Excel, Power BI, and Access

Training: Power BI

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Power BI is one of those features in Office 365 that is a hidden gem. Power BI provides business analytics to analyze data and share insights. I'm going to go ahead and launch Power BI from the Office 365 portal. We have a fairly empty Power BI right now so let's go ahead and add in some data. I happen to have a spreadsheet already created with the sales for the last several years for the hotels.

I'm going to go ahead and get that data. And I'm going to go ahead and click on Files. And this will happen to be a local file. But you'll notice here I'm not restricted to local, I can use OneDrive for business or personal. I can also go ahead and pull information from our SharePoint team sites. And this happens to be sales by city. I'm going to go ahead and open that. Next, I'm going to import the Excel data. And this will take a few minutes. Perfect, our dataset is now ready for us to use.

I'm going to go ahead and click on View dataset. Now this isn't much, is it? The power of BI is the dashboards that users can use to view and analyze data. But we need to create those dashboards.

Let's go ahead and create a very simple dashboard for our 2013 data. So here we have our 2013 data. But that doesn't look like much, does it? Let's go ahead and add in the city, as well. So you can see that we have our 2013 data by city.

We can go ahead and do this for 2014, as well, if we wanted to do so. And again, for city. So now we have a little bit of a compare between them. I can easily select the visualization I'd like to use. This one just happens to be a plain old boring bar chart. But for our data it's perfect. Let's go ahead by 2015. And then we'll add the cities. As you can see, we definitely have a great compare from year to year. And finally, let's go ahead add one more for 2016. Perfect. And that could be our one dashboard. So that would be page one of our dashboard.

Let's go ahead and add a few more things to this dashboard. Now typically, when you create your dashboard all the visualizations on that dashboard will feature one aspect of the data. For us, for demonstration purposes, I'm going to add in a couple of other visualizations that may not fit as nicely. But they're cool. The first one, let's throw in a map. And then let's go ahead and throw in the cities. And we'll add in the 2013 data. Let me expand that out so we can focus it. You'll notice here that instead of having the bar chart for 2013, we actually have circles.

Let's go back to the report. And finally, let's go ahead and add in a pie chart. And we'll do this by year. So we'll add in the years, there we are. Perfect. And now we'll actually have percentage there, as well. When we're happy with our visualization we can go ahead and click Save. And this will be the name of our report. It will be very simple. We're going to call it Sales Data.

Now if I click on My Workspace, we'll have that dashboard that we've just created and you'll see the report, as well. And that's our new one unless we have a couple of other reports already here. The datasets, so we'll have the sales by city. But I've also added in some additional datasets, as well. And if we go to the dashboard, let's go ahead and click on that dashboard again. Now, I could go ahead and click on the Sales by City. Or, we can go ahead and ask a question about our data. This is where the power of Power BI comes into play.

Let's put the information for LA. So we have LA. And we can see our chart. And we could actually go ahead and do 2016. And we can see what our final number is for LA for 2016. And you can manipulate this as required. I just showed you a very quick demonstration of what you can do in Power BI. But there is so much more you can do. And you can go ahead and pull in information not only from your internal sources, whether those be databases, or Excel files. But then you can correlate that data with external resources, let's say the national weather service. By doing this you can provide a very detailed analysis of your business and the past performance, and gain insights into future performance. For more information on Power BI, please see the Office training center.

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