Power BI

Content by Charles Sterling

Free Power BI ebook by Reza Rad: Power BI From Rookie to Rockstar

I truly have the best job at Microsoft: Make our customers happy, specifically through community channels.

What does that entail on a daily basis?  Looking at the telemetry from our support cases, assist our user group leaders with their group efforts, and my favorite part work with our MVPs.   These people are basically super hero’s that use their Powers helping people with technology.   With a peer group like Paul, Marco, Ginger, Greg, Seth, Chris, Ken, Jen, Matt etc etc there is no way to pick a favorite….but between organizing the Definity Conference,  presenting a bunch of sessions at SQL Saturday Melbourne, tomorrows Webinar and his latest effort a 900+ page book he made free (all in the last 3 weeks!) it is hard not to put Reza Rad on the top of the Power BI MVP pack! 


So what about this book?

Back to the subject of this post!  Reza’s day job is take take  the most difficult data challenges and turn them from a storage and IT overhead and cost into business insight. 

This book is a distillation of this learning starting with getting started with the product all the to advanced data manipulation with the M Language and DAX queries.

While the table of contents is subject to change i have included it due to the fact the hyperlinks are to blog posts that are amazingly valuable!

If you want to get started right away you can download the book from here:





Table of Contents

  1. Introduction to Power BI
    1. Introduction to Power BI: What is Power BI?
    2. Power BI Desktop; The First Experience
    3. Power BI Website; You’ll Need Just a Web Browser
  2. Getting Data
    1. What is Power Query: Introduction to Data Mash-Up Engine of Power BI
    2. Get Started with Power Query: Movies Data Mash-Up
    3. Power BI Get Data From Excel: Everything You Need to Know
    4. File Sources
    5. Folder as a Source
    6. Database Sources
    7. Analysis Services Connection
    8. Get Data From Azure SQL Database
    9. Azure SQL Data Warehouse Source
    10. Software as A Source
    11. Web Source
    12. Using Web Service / API As a Data Source for Power BI
    13. R Script as a Source
    14. Power BI and Spark on Azure HDInsight; Step by Step Guide
  3. Data Transformation
    1. Query Editor
    2. Transformation GUI
    3. Row Transformations
    4. Warning! Misleading Filtering in Power Query
    5. Column Transformations
    6. Data Type
    7. Flawless Date Conversion in Power Query
    8. Adding Column
    9. Text Transformations
    10. Number Column Calculations
      1. Make Your Numeric Division Faultless
    11. Date and Time Calculations
    12. Pivot and UnPivot
    13. Grouping in Power Query
    14. Append vs Merge in Power BI
  4. Power Query Formula Language
    1. Code Behind of Power Query: M
    2. Data Types in M
    3. M Lexical Structure
    4. Working with Functions
    5. Error Handling
  5. Power Query Built-in Functions
    1. Date Functions
    2. Time Functions
    3. Text Functions
    4. Table Functions
    5. List Functions
    6. Folder.Files vs Folder.Contents: Fetch Files and Folders with Masking/Filtering
    7. Record Functions
    8. Number Functions
    9. Cube Functions
    10. Data Access Functions
    11. Type Functions
      1. Convert Time Stamp to Date Time
    12. Splitter and Combiner Functions
    13. Power Query Function’s Library; #shared Keyword
  6. M Advanced
    1. Custom Function Made Easy in Power BI Desktop
    2. Using Generators
    3. Error Handling
    4. Example of Power Query Function Using Generators, Each Singleton Function, and Error Handling
    5. Writing Complex Transformations with M
    6. Return Multiple Values from Power Query Function
    7. Dynamic M
  7. Power Query Use Cases
    1. Date Dimension With Power Query
    2. Fitbit Data Integration Part 1
    3. Fitbit Data Integration Part 2
    4. Power Query Not For BI – Part 1
    5. Power Query Not For BI – Part 2
    6. Power Query Not For BI – Part 3
  8. Data Model
    1. Loading Data into Model
    2. Introduction to Power Pivot
    3. Sort By Column
    4. Relationships
    5. Relationship with Multiple Columns
    6. Measures
    7. Formatting
    8. Calculated Columns
  9. DAX
    1. Data Analysis eXpression Language
    2. Function Categories
    3. Secret of Time Intelligence Functions in Power BI
    4. Date and Time Functions
    5. Time Intelligence Functions
    6. Math and Trig Functions
    7. Statistical Functions
    8. Text Functions
    9. Customer Retention with DAX
  10. Advanced DAX
    1. Filter Functions
    2. Calculated Tables; Scenarios of using
    3. Best Practices for Writing DAX
    4. Role Playing Dimension
    5. Relationship tips and tricks
    6. Solving DAX Time Zone Issue in Power BI
  11. Data Visualization
    1. Building Charts
    2. Customizing Charts
    3. Page Level Filters
    4. Object Level Filter
    5. Control the Interaction in Power BI Report
    6. Adding Text and Image
    7. Table View
    8. Matrix View
    9. Card View
    10. Slicer
    11. Grouping and Binning; Step Towards Better Visualization
  12. Custom Visuals
    1. Custom Visuals; Built Whatever You Want
    2. Developing Custom Visuals
    3. Azure Machine Learning and SandDance Visualization
  13. Charts
    1. Bar, Column Chart
    2. Power Behind the Line Chart
    3. Stacked Chart or Clustered, Which One is the Best?
    4. Column Line Chart
    5. Area Chart
    6. Waterfall Chart
    7. Storytelling with Scatter Chart
    8. Pie, Donut Chart
    9. Treemapping
    10. Interactive R Charts in Power BI
    11. Map
    12. Power BI Says Hi to 3D Map
    13. Map Visualization with Latitude and Longitude Only
    14. Filled Map; the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
    15. Funnel
    16. KPI and Power BI
  14. Special Tips and Tricks
    1. Color Saturation
    2. Sparkline
    3. Colorful Slicers
    4. Using Maps in Different Levels
    5. Showing Multiple Measures
    6. Data Visualization Best Practices
    7. Filtering Slicer Resolved in Power BI
    8. Step Beyond 10GB Limitation of Power BI
  15. Power BI Services
    1. Publish to Power BI site
    2. Creating Dashboards
    3. Dashboards vs Report; Differences at a Glance
    4. Power BI Publish to Web; Questions Answered
    5. Scheduled Data Refresh
    6. Schedule Data Refresh Local Excel File from Power BI Website
    7. Datasets in Power BI
    8. Power BI Pro
    9. Groups in Power BI
  16. Security in Power BI
    1. Row Level Security
    2. Row Level Security Configuration in Power BI Desktop
    3. Row Level Security with SSAS Tabular Live Connection in Power BI
    4. Dynamic Row Level Security with Power BI Made Simple
  17. Gateways
    1. On-Premises SQL Server Live Connection with Enterprise Gateway
    2. Definitive Guide to Power BI Personal Gateway
    3. Loop Through On-Premises Files with Power BI and Schedule it to Refresh Automatically
  18. Power Q&A
    1. Introduction to Power Q&A
    2. Develop a Model that Responds Best to Power Q&A
    3. Tips and Tricks
  19. Mobile
    1. Tips for Mobile Friendly Report Development in Power BI
    2. Dashboard Design for Mobile Power BI
  20. Integration
    1. Power BI Story in Power Point Slides with Commentary
    2. Power BI Embedded; Bring the Power into your Application
  21. Real-time Dashboards
    1. Azure Stream Analytics and Power BI join forces to Real-time Dashboard
    2. Monitor Real-time Data with REST API
  22. Performance Tuning
    1. Performance Tip for Power BI; Enable Load Sucks Memory Up
    2. Not Folding; the Black Hole of Power Query Performance