Search icon
Cart icon
Close icon
You have no products in your basket yet
Save more on your purchases!
Savings automatically calculated. No voucher code required
Arrow left icon
All Products
Best Sellers
New Releases
Learning Hub
Free Learning
Arrow right icon
Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide - Third Edition
Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide - Third Edition

Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide: The ultimate beginner's guide to data modeling, visualization, digital storytelling, and more, Third Edition

By Devin Knight , Erin Ostrowsky , Mitchell Pearson , Bradley Schacht
$32.99 $22.99
Book Nov 2022 330 pages 3rd Edition
$32.99 $22.99
$15.99 Monthly
$32.99 $22.99
$15.99 Monthly

What do you get with eBook?

Product feature icon Instant access to your Digital eBook purchase
Product feature icon Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Product feature icon AI Assistant (beta) to help accelerate your learning
Product feature icon Access this title in our online reader with advanced features
Product feature icon DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Buy Now

Product Details

Publication date : Nov 25, 2022
Length 330 pages
Edition : 3rd Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781804613498
Vendor :
Category :
Table of content icon View table of contents Preview book icon Preview Book

Microsoft Power BI Quick Start Guide - Third Edition

Gaining Data Literacy with Power BI

The amount of data produced and collected in the world daily is growing dramatically. As of a 2017 study (, the best estimates are that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated each day, but that number is only expected to have grown since that study is a number of years old now and, more importantly, with the popularity of Internet of Things (IoT) devices. With such staggering numbers, it produces major problems for organizations trying to ensure their workforce has a high level of data literacy.

Not unlike learning a foreign language, data literacy is the concept of reading, understanding, and communicating with data. In its simplest form, someone with high data literacy skills would know how to take raw data provided to them and convert it into something they can use to drive business decisions. This is a skill that takes time to learn but once an individual masters it, they can become incredibly valuable to an organization. Without high levels of data literacy, organizations can seemingly make decisions on gut feelings without supporting data influencing business plans.

The challenge facing organizations with low data literacy

With the amount of data collected, one would assume that every organization treats the data they collect as an incredibly prized resource. However, that’s far from true. Many organizations are struggling to understand the meaning behind key business metrics and how those metrics should serve as indicators for driving timely business decisions.

Many organizations lack the skills required to properly show the value behind their data. Other companies take the approach of having only a select few that specialize in understanding and utilizing their data. While this strategy is better than complete data ignorance, it’s still as if every organization has amassed a collection of the world’s most important books for gaining knowledge but only a small percentage of employees actually know how to read.

More forward-thinking companies realize that data in the hands of just a few experts creates a bottleneck, and the optimal strategy is to democratize data to the masses. As organizations grow, it’s easy to become overwhelmed with these problems, but if companies don’t put an emphasis on treating data as an asset, they will quickly fall behind competitors who put a priority on data literacy.

Overcoming low data literacy with a data strategy

So how should organizations facing the challenge of staff with low data literacy respond? The first thing leadership must focus on is developing a data strategy. Data itself has no intrinsic value without a strategy for using it properly. The goal of a data strategy is to provide an organization-wide plan on how data should be collected, stored, protected, and analyzed. Without such a plan, an organization is susceptible to issues like data loss, violating international personal data collection laws, and even data breaches, which you hear about often in the news.

It is important to realize that every organization is different, and each has its own unique set of challenges to working with data. So, you shouldn’t stress out about trying to find the definitive data strategy guide because it doesn’t exist! There is no one-size-fits-all data strategy approach for all organizations. For example, a data strategy for a university would look very different from a data strategy for a Fortune 500 company. The former is focused on the success of their students while the latter is likely focused on overall profitability. During the planning of a data strategy, an evaluation of each segment of data must be completed to determine how the data will be processed, stored, and shared. This process will often uncover that not all organizational data should be treated the same. For example, timecard entry data from two years ago is far less important than financial statements from the same timeframe. The idea is that a data strategy should be more granular and not make large declarations about all data. Some data is more valuable than others and the time and resources spent should not be the same for all data. An organization’s data strategy should be centered around its unique needs, but the point of this chapter is not to give you a step-by-step guide on developing a data strategy. More than anything, this is to stress the importance of simply having one!

The second thing organization leadership should focus on to drive higher data literacy is building a data culture. An organization with a healthy data culture is inclusive, meaning it puts data in the hands of everyone, leaving no one left out. This can be challenging when there is such a skill gap between the typical business user and a professional data analyst or data scientist. So, what do you do to overcome that skill gap?

Anyone can improve their data literacy skills, but the question is: what is your organization doing to foster an environment that encourages engaging with and thinking about data? Many organizations are embracing a positive data culture by promoting data enablement programs, which include ways for individuals to improve their skills with both training and mentoring. An enablement program is far more than sending a group of eager data enthusiasts to a class and hoping they learn enough to be productive. A thoughtful data enablement program is an ongoing exercise over the course of weeks and sometimes months to groom your team into becoming citizen developers.

Gartner defines a citizen developer as:

”An employee who creates applications capabilities for consumption by themselves or others, using tools that are not actively forbidden by IT or business units. A citizen developer is a persona, not a title or targeted role. They report to a business unit or function other than IT.”

Growing a data culture full of citizen developers doesn’t happen all at once. Many organizations often start by building a group of data champions. This group would consist of individuals from multiple departments that are eager to learn and ready to make a commitment to improving their data literacy skills. The primary goal is to grow experts in each department so that way, as new citizen developers emerge, they have a known resource within their department who can help them learn. As you might expect, it’s always easier to bounce ideas off someone who knows the kind of data you work with rather than someone who is unfamiliar with your data

Education in data literacy can vary from broad topics that apply to any data analytics tool or more specific tutorials geared toward a particular technology you want your citizen developers leveraging. An example of tool-agnostic learning would be how to spot trends in your data, how to determine outliers in data, or even how to choose the best visualization for the data you are working with. Any of these topics can apply to every data analytics tool on the market. While there are many great data analytics tools on the market, this book spotlights Power BI.

You might have gravitated toward this book for a number of reasons. Maybe you are completely new to Power BI, and you needed a way to kickstart your learning. Perhaps you have been learning about Power BI for some time now but you’re completely self-taught, so you are hoping to fill in the gaps of things you just haven’t seen yet. This would be the phase of learning where many would say, “I don’t know what I don’t know.” Whatever the case may be for you, the authors of this book hope to give you the essentials necessary for achieving high data literacy within Power BI.

Why choose Power BI

By grabbing this book, there’s a bit of an assumption that you have already made the decision that Power BI is the tool you or your organization has chosen. If for some reason you are still on the fence, or perhaps Power BI is one of many business intelligence tools your organization uses, then it’s helpful to have an understanding of why so many have already made Power BI their data analytics tool of choice.

Let’s start with collaboration. One of Power BI’s central goals is to get data in the hands of decision-makers. So even though Power BI does come with a central cloud-based portal that users can visit, it may not make sense to give users a new web page to bookmark in their browser. Collaboration really means bringing Power BI to where your users are rather than forcing them to go somewhere new. The way Power BI does this is with integration into many of the tools you know and love from Microsoft like SharePoint, Excel, PowerPoint, Dynamics, Teams, and even your mobile phone. Within each of these tools, Power BI allows collaboration and discussion to occur around the data visualized on reports. This idea of bringing data to where your users already are is one of the significant ways Power BI helps grow a data culture.

Another reason many are drawn to Power BI is because of its ease of use. As you work your way through this book, you will find that Power BI has a very intuitive interface. It allows you to quickly connect to data, build data cleansing transformations, create relationships between data sources, and visualize your data in minutes. More complex problems can take longer of course, but Power BI tends to follow this 80/20 rule: 80 percent of the problems you encounter in Power BI can be solved with a 20 percent level of Power BI knowledge. The deeper knowledge is important of course, but the times you will actually need it are far rarer.

One of the major considerations when picking a business intelligence tool is price. Fortunately, when comparing many of the other top tools on the market, Power BI wins on cost hands down. The competitor with the closest feature parity is seven times more expensive than Power BI for basic report development.

It is important to note that licensing costs can vary depending on your specific needs so this chapter won’t go into more detail on it here. However, we would recommend reviewing licensing details here:

If these reasons aren’t enough, look at the unbiased annual survey performed by Gartner for analytics and BI platforms. Gartner Inc. is a well-recognized technology research firm that conducts research on technologies, which it shares with the public. Power BI continually rates as the highest tool on the market in the categories of “Completeness of Vision” and “Ability to Execute.”

Migrating your Excel skills to Power BI

Microsoft Excel is the number one most popular computer program in the world. While Excel is an amazing tool, the millions of users using it to analyze their data are thirsty for more. Fortunately, Power BI was designed with the Excel fanatic in mind. Many of the skills collected over time while designing Excel solutions still apply in Power BI. Concepts like modeling data, writing Excel formulas, and building PivotTables, all have comparable features in Power BI.

Excel was the first self-service business intelligence tool provided by Microsoft. Starting in Excel 2010, features known as Power Pivot and later Power Query were added to enable more advanced data analytics problem solving that traditional Excel could not handle. These two features would later become the core building blocks for what Power BI is today. So much so that even today, any Excel solution developed using Power Pivot and Power Query can be migrated into Power BI via a simple migration wizard.

Having an understanding of these additional Excel features can give someone an incredible head start when learning Power BI. If you are reading this book and feel confident in your Excel skills, pay close attention throughout this book to each tutorial and consider how you would have solved the various use cases in Excel. You will likely find that Power BI is an incredible time saver over how you would have previously solved these problems in Excel.


While low levels of data literacy continue to be a massive challenge for organizations, there remains hope for improvement! Technologies like Power BI are one, but not the only, ingredient for a successful data literacy recipe. A well-thought-out data strategy cannot be overlooked. Without a proper plan for your organization’s data, you are treating one of your biggest assets too nonchalantly. Commitment to a data strategy doesn’t happen without buy-in on a culture change within your organization. A strong data culture leads to enablement that scales throughout your organization.

In the next chapter, you will get your first look at the capabilities of Power BI as you learn about the data connectivity options that are available.

Join our community on Discord

Join our community’s Discord space for discussions with the authors and other readers:

Left arrow icon Right arrow icon
Download code icon Download Code

Key benefits

  • Learn faster with practical examples of the latest features of Power BI, including navigator buttons, column-level security, visualizing goals, and more
  • Migrate your existing Excel and data analysis skills to Power BI
  • Build accurate analytical models, reports, and dashboards, now in color


Updated with the latest features and improvements in Power BI, this fast-paced yet comprehensive guide will help you master the core concepts of data visualization quickly. You’ll learn how to install Power BI, design effective data models, and build basic dashboards and visualizations to help you make better business decisions. This new edition will also help you bridge the gap between MS Excel and Power BI. Throughout this book, you’ll learn how to obtain data from a variety of sources and clean it using the Power Query Editor. You’ll also start designing data models to navigate and explore relationships within your data and building DAX formulas to make data easier to work with. Visualizing data is a key element of this book, so there’s an emphasis on helping you get to grips with data visualization styles and enhanced digital storytelling. As you progress, you’ll start building your own dataflows, gain an understanding of the Common Data Model, and automate dataflow refreshes to eradicate data cleaning inefficiency. You’ll learn how to administer your organization's Power BI environment so that deployment can be made seamless, data refreshes can run properly, and security can be fully implemented. By the end of this Power BI book, you’ll know how to get the most out of Power BI for better business intelligence.

What you will learn

Connect to data sources using import, DirectQuery, and live connection options Use Power Query Editor for data transformation and data cleansing processes, and write M and R scripts and dataflows to do the same in the cloud Design effective reports with built-in and custom visuals to optimize user experience Implement row-level and column-level security in your dashboards Administer a Power BI cloud tenant for your organization Use built-in AI capabilities to enhance Power BI data transformation techniques Deploy your Power BI Desktop files into Power BI Report Server

What do you get with eBook?

Product feature icon Instant access to your Digital eBook purchase
Product feature icon Download this book in EPUB and PDF formats
Product feature icon AI Assistant (beta) to help accelerate your learning
Product feature icon Access this title in our online reader with advanced features
Product feature icon DRM FREE - Read whenever, wherever and however you want
Buy Now

Product Details

Publication date : Nov 25, 2022
Length 330 pages
Edition : 3rd Edition
Language : English
ISBN-13 : 9781804613498
Vendor :
Category :

Table of Contents

13 Chapters
Preface Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
1. Gaining Data Literacy with Power BI Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
2. Connecting to Data Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
3. Data Transformation Strategies Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
4. Building the Data Model Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
5. Leveraging DAX Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
6. Visualizing Data Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
7. Digital Storytelling with Power BI Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
8. Using a Cloud Deployment with the Power BI Service Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
9. Data Cleansing in the Cloud with Dataflows Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
10. On-Premises Solutions with Power BI Report Server Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
11. Other Books You May Enjoy Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
12. Index Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Customer reviews

Filter icon Filter
Top Reviews
Rating distribution
Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon Empty star icon 0
(0 Ratings)
5 star 0%
4 star 0%
3 star 0%
2 star 0%
1 star 0%

Filter reviews by

No reviews found
Get free access to Packt library with over 7500+ books and video courses for 7 days!
Start Free Trial


How do I buy and download an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Where there is an eBook version of a title available, you can buy it from the book details for that title. Add either the standalone eBook or the eBook and print book bundle to your shopping cart. Your eBook will show in your cart as a product on its own. After completing checkout and payment in the normal way, you will receive your receipt on the screen containing a link to a personalised PDF download file. This link will remain active for 30 days. You can download backup copies of the file by logging in to your account at any time.

If you already have Adobe reader installed, then clicking on the link will download and open the PDF file directly. If you don't, then save the PDF file on your machine and download the Reader to view it.

Please Note: Packt eBooks are non-returnable and non-refundable.

Packt eBook and Licensing When you buy an eBook from Packt Publishing, completing your purchase means you accept the terms of our licence agreement. Please read the full text of the agreement. In it we have tried to balance the need for the ebook to be usable for you the reader with our needs to protect the rights of us as Publishers and of our authors. In summary, the agreement says:

  • You may make copies of your eBook for your own use onto any machine
  • You may not pass copies of the eBook on to anyone else
How can I make a purchase on your website? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

If you want to purchase a video course, eBook or Bundle (Print+eBook) please follow below steps:

  1. Register on our website using your email address and the password.
  2. Search for the title by name or ISBN using the search option.
  3. Select the title you want to purchase.
  4. Choose the format you wish to purchase the title in; if you order the Print Book, you get a free eBook copy of the same title. 
  5. Proceed with the checkout process (payment to be made using Credit Card, Debit Cart, or PayPal)
Where can I access support around an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
  • If you experience a problem with using or installing Adobe Reader, the contact Adobe directly.
  • To view the errata for the book, see and view the pages for the title you have.
  • To view your account details or to download a new copy of the book go to
  • To contact us directly if a problem is not resolved, use
What eBook formats do Packt support? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Our eBooks are currently available in a variety of formats such as PDF and ePubs. In the future, this may well change with trends and development in technology, but please note that our PDFs are not Adobe eBook Reader format, which has greater restrictions on security.

You will need to use Adobe Reader v9 or later in order to read Packt's PDF eBooks.

What are the benefits of eBooks? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon
  • You can get the information you need immediately
  • You can easily take them with you on a laptop
  • You can download them an unlimited number of times
  • You can print them out
  • They are copy-paste enabled
  • They are searchable
  • There is no password protection
  • They are lower price than print
  • They save resources and space
What is an eBook? Chevron down icon Chevron up icon

Packt eBooks are a complete electronic version of the print edition, available in PDF and ePub formats. Every piece of content down to the page numbering is the same. Because we save the costs of printing and shipping the book to you, we are able to offer eBooks at a lower cost than print editions.

When you have purchased an eBook, simply login to your account and click on the link in Your Download Area. We recommend you saving the file to your hard drive before opening it.

For optimal viewing of our eBooks, we recommend you download and install the free Adobe Reader version 9.