Why Should You Learn Microsoft Power BI?
The world has more data than we can use. All organizations are inundated with data about processes, products, operations, customers — everything. If it has a digital footprint, then it’s out there somewhere.
The more we can learn from consumer behavior information, the more we can make accurate predictions. To do this, we need the right tools. That’s where Microsoft Power BI comes in.
Microsoft Power BI by The Numbers
As we mentioned in this blog post, Microsoft Power BI is the industry-leading business intelligence platform with more than 115 million users — and growing. This is THE data solution of choice for companies around the world. In 2020, the Power BI market represented more than $20 billion, and is estimated to double by 2026. The demand for Power BI is huge, and it’s still growing.
It’s no surprise that careers in data analysis, business analysis, and business intelligence have been booming. With business analysis skills, candidates can find jobs in pretty much any field because most companies need data professionals to help them make better-informed decisions. If you do a quick search on LinkedIn, you’ll find that there are around 200,000 business analyst jobs available on any given day.
So as a current or future business analyst, it’s likely that you’ll cross paths with Power BI.
What is Microsoft Power BI?
So what’s the secret to Microsoft Power BI’s success? It’s secure, it integrates a lot of tech in one convenient place, and it’s easy to implement. These factors make it a no-brainer for loads of companies.
Essentially, Microsoft Power BI is a collection of software services, apps, and connectors that work together to turn your unrelated sources of data into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive insights. You can connect it to any kind of data source and build powerful data visualizations.
If you check out the Microsoft Power BI website, it tells you in huge letters that you can “bridge the gap between data and decision making.” Importantly, this doesn’t just mean decisions you’re making; it means decisions you’re responsible for setting up. If you have mounds of data on, say, consumer spending habits, and you need to create a report that breaks these habits down into usable patterns that a product department can study to schedule releases . . . that’s what you’d use Microsoft Power BI for.
What Can You Do with Power BI?
There are three fundamental components of Microsoft Power BI. Used together, these components turn you into an efficient and effective business analyst.
Power Pivot is “a data modeling technology that lets you create data models, establish relationships, and create calculations” (Microsoft). You can use Power Pivot to work with large datasets, build relationships, and create calculations, all in one place — and all within Excel.
Power Query is Microsoft’s data connectivity and data preparation technology that allows you to access data from hundreds of different sources and adjust it to fit your needs. You don’t need any code to use Power Query, and it offers an intuitive, user-friendly interface.
This component allows you to actually shape your data. It’s a visualization technology that lets you create “charts, graphs, maps, and other visuals to bring your data to life” (Microsoft). You can use it in Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server, and Power BI.
Should You Teach Yourself Power BI?
Teaching yourself how to use Microsoft Power BI is a tall order. You can’t just spend a few hours on YouTube and consider yourself an expert. The Microsoft Power BI platform is intuitive, but it’s still complex. You need more than the fundamentals to really reap the benefits of the platform.
We’re also fans of stumbling around in the dark and banging into things. It’s a very . . . experiential way to learn. But if you want to use Microsoft Power BI for your current or future job, and you’d like to start enjoying its benefits sooner rather than later, we recommend investing in some training.
Learning with the “Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI” Skill Path
Our “Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI” skill path will take you from absolute beginner to total expert in only a few short months.
Here’s what you’ll learn along the way:
- How to navigate the Power BI interface
- How to clean, transform, load, and structure data
- How to design data models
- How to create compelling, data-driven stories with meaningful visuals, dashboards, and reports
- How to manage workspaces
- How to perform business analysis
This path will be available beginning March 21st, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, go explore the path for yourself — there’s a lot to get excited about.