With coronavirus forcing more people to work from home and adapt to online working/training, the way our businesses function is changing. It’s ironic that I was slightly ahead of the curve on this one – I was already working on the launch of Power BI training for businesses delivered completely online. These training options are now live, but what does it entail?
When I deliver in-person Power BI training, my focus is on providing a comprehensive introduction to the platform that helps businesses and their employees jump straight in with confidence. That’s the exact principle on which I’ve developed my two-day online course. By the end of the training, delegates will have a good understanding of data analysis using Microsoft Power BI, including the use of visualisations to effectively display their data in reports. They’ll also understand how the Power BI Service works and how they can collaborate easily with colleagues.
Delivering training online can be quite different to delivering in person – as I’m sure many of you are finding in your respective fields! Fortunately, the feedback from my early clients has been brilliant. Several employees from a council were required to urgently train on Power BI and I’m pleased to say the sessions were a success, and the delegates commented how a complex course was delivered so effectively online. They didn’t have any issues following along with the content and more of their delegates will be attending online training in the future.
If you’re interested in online Power BI training for your business, I have a dedicated page on my website. This gives you a breakdown of what delegates can expect to learn and what it would be helpful to know before the training. Read more about that here.
What’s New in PBI?
No update from me would be complete without a look at the recent changes Microsoft have made to Power BI. Before I do that, I just want to link to a dashboard that shows exactly how powerful Power BI can be in times of crisis.
This dashboard created by DataClue keeps track of all the known Covid-19 cases across the world. It can be filtered by country as well as the number of people who have died, recovered and are still battling the virus. Like all Power BI dashboards, you can drill down into the information that’s most relevant to you and examine the data efficiently. If you want to understand how Power BI works to show vital data in an accessible way, this is a timely resource.
Multi-Column Sorting for Tables
This feature was one of the most requested in the Power BI community, so it’s great that it’s now available. Essentially, what it means is that you can sort by one column and then another – this is useful if you want to sort tables by multiple criteria such as the type of product and the name of the product. It’s a simple Shift + click option involving the column headers. I’d be interested to know if you’ve played around with this feature and whether you feel it’s enhancing the PBI experience.
A good selection of new connector options have been added to Power BI in the last few months. These are two of my favourites:
• Asana – Information from the project management tool can now be brought into PBI, allowing users to gain real-time insights about their workflows and projects.
• Cognite – Data from Cognite Data Fusion (CDF) can be imported into PBI as part of a preview feature. CDF handles large quantities of industrial data, so it improves data options for companies in this sector.
New Template Option
Finally, there’s an interesting template now available on AppSource which allows you to hit the ground running with your Power BI usage or simply see how it could work effectively for your organisation.
The Microsoft 365 usage analytics template helps you understand how your organisation’s using Microsoft 365 by displaying data such as the number of active licences, product usage and user activity. It’s a great way of checking whether you’re getting your money’s worth from your business subscription.
Like all of us, the team at Power BI will be reacting to the current coronavirus crisis and working out ways to help communities during this time. With that in mind, we don’t quite know what updates there’ll be and whether we can expect major changes to PBI in the short term.
However, there’s no denying PBI has the power to help us as we move through this crisis and look towards an uncertain future. What are you using PBI for in these unusual circumstances?