Power BI Prerequisites

What to Learn Before Power BI

Understand the best methods for studying Power BI and learn how you can apply your new skills in various careers. Get a deep dive into how Power BI can help turn huge amounts of data into coherent and interactive insights that can be utilized in business intelligence-related tasks.

Key Takeaways

  • Power BI is a powerful data visualization product from Microsoft that helps in transforming unrelated data sources into coherent and interactive insights.
  • Power BI integrates with other Microsoft services and products and third-party platforms, making it a versatile intelligence suite ideal for various business solutions.
  • Power BI assists in predicting various "what-if" scenarios and enables users to create forecasts based on these predictions which help in data-driven decision making.
  • Power BI is considered relatively easy to learn, with most people getting comfortable with the basics in about four to six weeks.
  • Enrolling in an in-person or live online Power BI course with providers like Noble Desktop can make the learning process easier and faster.
  • Before studying Power BI, having knowledge of data analytics, Microsoft Excel, and business analytics basics can be highly beneficial.

Power BI is a powerful data visualization product that helps users with business intelligence-related tasks. Part of the Microsoft Power platform, Power BI is a family of apps, connectors, and services that can transform unrelated data sources into coherent and interactive insights. However, you might worry that Power BI will be too hard to learn. This guide will help you understand the best methods for studying Power BI and what you should learn first to make the process easier. This way, you’ll be successful however you choose to apply your new skills. 

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a group of BI (business intelligence) services and products that converts data from various sources into reports, visualizations, and interactive dashboards. This allows users to share data insights with others who work at their organization or to embed them onto a website or application. Power BI offers effective business solutions with each of its individual elements and provides users with even more capabilities when these components work together.

One of the main benefits of working with Power BI is that it can integrate with other Microsoft services and products and third-party platforms. Users can connect Power BI to Excel, Teams, SharePoint, and Exchange, among others. Whether your data is stored in an on-premises data warehouse, a cloud-based warehouse, or an Excel spreadsheet, Power BI can easily connect to these data sources, provide visualizations based on the data they contain, and offer insights that you can then share with other stakeholders. There are several Power BI products, each of which has different uses; Power BI Desktop creates reports, Power BI Services publishes the reports, and the Power BI mobile app provides users with a way to view each dashboard or report.

Read more about what Power BI is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Power BI?

Power BI is a valuable tool for illustrating what’s happening within an organization in the present. It also has applications for helping to anticipate what may transpire in the future. Because it relies on machine learning capabilities, Power BI can locate patterns in data, then draw from these patterns to predict various “what-if” scenarios. Based on these predictions, Power BI users can create forecasts and work to prepare for different demand patterns that may emerge. They can then communicate this information through data visualizations, which impart key data findings to stakeholders to make more educated business predictions.

Power BI is a go-to for those who work with data because it can be used to input huge stores of data that would be a struggle for other platforms to process. Because this intelligence suite is cloud-based, it provides users with regularly updated algorithms and intelligence capabilities. Those who use Power BI can personalize their experience by creating dashboards that allow them to quickly and easily access necessary data. In addition, it’s possible to create alerts in Power BI, which provide users with up-to-date measurements. Best of all, because this platform can integrate with other business management tools, such as Office 365, SharePoint, SAP, Google Analytics, and Hadoop, it remains a hugely popular tool for those working with data across platforms. 

Is Power BI Easy to Learn?

Power BI is considered a relatively easy-to-learn data visualization and business intelligence product. Most people can learn the basics of this software in about four to six weeks. That time tends to be sufficient for people to become comfortable making a variety of visualizations. This estimate also factors in time for different steps in the learning process, such as installation and setup, loading and integrating designs, preparing and handling data, creating data visualizations, working with DAX functions, making reports and dashboards, and publishing. However, this estimate depends on several factors, such as whether the learner has a prior background working with data visualization software, their experience handling data, and the type of learning environment they choose for their studies.

One of the best ways to learn how to work with this versatile tool is to enroll in an in-person or live online Power BI course through an educational provider like Noble Dekstop. Having the support of an instructor who is available in real-time to answer questions and a cohort of students on the same educational journey can make learning and retaining critical Power BI skills easier and faster.

What to Know Before Learning Power BI

Before studying Power BI, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the standard prerequisites. Although it’s not essential to master any of these tools or apps to be proficient using Power BI, the more knowledge you have of each, the easier and faster it likely will be for you to begin working with Power BI:

Data Analytics

Data analytics is a tool used by organizations to help them analyze different types of data, such as historical, qualitative, and real-time data, so that patterns can be spotted and insights offered based on the findings. Because Power BI relies on critical data analytics concepts such as extracting data from different sources, incorporating various storage models, and performing data visualizations, it’s important to become familiar with the basics of the data analytics process before working with Power BI. The more core data analytics concepts you acquire as a prerequisite, the easier it will be to work with charts, business intelligence reports, and dashboards when you transition to Power BI.

Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel is the leading spreadsheet application around the world. It helps users organize, retrieve, and visualize data. One of the main benefits of acquiring Excel knowledge before working with Power BI is that it can help you skip the time-consuming process of cleaning and preparing data. Excel’s Power Query feature has applications for connecting, cleaning, and shaping data. While it’s not essential to become an expert on all of Excel’s advanced features and functions to work with Power BI, having a fundamental understanding of core Excel concepts, such as how to create basic data visualizations, perform data cleaning, combine datasets, and transform layouts, can make it much easier to learn Power BI.

Business Analytics Basics

Business analytics is a broad category in which raw data is transformed into insights that fuel the decision-making process within an organization. Because Power BI is a business intelligence and analytics tool, it’s helpful for those working with it to have a general understanding of business analytics. Business analytics relies on techniques such as data preparation, predictive analysis, data modeling, statistics, and data mining. It has many similarities to data analytics but focuses more specifically on placing data at the center of business transactions.

Learn Power BI with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Noble Desktop's Power BI Bootcamp is an excellent option if you want to learn more about using Power BI. This project-based course prepares students to use Power Query for data querying, Power BI’s data model for connecting to datasets, and its report view for designing interactive data visualizations and dashboards. Students work with different case studies to learn how to work with various Power BI capabilities and this tool’s DAX language for creating visualizations based on their data. All students have the option of a free retake for up to one year to revisit the material and gain additional practice.

Another excellent learning option for individuals who are interested in working with Power BI is Noble Desktop’s Data Analytics Certificate. This intensive course is offered in the in-person and live online format and provides participants with hands-on instruction with core data analytics and business intelligence tools and programs. Those enrolled complete real-world projects using Microsoft Excel, Python, SQL, and Tableau and have the option of also taking the Power BI Bootcamp free of charge. All students receive instruction from an expert instructor and one-on-one mentoring.

Key Takeaways

  • Microsoft Power BI is a versatile business intelligence and data visualization tool.
  • Most individuals can learn to work with Power BI in as little as four to six weeks.
  • If you want to study Power BI, you may consider learning Microsoft Excel and basic data analytics and business analytics concepts as a prerequisite. This can help speed up the learning process.
  • One of the best ways to learn more about Power BI is to enroll in a class by Noble Desktop.

How to Learn Power BI

Master Power BI with hands-on training. Power BI is a business intelligence tool made by Microsoft that is used to create dashboards and other data visualizations.

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