Power BI Desktop: Visualize Data Like Never Before

Last updated on May 22,2019 4.6K Views
Upasana
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We live in the times of ever-expanding data. And where there’s data, there’s analytics on top of it. Anyone who has ever worked with data or aspires, needs to have hands-on experience with a few tools. One such tool is the Microsoft Power BI Desktop.

I guess that is why you all are here. Because you’ve either heard or read about this new end in-analytics tool by Microsoft. Well, you’ve come to the right place. This blog, specifically, will help you with all you need to get started with Power BI certification training. Hope you enjoy learning this new piece of technology.

In this Power BI Desktop Tutorial, you will be learning the following topics:


So, let’s begin by understanding a little bit about Power BI.

What is Power BI?

It is a cloud-based, Business Intelligence Service by Microsoft which provides non-technical Business users with tools for Aggregation, Analysis, Data-Sharing and VisualisationData Visualization

What is Power BI Desktop?

Power BI Desktop allows you to ingest, transform, integrate and enrich your data. Connecting to all your data sources, Power BI Desktop simplifies data evaluation and sharing with scalable dashboards, interactive reports, embedded visuals and more.Power BI Desktop

Creating a Report on the Power BI Desktop basically consists of 3 steps:

  • Import Dataset to Model
  • Play around with Visualizations
  • Create a Report

The more you use it, the better you’ll get at it. So, let’s get started.

Power BI Desktop Installation

It’s a pretty simple process. All you have to do is:

  • Go to powerbi.com
  • Products >> Power BI Desktop >> Downloads page
  • Click on the Download ButtonPower BI Installation

You could just be a free user at first and then download a paid version later if you like. You can see the differences between being a free user and a paid user at the Pricing page. The basic difference only arises with data usage capacity.

You can open your Power BI Desktop directly from here. So, what you see when open the Power BI Desktop are these tutorial videos on building reports, query concepts, etc.Power BI Opening Page

Importing Datasets into Power BI Desktop

The first thing you do in order to build a dashboard is, you connect to data sources. Following are the steps you need to follow to import the datasets.

  • Click on the Get Data button
  • Select the data source you want to connect to. You’ve got excel, csv, azure, etc. You can even scrape data off web pages, so lots of neat stuff.
  • Load it into your model. Getting Data into the Model 

Basic Views in Power BI Desktop

So, when you first load your data you see a blank screen. On the left, you see these 3 basic views you have here.

  1. Report View

    Here you’ll create the dashboard.

  2. Data View

    Here you get a preview of your data and make changes if you want to. This is also where you can create a new calculated column.

  3. Relationship View

    Here you can see the relationship in the objects.Views on Power BI Desktop

Pro-Tip

It’s always advisable to begin with the data view. You basically get the preview of what your data looks like. Here are a few things to take care of, before you actually start creating the dashboard.

  1. Rename columns

    We’re building the dashboard for the user. All the naming conventions and data types are going to appear at the surface and we want it to be as interactive as possible.

  2. Delete Columns

    Anything that’s not absolutely necessary in the model – delete it. Because it’s going to contribute to the size of the model and take up more system resources whilst processing.

  3. Hide Columns

    Columns that you need later for calculation purposes, but the user doesn’t necessarily need to see it, hide them. The hidden column will appear grayed out and won’t appear in the report view.

    Data View on Power BI Desktop

Once you’re done with all the transformations, you can directly go to the report view of your Power BI Desktop.

Building a Dashboard

Now, you’re ready to start the fun part. That is creating the dashboard. It’s pretty easy to work with. So, if I want to create a chart, all I have to do is select your data fields, drag and drop them where it says drag data fields here.Visualization Pane

You can follow the table given below to help you choose the most appropriate visualization for any case.

RequirementCharts you can useUse Cases

Comparison on a common axis

Clustered Bar/Column ChartsAnnual per unit sales of a company, Life expectancy stats of 15 countries

Changes in an initial value over time

Waterfall ChartsInventory Audits, Difference in profits per year per sector

Displaying and Comparing trends over time

Area charts, Line charts, KPI, Ribbon ChartsGrowth in sales over a period of time, Trends over a period of time

Track and Display Up-to-date figures

Cards, KPIsAbsolute numbers, Last Updated Dates

Values breakdown as parts of a Whole

Pie Charts, Tree Maps, Donut Charts, Stacked Bar/Column ChartsCategorical charts, Percentage breakdowns

Stages of a linear process

Funnel ChartsPotential to Sales Chart

Progress to a measurable goal

KPIs, GaugesTargets, Progress towards Targets

Data with numerical values along both axes

Bubble ChartsRisk Analysis of projects with the highest values

Quantitative data that is relevant to physical locations

Maps, Filled Maps, ArcGIS MapsViewer Density in different states, sales in a particular State

I would also recommend you to watch this video to get a better idea of how these charts would look like on the desktop.

Power BI Desktop | Edureka

Publishing a Report

And now you’re ready to deploy this to the Power BI site. All you must do is click on the Publish Button on the right top corner of the screen. Publish

Now that you’ve learned all about the Power BI Desktop, go on and create comprehensive and powerful visualization reports with this technology.

You can use these sample datasets to start experimenting with Power BI Desktop.

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