This past weekend we published a major redesign at Skillwave.Training. Months in the making, this has been a total overhaul to focus on delivering the best online learning experience for our clients. Check out some of the images from the new site:
When you log in, you’ll be taken to your Dashboard immediately. This is the one stop console that will let you access any of your active course subscriptions, review forum posts, download your files, and manage your billing and profile details. We’ve worked hard to make this dashboard intuitive and easy to use as possible, and to make it look great on mobile as well.
Re-Designed Course Player
The course player is a completely custom built as well. Of course, you’d expect to see your navigation menu on the left to get to your lessons, but we’ve also added a “Materials” fly out menu on the right where you can access files specific to any given lesson.
Community Forum Overhaul
We said is was a major redesign at Skillwave.Training, and we meant it. One of our big goals here was to do a better job with the Skillwave help forum and foster a sense of community within it. Our belief is that learning is great, but there can be another hurdle when trying to convert theory into practice with your own data. We see the forum experience and Skillwave community as a crucial part of solving this issue, giving students the ability to:
Ask questions about the course materials,
Get help with applying techniques to their own data,
Interact with other people in the same training,
Practice applying their skills to other data sets, and
Reinforce their knowledge and help others in the process.
Any of our clients who have an active subscription to one of our paid products will find a completely revamped forum experience. As forum posters ourselves, there were a couple of very important things that we wanted to make sure that our community was provided a good set of tools for:
Asking To this end, we’ve made sure that we support topic tags, image and file uploads, code tags and a variety of rich formatting options. (Our old forum was quite weak in this regard).
Answering In addition to the tools above, we’ve added the ability to mark questions as solved. Our forums are searchable based on topic tags, answered status, solved status and more.
Ensuring high quality answers. Our forum is private and monitored by our admin team. Even if Matt, Miguel or myself aren’t the ones answering specific questions, we have a special “Recommended Answer” tag that we can apply to answers. This serves two purposes to us: the first is providing assurance to the asker that they got a great answer, while the second is providing validation to a poster that they’ve provided a high-quality response.
Course to Question Integration
There’s one more really cool thing though… We also now give you the ability to post a forum question directly from a given lesson and provide links to all other questions that have been posted in this manner. This serves both askers and answerers as it links directly back to the source of the question. We’re super proud of this little feature and feel that it sets us apart from other platforms out there. Not because other platforms don’t offer the ability to ask questions – they do. But we serve all of that up right inside the lesson page.
Check Out the major redesign at Skillwave.Training
If you haven’t checked out Skillwave.Training yet, you really should. We’ve got all kinds of great courses related to Excel, Power BI, Power Query and DAX. You can even try out the platform via our free Power Query Fundamentals course. You won’t have access to the forums on the free tier, but you’ll be able to experience the rest of our new platform.
As we've just launched the site, we'd love to get your feedback. For the next month or so, you can do that by clicking the little Feedback widget on the right side of any site page. Let us know what you think!
This week Ken is at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit in Atlanta. However, we're super excited that he'll be back on home turf in July for our next public training session. The 3-day Self Service BI Boot Camp in Vancouver will change your company's reporting game forever!
Is Self Service BI a Double-Edged Sword?
Matthew Roche, a member of Microsoft's Power BI CAT Team and noted sword enthusiast, recently posted about a trend he's seeing. His global customers often describe self service BI as a "double-edged sword." After thinking about this comparison, he felt the simile held up. But perhaps not in the way you think!
In the post on his blog, Matthew summed it up nicely. Having two sharp edges is only dangerous to the wielder if they don't know how to effectively use each of the distinct and complementary edges together.
Approaching Self Service BI for the First Time
Perhaps you've been thinking about implementing some self service BI solutions within your organization. And you've been hearing a lot of buzz about Power BI. But you're unsure where to start or how Power BI fits in with your existing data platforms and reporting tools.
Our Self Service BI Boot Camp, with 3 full days of immersive hands-on learning, might be just the place to begin. Guided by the Excelguru, Ken Puls, you'll work with both Excel and Power BI to build some really cool self service BI solutions! We'll not only show you which tool is right for which kind of job, but how to use them together in one solution.
What will the Boot Camp Cover?
We know that data is not usually stored in nicely curated databases and often - even when it is - the data analyst doesn’t have access to it. Instead, we must piece together data provided in text files, Excel files, web pages, and even the body of emails to build the business intelligence solutions we need. Until now this has been a painful process with a great deal of cut and paste effort, and updates have been tedious and error prone. That stops with this workshop!
In the Self-Service BI Boot Camp we'll dive into:
a deep exploration of Power Query for gathering, cleaning, and preparing your ugly data
the benefits, concepts, and key terminology of Dimensional Modeling
an introduction to DAX,including:
how to create a variety of DAX measures
how to control their Filter Context
understanding how DAX measures are calculated
calendar intelligence, such as:
building calendar tables
using the “Golden Date” pattern
extending our model to report based on our own year-end
how to leverage the strengths of Power BI for sharing and reporting
specific features of Excel and Power BI that every analyst should know, plus:
which tool to use for which job
how they can be used together
recommended best practices for boosting the performance of your self service BI solution
Our Self Service BI Boot Camp is loaded with hands-on, practical experience. As Ken's friend, Thomas LaRock, recently commented on Twitter, "Telling isn't teaching." Our philosophy is that you need to actually work with a tool in order to really learn it.
The small class size provides a more intimate learning environment. Working with a small group allows Ken to interact directly with attendees, answering your questions and fielding discussions as they come up. You get to pose questions and discuss scenarios with one of the world's leading self service BI experts. However, this means that spots are limited, so don't miss out on your chance to sign up.
There's no better time to come to Vancouver than in July - it's a beautiful city all year round, but is in its prime this time of year. That being said, while we can't 100% guarantee great weather, we CAN guarantee you'll get some GREAT training!
Early registration pricing is now in effect. You can save $200 if you sign up before June 24, 2019. Simply go to our website and enter the following coupon code at checkout: SSBIJULY2019.
Registration includes some valuable resources to take with you, so you can refer to them later. You'll get a copy of Ken's slides, many of which contain handy recipes to walk you step-by-step through the techniques. Additionally, youreceive copies of all the class example files, including completed versions for later review. These examples are based on real-world scenarios and provide you with techniques that you can being applying to your own data right away.
So what are you waiting for? Come and join us to revolutionize your reporting process!
Ken is really excited to be teaching his popular Master Your Data with Power Query class for the first time in New York City! Join us this spring for a small group hands-on workshop and learn how to become a Data Master with Power Query.
Join Ken Puls for a live hands-on session in New York, NY on April 17, 2019.
What's so great about Power Query?
If there is one thing you need to learn in Excel today, Power Query is it. With Power Query, you can clean, reshape, and combine your data with ease. No more tedious cutting and pasting between multiple files. No more manually removing garbage rows or adding new columns. And no more repeating the same time-consuming steps whenever you need to refresh the data.
Instead, once you have your data the way you want it, all you have to do is click refresh and it will be ready to be loaded into the next day's/week's/month's/quarter's report. You can even schedule these refreshes to happen automatically!
What will be covered in the workshop?
The day will begin with a quick overview of Excel tables, PivotTables, and what makes "good" data. Next, Ken will show you how to import data from a wide variety of files, including Excel workbooks, CSV and TXT files, databases, and even entire folders. You'll be able to clean, transform, and refresh your data in Power Query with just a few clicks.
Ken will also show you how to append (or stack) data from multiple tables and 7 ways to merge (or join) tables without any VLOOKUPs. You'll be able to pivot data like this:
Pivoting Data with Power Query
and unpivot data like this:
Unpivoting Data with Power Query
But wait, there's more!
Ken will teach you some more advanced techniques using conditional logic. He will also give an overview of best practices for structuring your queries and query folding. Additionally, you'll receive a copy of the course slides to refer back to. Many of these slides contain handy recipes that will lead you step-by-step through the data transformation techniques.
Not only that, you will be able to directly ask a leading Power Query expert to help you with challenges you are currently facing with your own data. That kind of in-person access is invaluable!
How can Power Query help me?
A data wrangler spends the majority of their time just gathering, cleaning, and preparing the data before it can be even used in a report, chart, or other data model. Instead, become a Data Master with Power Query and get hours of your time back. For example, Ken was able to help a workshop attendee automate a workflow in 30 seconds, saving them 6 hours per week!
Power Query is the data preparation tool of the future, not only for Excel but also for Power BI Desktop, Microsoft Flow, and more. Thus, everything you learn in this course is transferable to other technologies - giving you more bang for your buck.
How do I make the case to my boss for sending me to the course?
As Ken mentioned in a previous blog post, the cost of the course can look like a lot up front. This is especially true if you must also pay for travel, hotel, etc. But divide the $499 USD registration fee + any expenses by your hourly rate. You'll see a return on investment pretty quickly with the time you save using Power Query.
However, the real value of the training comes in when you look at what you can do for your company with that extra time. You can now focus on analyzing the data instead of preparing it. See, Power Query turns your data into information. It allows you to identify new opportunities, make better decisions, and add real value to your organization.
Where do I go to become a Data Master with Power Query?
Ken will be leading this full-day workshop on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at the NYC Seminar and Conference Center in New York City. But this is a small group session so there are only a limited number of spots available. Register today to secure your chance to receive personal guidance from a world-class Power Query expert. Go to the Excelguru website to view the full course description and register online.
Are you interested in learning how to clean and shape data with Power Query, as well as how to model it using Power Pivot? Don’t know which of these mysterious skills to tackle first? Want to learn about building BI in Excel where you create refreshable and maintainable solutions?
Good news: Ken Puls will be in Wellington, New Zealand on February 25-26, 2019 leading a live 2-day, hands-on session covering these essential skills!
What does Building BI in Excel cover?
In Day 1, you’ll learn how Power Query can clean up, reshape and combine your data with ease – no matter where it comes from. You can convert ASCII files into tables, combine multiple text files in one shot, and even un-pivot data. These techniques are not only simple, but an investment in the future! With Power Query’s robust feature set at your fingertips, and your prepared data, you can begin building BI in Excel using Power Pivot. The best part is that these dynamic business intelligence models are refreshable with a single click.
Un-pivoting subcategorized data is easy with Power Query
Day 2 focuses on Power Pivot, a technology that is revolutionizing the way that we look at data inside Microsoft Excel. Power Pivot allows you to link multiple tables together without a single VLOOKUP statement. It also enables you to pull data together from different tables, databases, the web, and other sources like never before. But this just scratches the surface! We'll also focus on proper dimensional modeling techniques and working with DAX formulas to report on your data the way you need to see it.
Build dynamic reports that are easy to filter and refresh
Who is this course for?
Building BI in Excel is for anyone who regularly spends hours gathering, cleaning and/or consolidating data in Excel. It's also valuable for anyone responsible for building and maintaining reports. Participants must have experience using PivotTables. Some exposure to Power Pivot and Power Query is not required but is a bonus.
Where do I sign up?
We are offering this course in conjunction with Auldhouse, a leading computer training company in New Zealand. Go to the Auldhouse site and use the following promo code EARLYBIRD20 to give yourself a 20% discount.
This will knock $300 NZ off the course, bringing it down to $1200. That’s $600 per day for pretty much the best introduction to both Power Query and Power Pivot that money can buy! Then use your new skills to free up 90% of your data-wrangling time, giving you time to negotiate a 20% pay increase*. Unbeatable ROI!
Don't miss out, the early bird discount is only available until January 31, 2019! Visit the Auldhouse site today for full details and registration.
*Numbers are indicative only, your mileage may vary. Heck, it may be way better than that!
As you may have heard, we have been working on a set of helpful Power Query Recipes for Excel and Power BI and are excited to announce that they are now officially available!
Are our Power Query Recipes for you?
The Power Query Recipes are targeted at people who are familiar with the Power Query interface (in either Excel or Power BI), and will lead you step-by-step through the process needed to clean up and convert your data from one format into another. And if you're not already comfortable with Power Query? Consider joining the Power Query Academy so we can change that!
So what is in the Power Query Recipes package?
There are currently over 30 cards in the set, showing easy-to-follow steps that will deal with a variety of common data issues. I personally am finding them super useful, and often refer back to them when I'm helping people clean up their data in person or in forums.
We've even marked each of the Power Query Recipes that has a video version in Power Query Academy. If you are already subscribed to our Academy, simply click the video camera in the bottom corner, and it will take you straight to the appropriate video so that you can see the technique demonstrated in a live setting.
Are there samples of the Power Query Recipes?
Of course there are!
Here's an example of one of my favorites, which lays out how to create Full Anti Join, something that does not exist in the regular Power Query user interface:
And another which shows how to create a Calendar Table on the fly:
We actually have a sample package available which includes four recipe cards (including the precedent card for the calendar recipe shown above), as well as the full table of contents for the current version.
Just some of the patterns included in the full version are:
Splitting data into new columns or rows
Pivoting, unpivoting, and transposing data
Several different ways to merge tables (including the Full Anti Join shown above)
Extracting a new column based on values in the prior or next rows
Six different ranking methods
Creating dynamic calendar tables
Adding a random number to all rows
Will there be more Power Query Recipes?
Oh yes! While there are already over 30 recipes in the set, we already have another 20 on our "to-do" list, and are adding to that list regularly. Our intention is to release new recipes on a regular basis, putting even more Power Query resources at your fingertips.
Pre-order a copy of the new 2nd edition of our M is for Data Monkey book from Amazon by September 30, 2018 and receive a FREE set of the initial recipes.This offer has expired and is no longer available.
Purchase the current stand-alone set of recipes from the Power Query Training web store for $24.95 USD. This is also an option to add a subscription ($2.95 USD every 3 months) so that you get all the new recipe cards as we expand the set.
* Please note that the recipe cards are not included in the free Power Query Academy trial, only with the full course.
It's been a long time coming, but we are putting the finishing touches on the third installment of our free 'DIY BI' series. Consequently, we are excited to announce that the Power Pivot eBook will be officially released on Tuesday, July 3, 2018!
Power Pivot eBook
This brand new book will feature five of Ken's top tips, tricks, and techniques for Power Pivot, including:
Hiding fields from a user
Hiding zeros in a measure
Using DAX variables
Retrieving a value from an Excel slicer
Comparing data using one field on multiple slicers
About the 'DIY BI' Series
This free eBook series is available to anyone who signs up for the monthly(ish) Excelguru email newsletter. The series includes four books, one edition each for Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot, and Power BI. Each book contains five of our favourite tips, tricks, and techniques which Ken developed over years of research and real-world experience.
We first launched this series in the spring of 2017 with the Excel Edition, and the Power Query edition followed later that summer. You can read some more about why Ken decided to create this series in his initial blog post about it.
The Excelguru Newsletter
The monthly Excelguru email newsletter features the latest updates for Excel and Power BI, as well as upcoming training sessions and events, new products, and other information that might be of interest to the Excel and Power BI community.
Don't Miss Out, Get Your Free Copy of the Series
If you're not already a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up here. We will send you the Excel Edition right away, and the Power Query Edition a few days later. All of our current and new subscribers will receive the Power Pivot edition once it is released on July 3, 2018. Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox for the new book.
We will be continuing to work on the fourth and final book, the Power BI Edition, over the coming months so stay tuned for details!
We're really excited that Ken is going to be heading back "down under" this April for CPA Australia's Unlock Excel conference. Spending two days in each of four different cities, Unlock Excel features sessions from a renowned group of Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs). Based on how well-received the conference was last year, you don't want to miss out on this year's event!
The Unlock Excel conference will be coming to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Wellington in April 2018.
Who is Unlock Excel For?
Unlock Excel is geared towards people who want to discover fresh and exciting ways to unlock the full potential of their data. While advancing your Excel skills, you will also learn how to become more efficient, explore new tools and applications, and streamline your day-to-day processes.
Who are the MVPs?
Microsoft chooses their MVPs annually based on their high level of public community contributions, but it's more than just quantity of materials that they share for free... they also have to be technical experts in their field. One of the hallmarks of an MVP is their continued dedication to discovering the best ways to use Excel and other Microsoft products, and another is their passion for sharing those techniques with the world.
Ken and the other presenters at Unlock Excel are passionate educators with a deep knowledge of Excel. Because of their experience bringing together diverse platforms, products, and solutions, they will share how they tackle real-world problems.
What Will I Learn?
The sessions at Unlock Excel will feature a variety of topics including charting, financial modelling, VBA, and the Power BI suite of tools. By attending, you will pick up valuable time-saving tips and tricks to take your current knowledge to the next level. Additionally, you will learn to manage your own complex data sets, thereby uncovering unique insights. As a result, you will add value to discussions and help drive effective decision making for your business.
When and Where Can I Attend?
This year's Unlock Excel conference will be visiting the following cities:
Last week I announced that we are working on a series of free 'DIY BI' e-Books. We've been hard at work on polishing it up, and I'm pleased to announce that the first DIY BI e-Book launches tomorrow! It will be emailed at 9:00 AM Pacific Time to everyone on our newsletter list.
Sign up to get the free 'DIY BI' e-Book series
If you haven't already, sign for our mailing list to receive your copy! You can do so at the bottom of this post.
Creating the 'DIY BI' e-Book
I'm really thankful that I have a team of people behind me for this. For me, technical writing is actually the easy part. It certainly takes time, don't get me wrong, but the magic of copy editing, proof reading and graphic design is a whole other story.
Deanna has done a great job of proofing the book, and making me re-write any paragraphs that sounded good in my head, but maybe didn't translate so well beyond that. And Rebekah has done a phenomenal job on the graphic design and layout.
Each book will be themed as shown below:
Blue for Excel, based on the Excelguru website colour scheme. Dark green for Power Query (like the powerquery.training site), light green for Power Pivot (like the Power Pivot logo) and yellow for Power BI like it's colour scheme.
The 'DIY BI' e-Book Cover
We wanted to create a cool cover, but most of the stock images for sale out there have a Mac in the picture. Since 3/4 of these technologies won't work on the Mac, that plainly wasn't something we wanted to put out there. So that led to us staging our own photo shoot to generate our cover - which I'll admit is a lot harder than I thought it would be. Here's the finished cover for the first 'DIY BI' e-Book.
Our next e-Book will use the same cover image, but will be themed in the dark green of the Power Query series.
And yes, before you all ask, that IS a Pie Chart in the bottom left. And no, I don't love pie charts. But sometimes you have to have one, because your boss asks for it. (Just don't expect to find one INSIDE any of the e-Books!)
Reserve Your Free 'DIY BI' e-Book Now
If you're already receiving out newsletter, there is nothing else you need to do. It will show up in your inbox shortly after 9:00 AM Pacific time on Apr 7, 2017. If you're not on our newsletter list yet though, just sign up. It's that easy!
Today I wanted to just make a quick announcement that we are currently working on a series of free 'DIY BI' e-Books.
Free 'DIY BI' e-Books? Tell me more!
Over the past few years of working with Excel an Power BI, I've obviously picked up a few different methods, tips and tricks for working with the software. And looking at how successful our free e-Book "Magic Tricks for Data Wizards" has been through the Power Query Training site, I thought it would be nice to so something similar for Excelguru readers.
One of the cool things about the Excelguru audience at this site is the diversity. A lot of people originally came here for Excel, but we've been exploring Power Query, Power Pivot and Power BI for the past few years as well. The one thing that ties us all together is that we are building "Do it Yourself Business Intelligence" or "DIY BI".
My original plan was to release one e-Book with 20 different tips, tricks and techniques; 5 each for Excel, Power Query, Power Pivot and Power BI. After getting started, however, I realized that it was going to take me a bit longer to get that all done than I wanted. But since I want to get information out to our readers, I've decided to break this down into four separate e-Books which will be collected under the umbrella of "DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques". Each e-Book will focus on one specific area of the DIY BI story.
What will the free 'DIY BI' e-Books include?
Well… tips, tricks and techniques, of course. Okay, seriously, each is fully illustrated and written to give you some great examples and ideas that I hope will help you in your DIY BI journey.
Here is what is covered in DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Excel:
The easiest formula to return the end of the month
Show a message when cells are hidden
Quick alignment of objects
Easy to read variances
Show a message if your Pivot data is stale
What areas will the free 'DIY BI' e-Books cover (and when will they be released)?
Those e-Books will be released in the following order:
DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Excel
DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Power Query
DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Power Pivot
DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Power BI
The first is already written, we just need to lay it out and make it look a bit more awesome. Our target is to get it released by the end of next week.
With regards to the rest, I'll go as fast as I can on them, but as you can imagine, doing things right does take time. I would expect that each will take 2-3 weeks to build out properly, but if I can get them out faster I most certainly will.
Am I going to need Excel 2016 to get value from the free 'DIY BI' e-Books?
No. While I highly advocate being on a subscription version of Excel 2016, you'll find content in each of the first three e-Books which can be used in prior versions of Excel.
How do I receive the free 'DIY BI' e-Books?
You sign up for the Excelguru newsletter. It's just that easy. As soon as each e-Book is finished, we'll be emailing it to everyone who is currently subscribed to our newsletter.
And in the mean time, you also get a monthly email from us which now includes news about the latest updates to both Excel and Power BI.
Longer term, once all four e-Books are written, any new subscribers will receive the first e-Book upon signup, and then the next in the series will arrive every couple of days until you have the full set.
So what are you waiting for? Sign up right here and don't miss out on free DIY BI Tips, Tricks and Techniques for your work!
(Please note that this blog post is from 2017, so the dates included below were for our very first boot camp. For dates and information on current sessions, please visit http://xlguru.ca/data2dashboards.)
I'm pretty excited to announce that we have our very first Power BI Boot Camp coming up in Vancouver, BC on Feb 22-24. This is something that I've wanted to do for a while, and it's going to be awesome!
The boot camp is going to be 3 full days of hands on Power BI, and is intended to get you up and running, building cool solutions that will impact your business.
Why do you care about the Power BI Boot Camp?
Okay, I get it… you're an Excel person, and while you've heard of Power BI, you're not quite sure if you need it or not, and certainly don't know if you can justify the cost of a 3 day Power BI Boot Camp...
I honestly believe that the answer to both questions is an emphatic yes!
Top 5 reasons you need to learn about Power BI:
We'll cover the "how do I convince my boss" near the end of the post, but first, let's talk about what Power BI is, and why it is relevant to you.
A major reason that companies are behind in their Business Intelligence development is that they are using outdated versions of Excel and cannot (or are afraid) to upgrade. Power BI Desktop is a separate program that sits completely outside Excel, meaning that you can run the most up to date business intelligence tool DESPITE the version of Excel you're stuck on. I'm looking at you Excel 2003 & Excel 2007 users.
You can do a TON of stuff with Power BI for free. Yes, there are services that cost a nominal fee, but you'll be surprised at how much you can do for absolutely nothing. The investment you make here will pay back in spades as you begin to automate tasks that were taking you huge amounts of time, and get the ability to deliver true business intelligence to your stakeholders.
Power BI's data collection experience is based on Power Query, and it's modelling experience is based on Power Pivot. So if you have those skills from your Excel journey, they will be totally relevant in Power BI. And if you don't? The new skills you learn at this course related to these areas are portable back to Excel as well. (So again, if you're stuck on an older version of Excel, this is your chance to upskill BEFORE your Excel is updated.)
If you've ever tried to share Excel dashboards, you know how hard it can be to do so and maintain them. And if your end users want their reports accessible and interactive on mobile? Forget it. But Power BI solves these issues, including delivering interactive reports to your mobile phone (yes, even your non-Windows phones!) Rest assured, however, that if your company is cloud averse, this tool is not dead to you, and it's still worth coming.
You'll be learning in a small class environment from a world class expert who cares about delivering value. I've been there. I know how hard your job is. And I want to help you become more effective. That is what my company is all about, and I'm very serious about it.
What will the Power BI Boot camp cover?
To be completely honest, the better question is probably "what won't we look at?" I've got all kinds of stuff cooking for this. When I first started drafting the Power BI Boot Camp outline I was wondering how I'd ever fill 3 full days. Now I'm trying to figure out what to cut so that I can fit it all in. Keep in mind that it's not going to necessarily be in the order below, as some topics are MUCH bigger than the summary I'm providing, but here's a bit of an overview…
Where it all starts…
We'll start by building a basic Power BI solution built on an Excel file. Some minor data modifications, some cool visuals and then publishing it to the cloud service, we'll walk through the most basic of Power BI journeys. I want to do this so that you can see just how easy it is to build a cool solution that works and interacts, like this one. (Go ahead... click any of the bars and see how it cross filters in your web browser!)
More data, more transformations, and some modelling…
From there we'll start to dive deeper, teaching the techniques that allow you to build more robust models and solutions. We'll spend a bunch of time looking at different data sources, as well as some of the more complex methods for fixing bad data to make sure that you can use it in your solutions. We'll also show you how to link these tables together so that they filter nicely across multiple visuals.
Let's get visual…
Power BI is all about getting visuals with your data. It has a big collection of visuals, as well as an ever growing gallery of custom visuals as well.
While I won't promise that we'll look at each different visual in the product (we only have 3 days), we are going to look at a lot of them, including some of my favourite custom visuals. I want to show you how to create them, format them, and what data you need to get the best of them to work.
We're building dashboards to tell a story here, so I want to try and get that as close to real life as possible for you. From bar, column and line charts, to maps and bullet charts, I really want to get you comfortable with these, as well as how to control the interactions between them.
And speaking of Dashboards… do you know the difference between a report and a dashboard in Power BI? That will get clearly explained here as well.
Getting the numbers right…
We'll get into working with the DAX formula language, and understand how to add and override filter context to make your formulas show exactly what you want when you filter any visual.
How about Calendar intelligence? I have a huge passion in this area too. The Power BI Boot Camp won't just teach you how to build your own calendar table, you'll also leave armed with a collection of DAX calendar intelligence measures. Those measure patterns are super important as they'll allow you to report results correctly when you ask for Month to Date data or Month to Date for 2 months ago.
Sharing is caring!
We'll look at sharing via the web first, both for internal and external users on an invite-only basis. But even more, I'm also going to walk you through embedding your reports in a web page so that you can show the world how awesome your company is.
In addition, you'll want to bring your phone with the Power BI app installed. Why? Because I'm going to make sure you get set up with your reports and dashboards delivered to your phone in a mobile optimized fashion where you can even annotate your reports by hand.
And if you'd prefer not to be cloud based? We'll look at creating Power BI templates that you can distribute within your organization as well.
You know… while we're talking about sharing… have you ever sent a report to a manager only to have them come back with a one of those "can you show me this?" type questions? Let's try and solve that little problem by allowing our manager to ask their own questions using natural language queries. In other words, how cool would it be if your manager could just type "Bar chart total stays by city" and it did it, even if you've never built that report? Because they can.
And what about updates and security?
Wait… how do I keep this stuff up to date? And how do I ensure that only the right people are looking at their data? Well of course we'll cover those topics!
Not only will we look at scheduling refresh for cloud hosted data sources, but also your on-premises data sets via gateways and 3rd party applications. Ooohh… connecting data to the cloud… can I hear anyone saying "Security!" Well yes, so let's talk about both encryption and also how to restrict the data sets to show only relevant rows to the correct people. (And let's face it, you will want that last part even if you keep your data local!)
So why Ken's Power BI Boot Camp then?
My goal is to deliver real value to you. Anyone who has been to any of my courses in the past knows this:
It's virtually impossible to find someone who has more passion for what they teach than me
We limit the class size so that it doesn't get too big. A huge part of the reason for this is because…
My style is to roam the room and help people keep up with the content so that everyone learns
I provide completed examples for all the work we go through, with catch up points along the way, just in case the above isn't achievable
I provide a ton of supplemental resources as well
I've been to classes before, and I know that it can be somewhat difficult to apply the course materials to your own work. For that reason the Power BI Boot Camp is designed like all my courses: We will build solutions like you'd expect to do so in the office, exposing the pitfalls where the software doesn't work as you'd logically expect. This is intentional, as we teach you not only how to do things correctly, but also how to debug problems as they happen.
What skill set do you need?
Do you need experience working with Power BI in order to come to the Power BI Boot Camp? Heck no, that's what this course is about! And while some Excel knowledge is helpful, you're certainly not going to see a test on Excel functions here.
Ultimately what you need is a hunger to learn; a desire to change your reporting world. If you can bring me that enthusiasm, I'll teach you what you need to know in order to make that happen.
Making the Case to Your Boss
I managed an accounting department in my former life, so I totally get this. We're all about data here, so here's the up front details:
The cost of the course is $1,495 plus GST. It includes your breakfast and lunch all 3 days, but you need to look after your dinner and hotel room (if necessary). So now you can work out the total cost.
I'll let you do the math and work out how many hours per week you need to save yourself in order to break even. If you spend a significant amount of time cleaning up data to be used in Excel, you'll find that you'll break even on this alone.
Honestly though, the true value proposition of this course isn't the ability to break even on a labour basis, it's about the opportunity costs. Opportunities like:
Identifying programs that are costing your company money which don't earn returns.
Finding the best paying leads to pursue for greater sales.
Delivering value to your stakeholders when and where they need it.
Reducing inventory during slow seasons to reduce carrying costs.
Highlighting key metrics that are under performing.
Building solutions to blow the minds of your clients or stakeholders.
Every business is different, but ultimately it's the opportunity to get better information into the hands of those who make the decisions, be it you or your boss. That benefit FAR outweighs the price we charge, and will break even for you VERY quickly.
I hope to see you at the course. It's going to be awesome, and it will change your data life forever. 🙂