Power BI 2.0 – Day 2: Power BI Desktop and our first dashboards

This entry is part 2 of 2 in the series Power BI: Zero to hero

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Power BI: Zero to Hero series
Day 2: Power BI Desktop and our first dashboards

Today we’ll take a look at the new Power BI Desktop application and we’ll create our first (or 3 first) simple dashboard(s).
We’ll be using different data sources like Excel, an OData feed and even a web page!


In this blog series, together we’ll go from beginner to expert in Power BI as fast as humanly possible.
On our path, we’ll use Microsoft and non-Microsoft resources and we’ll try to explore what Power BI can add to an enterprise BI stack.

We’ll be using datasets like the old AdventureWorks database and any useful databases we can get from opendata initiatives.
But we’ll also explore the new data source possibilities included with Power BI.
These include web pages, OData feeds, On-Premise Tabular models and much more.

Read on to get started!

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Power BI 2.0 – Day 1: Introduction

This entry is part 1 of 2 in the series Power BI: Zero to hero

Power BI Logo

Power BI: Zero to Hero series
Day 1: introduction

Today we’ll look at what Power BI was, is and can be thanks to users everywhere.


In this blog series, together we’ll go from beginner to expert in Power BI as fast as humanly possible.
On our path, we’ll use Microsoft and non-Microsoft resources and we’ll try to explore what Power BI can add to an enterprise BI stack.

We’ll be using datasets like the old AdventureWorks database and any useful databases we can get from opendata initiatives.
But we’ll also explore the new data source possibilities included with Power BI.
These include web pages, OData feeds, On-Premise Tabular models and much more.

This series will be split into “days”. With each day representing a bitesize and mostly self-contained “module”.
You can either go through all the content at once or pace it 1 day at a time.
As busy as everyone is these days, it is my suggestion to go through each “day” during a lunch, a quiet evening or even in a short group session at work.

This way, together we’ll go step by step through the desktop application and the web service.
Along the way we’ll learn to work with Power BI and discover in which way, different parts can be fitted into an existing Enterprise Business Intelligence solution.

Read on to get started!


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Free datasets

We all have those default vendor datasets.
But from time to time, we all just want a newer and fresher datasets, small or large, to play with.
Here you can find a list of real and useful opendata data to play with.

 

I’ll keep this list updated when I see new, incredible or just fun datasets.

Got a dataset that you think needs to be listed as well?
Post it in the comments!

2015/08/16 – Update: Added a realtime dataset section and added UK and EU opengov historical data.
2015/08/02 – First published: Added several useful datasets from my favorites


Real-time Data

City of Philadelphia Bike Share Stations
API info
Data relating to the Indego BikeShare program, including station locations and the number of available bikes.
More information about the program is available at: https://www.rideindego.com/

Live traffic information from the UK Highways Agency
Several API’s depending on the information you want
Live traffic information data showing traffic information on the strategic road network in England, maintained by the Highways Agency.


Historical Data

New York City OpenData
1300+ recent datasets, formatted for ease of use
makes the wealth of public data generated by various New York City agencies and other City organizations available for public use.

Reddit 1.7 Billion Public Comments
Original reddit post
Torrent of complete archive | Torrent of 54M comment subset
This dataset in Google BigQuery (direct link)
A dataset that is 250GB when compressed, over a terabyte uncompressed. Talk about a lot of data for all your text analysis needs…

Airline on-time performance data
zip files per year
The data consists of flight arrival and departure details for all commercial flights within the USA, from October 1987 to April 2008. This is a large dataset: there are nearly 120 million records in total, and takes up 1.6 gigabytes of space compressed and 12 gigabytes when uncompressed.

MuckRock
4000+ FOIA datasets all forms (email, excel, …)
is a collaborative news site that brings together journalists, researchers, activists, and regular citizens to request, analyze & share government documents.
Data is requested through Freedom of Information Acts.

New York State
2500+ charts, maps, calendars and of course regular datasets
Not only the city New York, but also the state has opened up it’s data.
Anything ranging from Citi Bike System Data to Subway Entrances to even Bicycle Routes.

World Country information
Site with API links
Get information about countries via a RESTful API

UK Open Government Project
23000+ datasets in different forms (CSV, XML, API, …)
Everything you ever wanted to know about the UK and more 🙂

European Union Open Data Portal
8600+ datasets available
Ranging from employment to industry to education data

Belgian Open Data Initiative
Approaching 2000 pure Belgian datasets

Opendata and citizen datascience

Data analysis and visualizations are the most useful end products as BI professionals and even data scientists. They give actionable insights to the end user.

With all the data initiatives and people working with it, there are now a lot of examples of government open data being used to better the community.
But I’ve yet to see a lot of  Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) datasets being used or visualized.

This post uses an enriched dataset about the deaths in California Police Custody during the 2013 – 2015 period acquired using the FOIA.

Interested in getting the enriched dataset and analysing it yourself?
Read on!

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