As a data professional, you would invariably end up spending a lot of time on data cleaning & transformation and a lot of times, you might be doing your work in Excel — if so, then check out Power Query if you haven’t already! It will save you a LOT of time and unlock Jedi powers that you didn’t know you had!
if you are using a Mac — and there’s a lot of data scientist and data analyst who are on this platform then you are unfortunately out of luck! So for Mac users out there, I had shared this feedback which has 50 comments & 337 votes (as of 6/16/17) on the official Power BI ideas site; If you are one of the Mac users, then I encourage you to check it out and vote! Microsoft does take it seriously and their roadmap is heavily influenced by ideas site.
It does affect SSRS adoption but SSRS (sql server reporting service) still has a place as long as there’s need for printer-friendly reporting and self-service vendors don’t have a good solution to meet this need.
Also, SSRS is great for automating operational reports that sends out emails with raw data (list of customers, products, sales transaction etc).
I advocate an analytics strategy where we think about satisfying data needs using “self-service”-first (Power BI, tableau, qlik) but if thats not the optimal solution (for cases like need to print it, I just need you to send me raw data in excel, etc) then I’ll mark it as SSRS project. And this architecture is supported by a central data model (aka operational data store, data mart, data warehouse) which makes it much easier to swap in/out any reporting tools that we need and we are not locked in by one vendor.
About 10–20% data requests that I see are SSRS projects and if the self-service platforms start adding features that compete with SSRS, I know I would start using those capabilities and phase out SSRS. But if that doesn’t happen, I will continue using SSRS 🙂
Power Query is amazing! It takes the data analysis capabilities of Excel to whole new level! In this post, I am going to share three reasons:
1. it enables repeatable mash-up of data!
Have you every had to do your data analysis tasks repeatedly on the data with same structure? Do you get “new” data every other week and need to go through the same data transformation workflow to get to the data that you need?
What’s the solution? Well, you can look at MACRO’s! Or you can request your IT department to create a Business Intelligence platform. However, what if you need to modify your data mashup workflow then these solutions don’t look great, do they now?
Don’t worry! Power Query is here!
It enables repeatable mashup of data like you might have never seen before! You need to try it to believe.
It’s very easy to input new data to Power Query and it enables you to retrieve final output based on new data using a “refresh” feature.
Each data-mashup is recorded as steps which you can go back and edit if you need to.
2. It’s super-flexible!
Any data mashup performed using Power Query is expressed using its formula language called “M”. You can edit the code if you need to and as you can imagine such a platform enables much-needed flexibility for the analyst’s.
3. It has awesome advance features!
Do you want to Merge data? How about Join? Are you tired with VLOOKUP’s! Don’t worry! it’s super easy with Power Query! Here’s a post: Join Excel Tables in Power Query
How about searching for online & open data sets? Done!
How about connecting to data sources that “Data” section of Excel doesn’t support yet? (Example: Facebook) – DONE! Power Query makes that happen for you.
And That’s not a complete list!
Plus you can unlock the “Power” (pun intended) of Power Query by using it with other tools in Power BI Stack. (Power Pivot, Power View, etc…) OR you can use the your final output from Power Query with other tools too! After all it’s an excel file.
If you haven’t already then check out Power Query! it’s free and works with Excel 2010 and above.
Thanks everyone who attended, I hope it was helpful!
Here are some ways to follow the Virtual Chapter: Website: http://bavc.sqlpass.org/ Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCOiRAA4gBxEeVxwmEZ1qy1w Twitter: https://twitter.com/passbavc LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/PASS-Business-Analytics-Virtual-Chapter-6701113
Internet enabled computers to be connected with each other.
Internet enabled Mobile Devices to be connected with each other.
Now, Internet will be used to enable physical things to be connected with each other. This is what is called “Internet of things” (IoT).
So what happens?
since more devices are connected with internet – we will able to generate more data! This is usually good if there’s a business vision around how to make sense of data to increase efficiency of all these things.
Here’s a nice case study from Microsoft (focus on the business case – the things in this case is “elevator” to drive reliability)
This is all good news for data professionals! There will be increased demand for professionals who can help businesses make sense of data generated via IoT.
Also beware of the “hype” around this technology. It’s important to take incremental steps to achieve the vision – Instead of trying to analyze data from ALL devices in your organization, start with one physical thing that matter the most for your organization or start with data that you have and take incremental steps to spread data culture in your organization!
Now that Big Data has become a mainstream word in IT and business, we have a new buzzword to learn/talk about IoT – but remember it’s all about making sense of data and your skills would be more valuable than ever!
Here’s a quick chart that I created based on reading up from different sources about licenses required in office 2013/office 365 to use Power View and/or Power BI. It was not straight forward and I had to use multiple sources to find this information, so hopefully this helps you:
Double check w/ official sources. The chart is meant to guide to find the right license for your needs. Please use this as a starting point & use official resources before making a purchase decision.
Join PASS Business Analytics VC on Thu, Mar 27 2014 12:00 (GMT-05:00) Eastern Time (US & Canada) for “Analyzing Road Traffic Accident Data in Power BI” by Chris Webb. In this one hour session, Chris will spend an hour going over the details on how he developed his amazing demo for the Power BI contest (see here & here).
I’m at PASS Summit 13 this week and I’m seeing nice amount of excitement among Business Intelligence Pros about “Power BI” so I thought I would post a brief post about problems that Power BI addresses:
#1: Mobile BI:
The Visualizations that you’ll publish to Power BI sites would use the HTML 5 rendering & hence the support for Mobile BI.
There’s also a native Microsoft Power BI app for Windows 8 so you can use surface tablets for Mobile BI. IOs (apple) or Android native apps have NOT been announced yet.
#2: An end-to-end self-service suite of tools for Power Users:
Users will be enabled to search, analyze and visualize data using Power Query, Power Pivot & Power View. Plus it allows them a way to collaborate with each other.
#3: Easier way to search for data that’s available inside & outside for organization:
One of the key themes of “Power BI” has been easier discovery of data that’s available to you to analyze.
This is really important from an adoption standpoint because with the technologies that we have today, we can’t enable power users to search for “data-sets”. Power BI enables IT to publish Data Catalogs which I imagine would make it easier for power users to search & connect to data sets & start analyzing!
#4: cool tools that people *want* to use it.
Power BI has rich user experience.
Users can build cool visualizations & create some business value
Since this is a “self-service” suite, it seems to be designed as a user-friendly set of tools. This is important because if a user is “confused” or “over whelmed” then they are not going to use the tool & find something else.
#5: Gateway to the future:
The Human-computer interaction is evolving. Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen tools like Siri (apple audio powered personal assistant) which allows users to use “Natural Language” to interact with computers
Power BI has a tools called “Q&A” that allows users to do business analysis using “Natural Language”. I don’t know the maturity of the current offering but I’m excited about the possibilities that this could offer in future!
Imagine a computer (in some amazing futuristic form) and you say to it “sales trend in north america region during past 12 months” and it gives a you nice trend chart that you can use to start analysis.
Cost-benefit analysis of this cloud-powered suite of tools*
(Book Mark for future editing: The cost of the tool & its general availability is not announced, so I didn’t talk about the cost-benefits that we might see so I’ll defer this analysis until after the details are announced)
What do you think? What are the problems and pain-points that Power BI is trying to solve?