Free Power BI training sources

Average full article read:

I’ve written about the Microsoft Power BI service a few times over the last year, and shared some of the work that I’ve done with it. If you have any interest in data and turning it into information, then I’m an absolute fan of Power BI. And if you want to share in some of the data fun, then you might want to spend a little time learning about what’s possible. So here’s my list of go-to places for free Power BI training!

I’m not a data geek, or a statistical whizz, but an every day user that has learnt that you can tell some really cool stories when you turn data into information. I’ve been able to learn some of the skills for manipulating data from colleagues, and from online courses, and from watching others. But I’ve found that you have to learn to play with data yourself, because the process of playing with the data, creating visualisations, and asking your own questions is part of the learning journey.

Free edX course: Analysing and Visualising Data with Power BI

imageThe Microsoft/edX partnership seems to be producing a lot of courses at the moment, and this course is a great example.

In this course, you will learn how to connect, explore, and visualize data with Power BI. This course is taught in short, lecture-based videos, complete with demos, quizzes, and hands-on labs. The Power BI product team guides you through Power BI end-to-end, starting from how to connect to and import your data, author reports using Power BI Desktop, publish those reports to the Power BI service, create dashboards, and share to business users so that they can consume the dashboards through the web and their mobile devices.

What you’ll learn

  • Connecting, importing, shaping and transforming data for business intelligence
  • Visualising data, authoring reports, and scheduling automated refresh of your reports
  • Creating and sharing dashboards based on reports in Power BI desktop and Excel
  • Using natural language queries
  • Creating real time dashboards

When & where to get it

The edX course starts on 12 January 2016, and lasts for four weeks

Sign up online here


Free Microsoft Virtual Academy webcast: Bring the power of data to every user in your organisation

This isn’t really a course, but more of an introduction to the whole Power BI story – and what’s possible in terms of connecting different data sources, and bringing information to users. It includes demonstrations as well as presentation materials. The Microsoft Virtual Academy offers a broad range of courses on data subjects – Big Data, Advanced Analytics, Business Intelligence – from Level 100 (basic introduction) to Level 400 (rocket science level!).
There are a number of other Power BI courses on the Microsoft Virtual Academy, but I wouldn’t recommend anything that’s over 6-8 months old, as the pace of change has been so fast in the service, so much of the older material will be out of date.

What you’ll learn

It includes discussions and demos that focus on integration with Power BI, Excel, SQL Server Analysis Services (SSAS), SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Microsoft Dynamics, and SharePoint BI.

When & where to get it

This webcast is always available online

Watch online here

Free Power BI training resources from Jen Underwood

Jen Underwood is an enthusiastic and vocal member of the Power BI team who has a long-running website and blog focusing on BI and Advanced Analytics. She has an excellent page of on-demand webinars, videos, hands-on labs and other training resources. Jen also writes a regular stream of blog posts on Power BI, and more generally on analytics, and I’d definitely recommend adding her blog to your reading list.

What you’ll learn

Jen’s website has training materials for the Power BI service, and then specific sections for the mobile apps, the Power BI desktop app, Power BI in Excel, the different data sources that Power BI has built in, and a section on developing for Power BI.

When & where to get it

Look on Jen’s website for the training section

Recommended tags for you