Book Image

Mastering Microsoft Power BI

By : Brett Powell
5 (1)
Book Image

Mastering Microsoft Power BI

5 (1)
By: Brett Powell

Overview of this book

This book is intended for business intelligence professionals responsible for the design and development of Power BI content as well as managers, architects and administrators who oversee Power BI projects and deployments. The chapters flow from the planning of a Power BI project through the development and distribution of content to the administration of Power BI for an organization. BI developers will learn how to create sustainable and impactful Power BI datasets, reports, and dashboards. This includes connecting to data sources, shaping and enhancing source data, and developing an analytical data model. Additionally, top report and dashboard design practices are described using features such as Bookmarks and the Power KPI visual. BI managers will learn how Power BI’s tools work together such as with the On-premises data gateway and how content can be staged and securely distributed via Apps. Additionally, both the Power BI Report Server and Power BI Premium are reviewed. By the end of this book, you will be confident in creating effective charts, tables, reports or dashboards for any kind of data using the tools and techniques in Microsoft Power BI.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)

Project discovery and ingestion

A set of standard questions within a project template form can be used to initiate Power BI projects. Business guidance on these questions informs the BI team of the high-level technical needs of the project and helps to promote a productive project kickoff.

By reviewing the project template, the BI team can ask the project sponsor or relevant subject matter experts (SMEs) targeted questions to better understand the current state and the goals of the project.

Sample Power BI project template

The primary focus of the project-planning template and the overall project planning stage is on the data sources and the scale and structure of the Power BI dataset required. The project sponsor or business users may only have an idea of several reports, dashboards, or metrics needed but, as a Corporate BI project, it's essential to focus on where the project fits within an overall BI architecture and the long-term return on investment (ROI) of the solution. For example, BI teams would look to leverage any existing Power BI datasets or SSAS tabular models applicable to the project and would be sensitive to version-control issues.

Sample template – Adventure Works BI

The template is comprised of two tables. The first table answers the essential who and when questions so that the project can be added to the BI team's backlog. The BI team can use this information to plan their engagements across multiple ongoing and requested Power BI projects and to respond to project stakeholders, such as Vickie Jacobs, VP of Group Sales, in this example:

Date of Submission


Project Sponsor

Vickie Jacobs, VP of Group Sales

Primary Stakeholders

Adventure Works Sales
Adventure Works Corp

Power BI Author(s)

Mark Langford, Sales Analytics Manager

The following table is a list of questions that describe the project's requirements and scope. For example, the number of users that will be read-only consumers of Power BI reports and dashboards, and the number of self-service users that will need Power BI Pro licenses to create Power BI content will largely impact the total cost of the project.

Likewise, the amount of historical data to include in the dataset (2 years, 5 years?) can significantly impact performance scalability:




Business Input

Data sources


Can you describe the required data? (For example, sales, inventory, shipping).

Internet Sales, Reseller Sales, and the Sales and Margin Plan. We need to analyze total corporate sales, online, and reseller sales, and compare these results to our plan.

Data sources


Is all of the data required for your project available in the data warehouse (SQL Server)?


Data Sources


What other data sources (if any) contain all or part of the required data (for example, Web, Oracle, Excel)?

The Sales and Margin Plan is maintained in Excel.



Should certain users be prevented from viewing some or all of the data?

Yes, sales managers and associates should only see data for their sales territory group. VPs of sales, however, should have global access.



Does the data contain any PCII or sensitive data?

No, not that I’m aware of



Approximately, how many years of historical data are needed?


Data refresh


How often does the data need to be refreshed?


Data refresh


Is there a need to view data in real time (as it changes)?




Approximately, how many users will need to view reports and dashboards?




Approximately, how many users will need to create reports and dashboards?


Version control


Are there existing reports on the same data? If so, please describe.

Yes, there are daily and weekly sales snapshot reports available on the portal. Additionally, our team builds reports in Excel that compare actuals to plan.

Version Control


Is the Power BI solution expected to replace these existing reports?

Yes, we would like to exclusively use Power BI going forward.

A business analyst inside the IT organization can partner with the business on completing the project ingestion template and review the current state to give greater context to the template. Prior to the project kickoff meeting, the business analyst can meet with the BI team members to review the template and any additional findings or considerations.

Many questions with greater levels of detail will be raised as the project moves forward and therefore the template shouldn't attempt to be comprehensive or overwhelm business teams. The specific questions to include should use business-friendly language and serve to call out the top drivers of project resources and Corporate BI priorities, such as security and version control.