Power BI is becoming popular. Therefore, many companies are interested in considering a Power BI Pilot project as a proof of concept. While interacting with customers, I have noticed that many such pilots fail. The failure is NOT due to the capabilities of the product, but due to other factors which are controllable. In this article, I have listed a process which prevents common errors and improves the credibility of the outcome.
Excel Data Model is a database that is built-in to Excel. It has been around since 2010. Using it increases the capacity of Excel to handle millions of rows, it reduces file size significantly and eliminates VLOOKUP for code to description mapping. These new options in Excel 2016 and above simplify the usage of Excel Data Model and improve performance for large data operations. Go to File – Options – Data tab.
PowerView button missing in Excel 2016 – Insert tab? It it visible in 2013. Here is how you add it.
A brilliant new feature is now available in Power BI – Split column into rows. To understand why we need it, you must go and read the article – Analyzing badly captured Survey data or feedback forms. This method used Power Query concepts of Split and Unpivot. Now these have been combined into a single, intelligent command called Split columns into rows. It sounds confusing at first. But soon you will realize that it is an amazing tool. Learn it just 4 minutes.
Raw data looks like this
And you get a report like this. No need to use formulas or do any manual work.
You must have the May 2017 update for Power BI Desktop installed.
This is a short post. It is like an FYI mail. Excel never understood any dates before 1900. We got used to that limitation over the decades. But Power BI does understand Dates before 1900. The best part is, you do not have to take any specific action. It just works.
Here is the raw data and the Power BI output.
If you try this in Excel, it just will not work. Now that you know this, starting using Power BI with Dates before 1900.
Mind you, the Power BI documentation says that the earliest limit is 1900. It still works for dates before 1900. Drill down is also supported. Here is the same data at Day level.
This ability may make historians and archeologists partially happy. There time scales are huge and Power BI does not support that much of a range. But still, it is an improvement worth knowing about.
I am happy to announce that my first detailed training course is now up and running at Udemy. It is about Power BI. But it starts with what you already know – Pivot Tables. That is why the course is called Pivot Table to Power BI.
Here is an interesting way to learn two things in one go. While creating the Power BI course for UDEMY, I created lot of explanatory videos. One of the DAX functions which is difficult to understand is the RELATEDTABLE function. So here is a dual video which explains DAX RelatedTable animation. 8 minutes.