Introduction to Power BI

Homepage for the Introduction to Power BI workshop hosted by the Brock University Digital Scholarship Lab

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Introduction to Power BI

This workshop will cover how to use the Power BI tool to gain some basic insights into our data and create visualizations that convey those insights. Topics covered will include:

Estimated workshop length: 2 hours


Setup Instructions

In preparation for this workshop, you will need to install Power BI Desktop on your computer. Keep in mind that Power BI Desktop is not Mac compatible so if you want to participate in this workshop you will need to use a windows computer or set up a windows environment on your Mac computer.

If you do not already have the program you can get it by following these steps (keep in mind that you may need to contact your institution for permission to install programs):


Workshop Tasks

Task Set #1
URL for first dataset:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/BrockDSL/Introduction-to-Power-BI/master/Mahogany%20Mary%202018%20Sales%20Data.csv
  1. Open Power BI and connect to the dataset using the web connector
  2. Open the Power Query Editor using the “Transform Data” button
  3. Check that all of the data types are correct and fix any that are not
  4. Sort the data by product
  5. Find a potential error in the data. Once you find one, let us know in the chat what it is and why it might have occurred
  6. Undo your sort using the Applied Steps menu
  7. Calculate 2 new columns:
    A column for Profit (SaleTotal/(1+taxrate)) A column for Tax Paid (Sale Total minus Profit)
  8. Save your changes and close the editor. Once you do this, type “SAVED” in the chat

Task Set #2
URL for second dataset:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/BrockDSL/Datasets-for-the-Power-BI-Workshops/master/Practice%20Data/Customer%20Satisfaction.csv
  1. Connect to the new dataset
  2. Check that all of the data types are correct using the Power Query Editor
  3. Save and close the Power Query Editor and then go to the Model View
  4. Disconnect the datasets and then reconnect them using Order Number
  5. Once completed write “DATA CONNECTED!!!!” in the chat

Task Set #3

  1. Make a visualization showing Profit by Country by selecting the visualization type first then choosing the fields. Add a filter so it only shows France and Canada
  2. Make a visualization showing Profit by Product by just selecting the fields. If you don’t like the default visualization type chosen by Power BI then select a different visualization type to change it (making sure the visualization is still selected)
  3. Make a visualization using the Q&A tool showing Tips by Country
  4. Make a visualization showing the Maximum Tip received from each Country
  5. Make a visualization showing the Average Satisfaction Rating by Country
  6. Try filtering your visualizations by each other. If you hold down CTRL on your keyboard you can select multiple options
  7. When completed type “VISUALIZATIONS MASTERED!!!” in the chat

Task Set #4

  1. Use the Format menu to adjust at least 3 features on one of your visualizations
  2. Use the Analytics menu to add a helpful feature to one of your visualizations. Remember that different types of visualizations have different kinds of analytics that can be applied
  3. Once you are done type “WORKSHOP COMPLETED!!” in the chat

Next Steps

If you want to delve deeper into what Power BI is capable of, I recommend checking out the official Power BI learning paths.


This workshop is brought to you by the Brock University Digital Scholarship Lab. For a listing of our upcoming workshops go to Experience BU if you are a Brock affiliate or Eventbrite page for external attendees.