I am thrill to be presenting sessions. The second annual PASS Data…

A Developer’s Guide to Creating Bad Power BI Projects – Part 1

It occurred to me that we have put so much effort into promoting best practices and proper design that there is far less information about how to create bad reports and data models. In that light, the purpose of this article is to talk about what to do if you want things to go poorly and make sure your projects fail – if not immediately, then sometime in the future – and if not for you then for whoever inherits the work that you have done.

How to Name Worksheets in a Paginated Report Exported to Excel

This question comes up every few years in SQL Server Reporting Services. Of course, in Power BI Paginated Reports, we…

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