Applied Power BI Book (3rd Edition)

I’m excited to announce the third edition of my Applied Microsoft Power BI book! When the original book was published  in January 2016, it was the first Power BI book at that time. Since then, I helped many companies adopt or transition to Power BI, and taught hundreds of students. It’s been a great experience to witness the momentum surrounding Power BI.

The third revision added more than 20% new content (the book is now 426 pages) and probably that much content was rewritten to keep the book up with the ever-changing world of Power BI. Because I had to draw a line somewhere, Applied Microsoft Power BI (3nd edition) covers all features that were that were released by early December 2017. As with my previous books, I’m committed to help my readers with book-related questions and welcome all feedback on the book discussion forum on the book page. While you are there, feel free to check out the book resources (sample chapter, front matter, and more). I also encourage you to follow my blog at http://prologika.com/blog and subscribing to my newsletter at http://prologika.com to stay on the Power BI latest.

How to get THE Power BI book?

  • Amazon paper copy (should be available next week)
  • Amazon Kindle ebook
  • Other popular channels coming up shortly

Bring your data to life for a third time! Keep on reading and Happy New Year!

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apbi3

APPLIED MICROSOFT POWER BI (3rd Edition)
 (BRING YOUR DATA TO LIFE!)

Applied Power BI (3rd Edition)Bring your data to life today and learn how Power BI changes the way everyone gains insights from data.

    • Publication date: 1/1/2018
    • Size: 426 pages, 7.5″ x 9.25″
    • Price: $49.99
    • ISBN 10: 0-9766353-8-0
    • ISBN 13: 978-0-9766353-8-3

new

 

 

 

Introduces information workers, data analysts, IT pros, and developers to Microsoft Power BI — a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone, making it free to get started!

Power BI changes the way you gain insights from data; it brings you a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone. It does so under a simple promise: “five seconds to sign up, five minutes to wow!”

“That is why resources like this fantastic book will become instrumental for you!”
Jen Underwood
Principal Program Manager
Microsoft Business Intelligence

Synopsis

An insightful tour that provides an authoritative yet independent view of this exciting technology, this guide introduces Microsoft Power BI—a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone, making it free to get started!

Information Workers will learn how to connect to popular cloud services to derive instant insights, create interactive reports and dashboards, and view them in the browser and on the go! Data Analysts will discover how to integrate and transform data from virtually everywhere and then implement sophisticated self-service models. The book also teaches BI and IT Pros how to establish a trustworthy environment that promotes collaboration, and they’ll implement Power BI-centric solutions for descriptive, real-time, and predictive analytics. Developers will find out how to integrate custom applications with Power BI, to embed reports, and to implement custom visuals to effectively present any data.

Ideal for both experienced BI practitioners and beginners, this book doesn’t assume you have any prior data analytics experience. It’s designed as an easy-to-follow guide that introduces new concepts with step-by-step instructions and hands-on exercises.


What’s inside

  • Get insights from popular cloud services on any device!
  • Implement sophisticated personal BI models!
  • Enable team BI and implement descriptive, predictive, and real-time BI solutions!
  • Extend Power BI with custom visuals and report-enable custom apps!
    …and much more!

Resources

Front matter Sample chapter (Chapter 1) Errata
Index Source code Forum
Back cover First edition page
Second edition page

Reviews

“The true power in Power BI cannot be appreciated without understanding what the offering can do and how to best use it. That is why resources like this fantastic book will become instrumental for you. This book starts by providing an overview of the foundational components of Power BI. It introduces Power BI Desktop, data modeling concepts, building reports, publishing and designing dashboards. Readers will be up and running in no time. It then moves on to bring you up to speed on deeper dive topics such as data gateways, data re-fresh, streaming analytics, embedding and the Power BI data visualization API. Not only is Teo one of the first people in the world to learn and write about Power BI 2.0, he also brings a wealth of knowledge from deploying the first real-world implementations. Much like Teo’s previous books on Analysis Services and Reporting Services, this Power BI book will be a must read for serious Microsoft professionals. It will also empower data analysts and enthusiasts everywhere.”

Jen Underwood
Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Business Intelligence

“I’m impressed about the breadth of the topics covered by Teo Lachev in this book, I’ve just took a quick look at every chapter, and Teo covered all the topics at least at the point where you can start doing something (and in some chapter also more than just an intro). Considering the speed of Power BI releases and the effort required in writing a book, I know the huge effort behind this. My kudos to this book!”

Macro Russo
Consultant, SQLBI

How to purchase

Buy the paper copy from Amazon
Buy the Kindle ebook from Amazon

 

apbi2

APPLIED MICROSOFT POWER BI (2nd Edition)
 (BRING YOUR DATA TO LIFE!)

Applied Power BI (2nd Edition)Bring your data to life today and learn how Power BI changes the way everyone gains insights from data.

    • Publication date: 1/20/2017
    • Size: 380 pages, 7.5″ x 9.25″
    • Price: $49.99
    • ISBN 10: 0-9766353-7-2
    • ISBN 13: 978-0-9766353-7-6

 

 

 

There is a newer edition of this book

Introduces information workers, data analysts, IT pros, and developers to Microsoft Power BI — a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone, making it free to get started!

Power BI changes the way you gain insights from data; it brings you a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone. It does so under a simple promise: “five seconds to sign up, five minutes to wow!”

“That is why resources like this fantastic book will become instrumental for you!”
Jen Underwood
Principal Program Manager
Microsoft Business Intelligence

Synopsis

An insightful tour that provides an authoritative yet independent view of this exciting technology, this guide introduces Microsoft Power BI—a cloud-hosted, business intelligence and analytics platform that democratizes and opens BI to everyone, making it free to get started!

Information Workers will learn how to connect to popular cloud services to derive instant insights, create interactive reports and dashboards, and view them in the browser and on the go! Data Analysts will discover how to integrate and transform data from virtually everywhere and then implement sophisticated self-service models. The book also teaches BI and IT Pros how to establish a trustworthy environment that promotes collaboration, and they’ll implement Power BI-centric solutions for descriptive, real-time, and predictive analytics. Developers will find out how to integrate custom applications with Power BI, to embed reports, and to implement custom visuals to effectively present any data.

Ideal for both experienced BI practitioners and beginners, this book doesn’t assume you have any prior data analytics experience. It’s designed as an easy-to-follow guide that introduces new concepts with step-by-step instructions and hands-on exercises.


What’s inside

  • Get insights from popular cloud services on any device!
  • Implement sophisticated personal BI models!
  • Enable team BI and implement descriptive, predictive, and real-time BI solutions!
  • Extend Power BI with custom visuals and report-enable custom apps!
    …and much more!

Resources

Front matter Sample chapter (Chapter 1) Errata
Index Source code Forum
Back cover First edition page

Reviews

“The true power in Power BI cannot be appreciated without understanding what the offering can do and how to best use it. That is why resources like this fantastic book will become instrumental for you. This book starts by providing an overview of the foundational components of Power BI. It introduces Power BI Desktop, data modeling concepts, building reports, publishing and designing dashboards. Readers will be up and running in no time. It then moves on to bring you up to speed on deeper dive topics such as data gateways, data re-fresh, streaming analytics, embedding and the Power BI data visualization API. Not only is Teo one of the first people in the world to learn and write about Power BI 2.0, he also brings a wealth of knowledge from deploying the first real-world implementations. Much like Teo’s previous books on Analysis Services and Reporting Services, this Power BI book will be a must read for serious Microsoft professionals. It will also empower data analysts and enthusiasts everywhere.”

Jen Underwood
Principal Program Manager, Microsoft Business Intelligence

“I’m impressed about the breadth of the topics covered by Teo Lachev in this book, I’ve just took a quick look at every chapter, and Teo covered all the topics at least at the point where you can start doing something (and in some chapter also more than just an intro). Considering the speed of Power BI releases and the effort required in writing a book, I know the huge effort behind this. My kudos to this book!”

Macro Russo
Consultant, SQLBI

How to purchase

Buy the paper copy from Amazon
Buy the Kindle ebook from Amazon

 

Prologika Newsletter Winter 2017

Sharing Reports with External Users

Happy Holidays! I hope you’re enjoying this special time of the year – time for sharing and giving. Speaking of sharing, how does your company share BI artifacts with your B2B or B2C partners? Do you still send Excel spreadsheets or embed canned SSRS reports? If so, Power BI offers a better sharing model and I’ll show you how in this letter. And about Power BI, I’m proud to announce that the third revision of my “Applied Power BI Book” should be out in a week or so. Thoroughly updated to reflect the latest of the ever-changing cloud world of Power BI and featuring 20% new content, this book is the self-study resource your organization needs to master Power BI.

Sharing in Power BI Service

Many organizations share reports with external users for Business to Business (B2B) or Business to Consumer (B2C) scenarios. If all you need is granting some external users access to some cool interactive reports and dashboards inside powerbi.com, you can do so by just sharing the content out using dashboard sharing or apps, as you do with internal users. But there are some special considerations though so read on.

Like using Power BI for internal use, external users need to be authenticated by a trusted authority. To authenticate external users, Power BI relies on Azure Active Directory (AAD). Therefore, the external organization and user need a record in AAD. If the user doesn’t have an AAD account, the user will be prompted to create one. Let’s say Elena from Adventure Works wants to grant Matthew from Prologika access to some Power BI content. Elena creates a workspace to host the external content and then she invites Matthew. To do so, she can simply share a dashboard or create an app, and then add Matthew’s email as a recipient. Matthew receives an invitation email with a link to the dashboard or app. Matthew clicks the link to access the content. Azure AAD verifies that Prologika and Matthew have records in AAD. If so, AAD will ask Matthew to sign in with his AAD credentials and grant him access to the shared Power BI content.

About cost, Power BI licensing for external users is not much different from licensing internal users. In a nutshell, the external user must have a Power BI Pro license to access Power BI content in the sharing tenant. This license can be acquired in one of three ways:

  1. The sharing organization is on Power BI Premium – If Adventure Works is on Power BI Premium and the sharing workspace is in a premium capacity, Elena can share content to external users, just like she can share content with internal Power BI Free users.
  2. The sharing organization assigns Power BI Pro licenses – Elena can assign one of her organization’s Power BI Pro licenses to Matthew.
  3. The external organization assigns Power BI Pro licenses – In this case, Matthew has a Power BI Pro license from the Prologika’s Power BI tenant. Matthew can bring in his license to all organizations that share content with Prologika.

Sharing with Power BI Embedded

Sharing in Power BI Service is simple, but it has some important drawbacks:

  • Dependency on Azure Active Directory (AAD) – Every user must have an AAD account.
  • Not adequate support for B2C – AAD is expected to support Live IDs soon, such as outlook.com emails, but you’d need to wait for other providers. Yet, many B2C apps allow external customers to authenticate with email addresses of their choice.
  • Per-user license – Despite that Power BI offers three licensing options for external users, every user must be covered by a Power BI Pro license.
  • Read-only reports – Users are limited to read-only reports. They can change existing reports or create new reports.

Collectively known as Power BI Embedded, the Power BI embedded APIs can help your developers overcome these challenges in a cost-effective way. A developer can integrate any modern web-enabled app to embed Power BI dashboards, reports, and even natural questions, so that they appear as a part of your company’s offering (see the screenshot below), instead of redirecting the user to powerbi.com. Reports not only preserve their interactive features, but also users can edit them or create new reports from scratch (if your app lets them)!

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There are two ways to acquire Power BI Embedded. If your organization is on Power BI Premium, you already have everything you need to embed content for both internal and external users (assuming a P plan as EM plans are more restrictive and for embedding only). Most smaller companies and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) looking for embedding content to external users only, would gravitate toward the Azure Power BI Embedded plans. Starting at $750/month, there are currently six Azure plans depending on how much capacity (memory, cores, and report views) you need. The Azure plans can also result in significant cost savings because they allow you to quickly scale up and down, and even pause them! For example, if the most report activity happens within normal working hours, you can scale it down to a lower plan outside the peak period.

Have you used Power BI Embedded before? When Microsoft introduced Power BI Premium in June 2017, they also revamped Power BI Embedded. Previously, Power BI Embedded was for embedding content for external users only. It was implemented as a Microsoft Azure Service and it had its own content storage and different APIs. The problem was that the old Power BI Embedded didn’t have feature parity with Power BI Service. This all changed with the new Power BI Embedded. Think of the new Power BI Embedded as Power BI Service with its own licensing model that has the same features as Power BI Service. The old Power BI Embedded will be discontinued in mid-2018, so it’s time to migrate and modernize your apps.

Power BI Embedded can deliver tremendous value to your business partners by bringing the powerbi.com engaging experience but embedded in your portals and apps. If you need implementation help with Power BI Embedded, drop us an email at http://prologika.com/contact/. Prologika has successfully helped a few organizations integrate their apps with Power BI Embedded. Learn about the business value from one of our engagements in the Microsoft’s “ZynBit Empowers Sales with Microsoft Power BI Embedded” case study.

As you’d probably agree, the BI landscape is fast-moving and it might be overwhelming. If you need any help with planning and implementing your next-generation BI solution, don’t hesitate to contact me. As a Microsoft Gold Partner and premier BI firm, you can trust us to help you plan and implement your data analytics projects, and rest assured that you’ll get the best service. Regards,

Teo Lachev

Teo Lachev President and Owner
Prologika, LLC | Making Sense of Data
Microsoft Partner | Gold Data Analytics

Field Description Support in Power BI Desktop

I’m a big fan of self-documented semantic models. Business users have a hard time getting their way around complex models and descriptions can go a long explaining the purpose of metadata. After waiting for years for Excel to support field descriptions (the wait is still on), the December update of Power BI Desktop now supports them.

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The new Field Properties window lets you enter descriptions for self-service data models. When connecting to Analysis Services, descriptions just light up on hover. A true Christmas gift! And Q&A in Power BI Desktop makes it ever better.