Power BI Hands-on Workshops

Chicago – full-day: March 4, 2016
San Jose, CA – 2 hour session at the PASS BAC, May 3-4, 2016

Will you be in the Chicago area on March 4th?  So will I and you can learn to use Power BI to design real business solutions at my full-day Power BI Hands-On Workshop one day before the Chicago SQL Saturday #484.  I’ve delivered this at other preconference events with sell-out attendance.  Thank you to all who have attended in other locations.  An abbreviated version was delivered at the PASS Global Summit this past November and I’ll be doing a quick two-hour abbreviated session at the PASS Business Analytics Conference this coming Spring in San Jose, CA.

Here’s a copy of the entire event description page below.  You can register here.

This engaging workshop will teach attendees how to use Power BI Desktop to create a complete solution delivering dashboards, self-service and mobile BI.  Attendees will learn to analyze information using impactful and interactive visualizations.  We will create a solution using a variety of data sources that can be used on the desktop by Data Analysts or for group collaboration in the Power BI secure cloud service.

Attendees should have a basic knowledge of database concepts and should know how to use Excel 2013 or newer.

Computer Requirements

Bring your laptop running Windows 7 or newer (4 GB of RAM is required, more is better, 64 bit OS recommended).  Before the session, attendees should download and install the Power BI Desktop and create a free account at PowerBI.com (90% of the exercises can be completed in Power BI Desktop without a PowerBI.com subscription.)  Note that to create a subscription you must use a work email address rather than an address from a free mail provider such as Hotmail, GMail or Yahoo!.  If you have any difficulty getting signed up, follow the directions at this post.

At the conclusion, attendees will know how to use Power Query to combine and transform data from different sources; Power Pivot to model data for reporting and discovery, and write calculations, KPIs and complex metrics. They will learn to use Power BI report visuals to create interactive visualizations and dashboards, and Excel PivotTables, PivotCharts, slicers, conditional formating and advanced features to create collaborative dashboards and reports. Finally, attendees will learn to deliver a collaborative BI solution in Power BI online enabling natural language queries with Power BI Q&A, scheduled data refresh and queries using live, on-premises data.  We will also introduce enterprise capabilities which include connectivity to live, on-premises data sources through DirectQuery and Analysis Services.

BI Solution Components

Begin with a brief and high-level introduction to the components of traditional BI solutions to help attendees appreciate the usual scale and cost.  Discuss the options to scale these items for small and large projects.  Discuss the trade-offs for each and the value of centralized solutions, data quality and master data management.  Discuss the challenges of designing, building and maintaining large-scale BI solutions.

Topics covered:

  • Introducing the Power BI Dashboard designer
  • Universal principles of data behavior
  • Universal data problems & visualization principles
  • Interactive visuals
  • Project types & scale
  • Self-service BI & enterprise scale projects
  • Power BI project stages
  • Managing data transformations with Power Query
  • Introduction to advanced “M” script
  • Data modeling with Power Pivot
  • Introducing DAX Calculations
  • Visualizing & exploring with Power BI report visuals
  • Building live, interactive dashboards
  • Publishing and collaborating with PowerBI.com
  • Integrating Excel pivot tables & reports
  • Introducing management groups & content packs
  • On-premises and large-scale solution options
  • Data Management Gateway & scheduled refresh

Registration includes lunch and beverages

When: Friday, March 4, 2016 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM (CST) – Add to Calendar

Where: DeVry University Addison Campus – 1221 N. Swift Road Chicago, IL 60160 – View Map

SSAS Tabular Modeling Article Series on SQL Server Pro Magazine

I’ve just finished a series of four articles for SQL Server Pro Magazine, along with sample projects and hands-on exercises. The series will take you through SSAS Tabular model design from start to finish, using the Adventure Works sample data in SQL Server 2012 or 2014.  Here are links to all four articles followed by an excerpt from each.

Part 1 – Getting Started with SSAS Tabular
Part 2 – Easy DAX – Getting Started with Data Analysis Expressions
Part 3 – Tabular Model Administration
Part 4 – Deep Dive DAX – Solving Complex Business Problems with Data Analysis Expressions

Download the sample projects here:  Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Starting Your Modeling Career with Analysis Services Tabular Models Part 1

Four-part series

This is the first of a four-part series about getting started with Tabular model design using SQL Server Analysis Services in SQL Server 2012 and 2014.  You will learn the basics from start to finish and build a complete solution.  A sample project is provided for for each stage of the solution so you can follow-along with each article. Continue reading

Get To Know D&B MVPs and SQL Server MVPs

Last year Dun and Bradstreet, the world’s leading business data authority, recruited leading SQL Server MVPs to help their customers integrate business solutions using D&B services, and conducted a set of video interviews with 18 members of the MVP program community at the PASS Global Summit in Seattle.  Details about the program are on the D&B MVP Program web site here.  Many of these fine people are trusted friends, associates, and long-time members of the outstanding SQL Server community. Following is an excerpt of the announcement on the D&B MVP Program web site:

Posted by Kim Schmidt 5votes on December 19, 2014

Each year the Professional Association of SQL Server (PASS) Experts holds their annual SQL PASS Conference. This year it was held Nov. 3rd and 4th for Pre-Conference Sessions and officially the conference ran from Nov. 5th through the 7th in Seattle, WA.

We hired a professional Hollywood Videographer to tape interviews of as many of our D&B MVPs that we could, so you could "get to know them better" both in their areas of expertise as well as in their role as a D&B MVP. We taped 18 of our current 42 D&B MVPs.

I truly hope you watch this video series, even one per night (each one is between 5-9 minutes long). It will show you the collective intelligence we have in our MVPs, it will show you their fun and personable personalities, and tell you how you can contact them online.

If you are looking for the industry top experts to help with data management, Business Intelligence, problem-solving or how to use any of the business data integration services from Dun & Bradstreet, these are the people to go to.

Here are the D&B MVPs (and two others) that were interviewed that day, in the order of the video series:

D&B MVP Program Manager Kim Schmidt

D&B MVP Argenis Fernandez

D&B MVP Karen Lopez

D&B MVP Mark Tabladillo

D&B MVP Stacia Misner

D&B MVP Kevin Kline

D&B MVP Ryan McKnight

D&B MVP Tamera Clark

D&B MVP Thomas LaRock

D&B MVP Paul Turley

D&B MVP Tim Radney

D&B MVP Joey D’Antoni

D&B MVP Arnie Rowland

D&B MVP Andy Leonard

D&B MVP Denny Cherry

D&B MVP Jose Chinchilla

D&B MVP Kendal Van Dyke

D&B MVP Tim Ford

D&B MVP Luis Figueroa

Davide Mauri of Italy