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Self Service BI by using Power BI – Power Query (Part 1)


In my previous posts I discussed about Power BI [link], what is it, its components, features and capabilities in the new world of Self Service IB.

Self Service BI allows end users to design & deploy their own reports, analyse within an approved & supported architecture and tools portfolios. End users do not have to worry about maintaining databases, doing integrations, creating warehouses/marts, reports, etc. The Self Service BI tool provide features which are capable enough to do all these activities in an automated, quick and efficient way, and all you have to do is learn how to configure these tools.

Power BI is one such tool offered by Microsoft, you can read about it my previous posts, [link] and Microsoft Official blog, [link].

Power BI works ONLY with Excel & Office 365. It is nothing but a collection of different components which provide features as follows:
1. Power Query
2. Power Pivot
3. Power View (aka Crescent)
4. Power Map (aka GeoFlow)
5. Power Q & A (aka Natural Language Processing)
6. Office 365
7. Windows 8 App

–> Power Query is used to easily discover or gather data from various public or corporate sources, like:

Web page SQL Server database IBM DB2 database Windows Azure Marketplace
Excel or CSV file Windows Azure SQL Database MySQL database Active Directory
XML file HDInsight SharePoint List Facebook
Text file Access database OData feed SAP BusinessObjects BI Universe
Folder Oracle database Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)

–> Let’s see a small demo how you can use Power Query: All you need is Excel and Power Query add-In, which you can download from Microsoft official site, [link].

Below image shows various ways you can access public or corporate data from various sources from an Excel workbook:
1. Online Search
2. From File
3. From Database
4. From Other Sources
PowerBI_PowerQuery00

Let’s see how Online Search works. The moment you type “Olympics 2014″ it populates lot of sources from where you can fetch data from:
PowerBI_PowerQuery01

On selecting a source it tries to connect to the public portal and displays the Source URL while fetching the data:
PowerBI_PowerQuery02

And finally populates the data in tabular format in an Excel worksheet:
PowerBI_PowerQuery03

Go to Ribbon, click “Table Tools” -> Query -> Edit, this will open the “Query Editor” window where you can edit, clean the data. You can even Create Queries that you can save and use again later to refresh your data. Merge different tables in one step; rename, delete or even create fields. Transform your data before even importing it into a spreadsheet.
PowerBI_PowerQuery04

This way you can get your data ‘analysis ready’ with Power Query !!!

2013 in review

December 31, 2013 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 210,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 9 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2012 in review

December 31, 2012 Leave a comment

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 190,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 3 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

2011 in review

January 1, 2012 2 comments

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

Madison Square Garden can seat 20,000 people for a concert. This blog was viewed about 64,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Madison Square Garden, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Programming is like a Dream… by Lisa


This post is different from my other previous posts as it does not talks about SQL or anything near to it. But it talks about the Progmmers who code not only in SQL but other programming languages too.

I stumbled into Lisa’s post which talks about Programming as a Dream. I liked this article very much and the illustration given by her really fits in each and every scenario in one’s day today life and specially in dreams.

An excerpt from her post:

“If you think about programming like dreaming, you’ll realize that programmers remember more if you interrupt them gently than if you barrage them. If someone wakes you out of bed and starts shouting a long list of things at you to remember, you’ll almost certainly forget what you were dreaming. However, if someone shakes you gently and gives you a few seconds to open your eyes and look around before they start talking, it’s a lot easier to remember the dream for later. The same works for programmers. If you just walk into their office and start talking, one of two things will happen: they’ll completely forget what they were coding, or they won’t really be paying attention to you. However, if you quietly walk up to them and let them know you are there but say nothing until they are ready, the programmer can come to the end of the thought they are on. Once they’ve finished their thought, it will be easier for them to pick up next time and still pay attention to what you have to say.”

To read the whole post here is the link for you to go thru: http://www.independentdeveloper.com/archive/2009/03/17/programming-is-like-a-dream

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