An Introduction to Power BI (Power BI 101)

This article we will provide an introduction to Power BI.

It is a Microsoft business analytics service to provide interface to create reports and dashboards with interactive visualisations.

It has an advantage: easy to use (self service BI).

First of all, Power BI official guided learning material.

It’s very structured and good training tutorial.

As I talk in previous blog about this learning platform, it is fun to get points and badge.

What is the workflow of Power BI?

  1. Bring data in using Power BI desktop, manipulate data and build reports.
  2. Publish it to Power BI service.
  3. Share reports and dashboards to others.

Here we go to the first step:

Download the Power BI desktop.

Power BI desktop verision provides data warehouse capabilities:

  1. ETL
  2. Calculates column
  3. Measures

After we download it, we can find there are five panels in Power BI interface:

  1. Fields: where the datasets
  2. Data: view and manipulate the data
  3. Reports: place visualizations to build reports
  4. Dashboards: choose the graphs to use
  5. Relationships: view/change relationships in the dataset

Through these panels, we can manipulate data and build reports.

Once the report is completed, we can publish it onto Power BI Service on the cloud.

Reference sources:

https://www.sqlbi.com/ref/power-bi-visuals-reference/

If you are interested in or have any problems with Power BI, feel free to contact me.

Or you can connect with me through my LinkedIn.

4 Reasons Why We Need Data Warehouse

Here is a basic process in Business Intelligence.

Maybe some people will be confused, why we need data warehouse?

Without data warehouse, we can also analyze the data.

We can get the data and create the report directly.

So, what the benefits of data warehouse in an organization?

Here we list 4 reasons why we need data warehouse.

Integrate data from various data sources and centralize the data into one place.

Have data loaded into data warehouse so that reporting won’t impact live system or database.

That is why we have a seperate data warehouse and the data is stored in the data warehouse.

We can make a scheduled job running at night to centralize the data from operational databases to data warehouse.

Easy access (one place of data and single source of truth).

It is easy for people to go to data warehouse to get the data, and they don’t need to worry other problems, e.g., we have so many data sources and where can I get the data?

We can trust the data warehouse where we can get the data.

Build model: choose the best design model to get the best flexibility and performance, especially for those large datasets.

We usually use kimball methodology – star schema/snowflake schema (de-normalization).

For example, we use the star schema to improve the query performance.

It is a methodology developed by Ralph Kimball which includes a set of methods, techniques and concepts for use in data warehouse design.

There are also some other methodologies we can use in data warehouse, e.g., inmon methodology, datavault methodology.

If you are interested in or have any problems with data warehouse, feel free to contact me.

Or you can connect with me through my LinkedIn.

An Introduction To Microsoft Learn

In the beginning, I want to state some reasons why I want to keep writing as a blogger.

Because:

  1. I want to become a better writer.
  2. I feel like I have some professional things to talk about.
  3. I want a new challenge.

I want to improve my communication skills by making professional knowledge easier for readers to understand.

Because the most important thing in communication is not speaking, it is how other people can understand your words.

To achieve this goal, sometimes maybe I will need to sacrifice the accuracy of some information.

However, if the audience can accept some basic terms in the first place, I can express more precise concepts to them.

As a nearly graduate IT student, I feel that there is still a gap between what is learned in universities and the practical skills used in real world

Luckily, the Internet is convenient enough for us to find what we want to learn nowadays.

Practitioners in the IT industry are supposed to maintain the ability to life-long learning.

I have accumulated some self-learning experience, and I want to share some of the learning resources with you.

The official documents are highly recommended: They will provide the latest tutorials, then we can write a few demos to get started. 

Consequently, this blog I want to talk about is Microsoft Learn, a learning platform which provides me with the best experience. 


Microsoft Learn
 is a new learning platform created by Microsoft and it focuses on Azure.

Azure is not free.

Although we can sign up for a free trial account, we have to re-apply it after expiring, which is more troublesome. 

But Azure is widely used in New Zealand.

If you want to find an IT job in New Zealand, understanding and mastering Azure skills should be considered as the basic requirements in most cases.

However, an Azure subscription is indispensable. That’s why I highly recommend Microsoft Learn.

Because it provides free Azure subscriptions and an online Azure Lab in addition to general teaching tutorials.

It means that we can use Azure subscriptions for free, create resources, and use them during the course.

The subscription will be automatically released after a while, probably several hours.

If you haven’t finished, you can continue to learn by recreating another one, which is very convenient.

Once the sandbox is activated, we can use the Azure subscription, and the Azure Cloud Shell interface will appear on the right side of the browser. We can enter commands directly into the browser to operate Azure.

Every time I complete a course, I will get the corresponding badges and scores. I have already reached the 8th level !!

This learning experience seems to play games, and I can’t stop it!

If you are interested in or have any problems about Microsoft Azure, feel free to contact me .

Or you can connect with me through my LinkedIn.