My Top 3 Resources for Learning Power BI

By Michael Bartholome

If you are someone who is new to Power BI it can be hard to figure out what path to when learning the ins and outs of the tool.   It can be a little daunting, to say the least.   As someone who has taken several courses and has read several books on the topic, here are my top 3 resources for learning Power BI:  (one thing to note – I am an audio/visual learner so my resources skew in that direction.)  

Credit edx

My first recommendation is  – Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI on edx

This was the course that introduced me to Power BI.   It was developed by Microsoft and is taught by Power BI Program Managers – Will Thompson, Amanda Cofsky and Product Manager, Kim Manis.  The course provides a nice overview of all of Power BI capabilities, from data transformation, modelling, visualization, the Power BI service and more.  By no means is this an exhaustive course, but it will take you through Power BI’s capabilities and get you familiar with the interface.   One of the reasons I like this as my number one resource is that it is free.   You can also pay $99 to have it “verified”, which means you get a certificate that you can post to your LinkedIn profile.   Is it worth it to verify?  Unless you are trying to get a job in Business Intelligence/Data Analytics from an unrelated industry, I would say no, but I can confirm that it definitely helped me make the jump.   A quick look at the Syllabus tells me that Microsoft is doing their best to keep this course up to date.

My second recommendation is to get an Enterprise DNA Membership –

Driving Business Results using Customer Data Analytics ...

Credit: Enterprise DNA

Enterprise DNA is run by Sam McKay and team out of New Zealand.   If you can get past the annoying video intros and the fact that Sam introduces himself before every video, it is by far the best deal in Power BI training.  For under $400 you get lifetime access to over 50 hours of content, plus all future upgrades.   Enterprise DNA provides training on DAX, Data Modeling, Scenario Analysis, Data Ingestion and much more.   Enterprise DNA also has a forum and a ton of templates to get you started.    In my opinion, Sam and his team provide the best training on Financial Planning Analysis on the internet today.   This includes financial statement creation, budgeting, and forecasting.    This alone makes the membership price worth it.

With these two resources alone, you will be well on your way to becoming more than proficient in Power BI.   Of course, these two resources will not be able to answer all of your questions, and for those hard to answer questions, I am recommending Google/YouTube and a willingness to work a problem.

My third recommendation isn’t so much a resource as it is a willingness to work a problem (Google/YouTube)

Anyone who has ever tried to learn a technical skill will tell you that Google/YouTube is your best friend; one, because you can’t remember everything and two, there is always a newer and better way of doing things.   This is especially true for Power BI.  Power BI is evolving so rapidly that many problems the community was having just a couple of months/years ago have been made simpler due to new DAX equations, new data connectors or data transformation abilities added by the Power BI team.     In my opinion Microsoft has done a fantastic job of listening to their customers’ needs and wants when it comes to Power BI.   Are they perfect no, but they are definitely putting forth the effort to be connected to the Power BI community.  When you encounter a problem you need to have the wiliness to work the problem.   You must become comfortable searching Google/YouTube for someone who has had a similar problem and posted a solution.   If you cannot get comfortable with doing this then as a BI developer, you will have a lot of frustrated stakeholders. 

So, there you have it – My Top 3 Resources for learning Power BI.   Be on the lookout for future resource reviews, tips and tricks and general Power BI conversation.   

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