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Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide

Is there anything you have seen someone do in Power BI and have always wondered how?


 You would need to have Microsoft Power BI Desktop installed on your laptop. Power BI Desktop is a free version, and it is more than enough to start your Power BI learnings. This article is a beginner’s Guide on PowerBi

Download Power BI Desktop here:

Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide
Power BI is a business intelligence application that uses interactive visualizations, dashboards, and reports to show data. The keyword here is BI which stands for business intelligence. That means it is not just a tool for analyzing data and presenting it to a user. Instead, it’s a tool for delivering data to a business user in a way that helps them comprehend it and allows them to drill down into specific areas that need attention.

With Power BI, you can turn your data into actionable insights, uncover trends and anticipate outcomes, and transform data into attractive visualizations that you can share with colleagues on any device. You may also use an all-in-one view to visually examine and analyze data, both on-premises and in the cloud. Custom dashboards and interactive reports can also be collaborated on and shared.

The things that give an organization a strong competitive edge are: 1) what it knows, 2) how it uses what it knows and 3) how fast it knows things. – Larry Prusak (1996).

This article will serve as a PowerBi’s Beginner guide and provide you with everything you need to know about Power BI so you can get started with this business intelligence tool.

Get Data

I assume you have downloaded the tool and selected the free version to use. You can import data from different Data Sources ranging from fundamental excel files, CSV to online services like Microsoft Dataverse and Azure. 

To load data, navigate to the “Home” tab, select the “Get Data” icon/dropdown, select the source, and click “Load.”

Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide

Understanding the tool

There are three major building blocks of Power BI;

  • Report view
  • Data view
  • Relationship/Model view

With Power View & Power Map, you can create highly interactive visualizations in the report view. You may load data from various sources, do extensive data exploration, table relationships, and modeling in the Data and Relationship view, just as you can in Power Pivot. While the data shaping like you do with Power Query is possible with Query Editor, which is available in Power BI Desktop and opens in a separate window.

Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide

Data Shaping in Power Query Editor

After retrieving data from the various data sources, the data is modified in the power query editor using a few stages. It is dependent on the quality of the data.

  • Data cleaning include removing any unneeded columns and rows, as well as renaming the columns and tables. 
  • Using string operations like uppercase, lowercase, and split to create custom columns.
  • Change text to numbers and vice versa when reformatting data types.
  • There are times when a single data source is insufficient to meet the needs. As a result, in such circumstances, we must combine and add searches from disparate data sources.

Data Modeling

The relationship between the tables is automatically identified by Power BI and displayed in the Model and Relationship view. However, following data transformation, we may need to show the relationship between the tables in the section Model and Relationship, as efficient data modeling leads to simple and successful data analysis.

DAX formulae are useful in measurements, calculated columns, and calculated tables for sophisticated calculations. DAX should be used to calculate the needed KPI metrics from raw data (Data Analysis Expressions). On the blog, there are a few pieces about this.

Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide


In the visualization pane of Power BI, you may customize varieties of charts, tables, graphs, and maps. First, choose the images you will need for the report, then the fields you would like to highlight. To make the report more versatile, use Power BI slicers to drill down into the data.

All you have to do is drag & drop column names from the table into one of the fields below.

  • Axis is a term that refers to an X-Axis.
  • Legend (For visualization of multiple categories in the same graph).
  • Value (for linear features or counts).
  • Tooltips are small icons that appear on the screen.

When it comes to filtering, Power BI offers three different levels:

  • Filtering within a single plot with Visual Level Filters. Only the graph we are now working with will be affected.
  • Filters at the page level only apply to numerous graphs on a single page. If it uses the filtered column, it will change all of the plots on the same page.
  • Filters at the report level are used to filter all of the pages in a Power BI report. It will change all plots throughout the report/across all pages if it uses the filtered column.
Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide

Publish to Power BI Service

After you have finished your report, click the “Publish” button to send it to your Power BI account, where you may share it via email or a connection. 

This process would necessitate the use of a premium edition of PowerBI.

Power BI Desktop: The Beginner’s Guide


Power BI is similar to a more advanced version of Excel. This article served as a starting point for your Power BI journey. These resources can help you learn more about Power BI.

For more about Power BI, keep up with UrBizEdge Blog and Subscribe to our YouTube channel

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