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  • Writer's pictureDiana Landazuri

The true POWER of Power Bi

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

I've used Power Bi for a couple of projects, specially those that require data cleansing and visualization. I used to be a absolute fan of Excel, until I saw I could use an even powerful tool to do many things I was already doing. Back in the days of only using Excel, I used to create a report of a lot of items, of imports, taken from a very big list of company items, that arrived between certain dates, and so on and so on of drilling down on the information. And THEN, I would use the daily report to create a visual report on the overall numbers according to specific segments by the end of the week. The visual report was done on Power Point with charts and graphs from Excel.

Now, I do a lot of my data work and visualization on Power BI, and use Excel for specific macros, creation of optimization models, and network models. Now, I just go get the data from Excel, and edit it, transform it in any specific need I have and build a nice model from it. In order to obtain all the Power from Power Bi, it's important to create models and not reports. Yes, Power Bi is for making Models, not Reports. This is, working on data in an way that you can understand, remember and reuse. To achieve this, in the "relational" screen, put the "look up" tables on the top ( this is the information that will answer the who, what, when, where, how), and the data tables on the bottom (all the transactions), and always relate your tables from top to bottom, the 1 to * (one to many). All your effort should go on the building the query and the model. The visualization will be a piece of cake if the foundations are well established.

Will Power Bi be the next software that will make this world go round? ... a position Excel has maintained for the last 15 years, or maybe they will share the podium for the next 10 years?

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