Power BI news: Starting now, play with 44+ new features

Wow, have I got something for you. Some real insider information that I got after talking with a Microsoft employee. Now it’s my duty to share this rumor with all of you!
Here it goes: According to a secret Microsoft source, the Power BI team gets paid in food per feature  😉
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This also seems to be the only plausible explanation for the incredibly HUGE release they had this month. Which and how many features? Read on!

goku-9000[1]

Read morePower BI news: Starting now, play with 44+ new features

Motivation and the road to success

Yesterday, I read a conversation between Brent Ozar (blog|twitter) and Jen Stirrup (blog|twitter) on twitter. It gave me a fun but quite insane idea.
To get the ball rolling, I bugged my manager at 10PM. Lucky for him, it was via mail.
Well, today we had a long call about this mail. He thought it would be a good idea but it still needs some work.
This last quarter of 2015 is already fully booked for me. This means that this idea will make 2016 an even crazier year than 2015.

You’re probably curious, so read on for some tips!

Read moreMotivation and the road to success

Data Culture Day London – Power BI Edition

I submitted my sessions for the Data Culture Day London – Power BI Edition.
It’s a free event at Microsoft in London on 28th of November.

The main audience are business professionals who want to learn how to use Power BI and Excel better.

I selected several sessions from my “archive”

  • Power BI – Pushing beyond the built-in limitations
    • Tips, tricks and some hacks to make full use all Power BI capabilities
  • Power BI – Personal BI for the SME
    • A dive into the value PowerBI adds to the average business
  • Power BI – From Personal BI to Personal Data Science
    • A look at using Power BI to provide users with self-service capabilities in Data Science projects
  • Putting data in your culture with Power BI
    • A look at why and how Power BI fits into your BI strategy

Read on for more!

Read moreData Culture Day London – Power BI Edition

Holding off the cloud?

I’m interested to know some of the reasons you’re currently not moving your data, or at least a part of it, to the cloud.

Tell me the reason you’re not likely to use a cloud service like PowerBI.com.
Or do you know someone who’s not going to put their data in the cloud? Let me know as well!

Did you know about Power BI’s ability to connect to your on site data? And it’s ability to not put your data in the cloud? Does this want to make you adopt Power BI?

 

Seriously, tell me your reasons and I’ll do my best to address these issues in an upcoming blog post.

I want YOU to comment, tweet, hit me up on LinkedIn, or use whatever method suits you the best. Just let me know the reason (or reasons) you’re currently holding off the boat on adopting “the cloud” for your data analytics.

Let’s get this discussion going!15145-illustration-of-a-stormy-cloud-with-a-warning-symbol-pv[1]

Plotting time series in Power BI

Today we’ll match up the data visualization power in Power BI to the ARR in R.
Every time I see one of these post about data visualization in R, I get this itch to test the limits of Power BI.

Tonight I read a post about Plotting time series in R using Yahoo Finance data by Joseph Rickert on the Revolution Analytics blog.
In his blog he describes, in its most simple form, how he gets stock data from the Yahoo Finance API and plots it on a chart.
Sounds like something Power BI can do!

Plotting time series in Power BI - 1

He then goes on to describe making the chart interactive using fancy R magic.

Read morePlotting time series in Power BI

SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3 is here!

What a busy day, first great Power BI news in the form of a contest with huge prizes and of course the new version of the Personal Gateway but we can’t forget that SQL Server still serves most of that data you’re looking at.
And now there’s a new Community Technical Preview available!
Get the SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3 download here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=48726
The most fun enhancements are found in Reporting Services.
SSRS, finally, has a new HTML5 rendering engineSQLServerCTP2.3_HTML5 Rendering
It also has treemap charts
SQLServerCTP2.3_Treemap chart And who could forget the sunburst charts!SQLServerCTP2.3_Sunburst chart
Highlight of other enhancements include
SSAS
    – User interface for SSAS Extended Events
    – New DAX functions
    – New behaviors for DAX variables
    – Improved query generation for DirectQuery
Database Engine
    – Row-level Security
– AES Encryption for Endpoints
Master Data Services
    – Excel Add-in to manage business rules
    – M2M relationships in derived hierarchies
    – Merge conflicts

Power BI Custom Visual Contest!

You already know Power BI allows custom data visualizations to be build.
And now Microsoft has created a contest with a $5000 grand prize for those who want to contribute to a better Power BI experience.

Afraid you won’t be the best?
2nd place awards $2500 and 3rd awards $1500 !

You’re not the 3rd best?
there will be THREE (!!!) “People Choice Awards” up for grab as well. Each worth $1000.
These will be judged by the number of twitter mentions for each entry.

Sadly winning one of the first 3 prizes won’t be possible by mentions.
But they will use the following criteria

  • 35.00% – Originality and creativity of the Visual
  • 35.00% – Usefulness and applicability
  • 30.00% – Design and code quality

Interested?
Check out the full post on the official Power BI blog

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

Power BI Logo

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!

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

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!


Read morePower BI 2.0 – Day 1: Introduction

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

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