Sunday, December 31, 2017

New Year Gift: Get My Power BI For The Busy Professional Book For Free

As we go into the new year, 2018, I want to share with you for free my latest book: Power BI for the Busy Professional.

To let you have a glimpse of the value in it, below is the preface:

I started my data analysis career with Comviva – Airtel Africa creating daily, weekly, monthly and ad-hoc reports for the entire operations in the CRBT product unit across Africa. The company operated across ten countries in Africa then and I was creating between 11 and 30 reports daily. The company had just moved to Africa after Bharti Airtel acquired Zain Africa operations, so everything started from scratch – my colleagues and I had to build everything from scratch.

Power BI is the tool I wish we had then. I would have been able to automate all our reports with ability to drill down and drill through, allowed each country operations manager see only what is within their region/country while the big bosses overseeing the entire continent can see everything. I would not have needed to work on public holidays that were local to us since the other country guys needed their reports and were not on holidays.

Most importantly, I would have been able to build more insightful reports and ones focused on providing business intelligence, I would have had more time to do more strategic revenue improving activities rather than slaving away at recurrent reports making. And the management would always have all the data and reports they needed in a very interactive and real-time way.

This book is to give you what I lacked then; it is my own way of making it easy for you to learn and immediately start using Power BI without having to take a leave off work or risk migraines. I have used very easy to follow illustrations with a hands-on approach to ensure that it would be fun and easy for you. You are already a busy professional, this book is to fit perfectly into your life and not disrupt it.

And about me? I am a four-time Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and the only one in my area of award in Africa. Helping people and companies make the most of their data is what I do full-time. I have also written books and created online courses that have been used by over 18,000 people across the world. You can connect with me on LinkedIn:

You can download the book from Amazon Kindle today for free at or get the PDF version at 

Enjoy! And a wonderful 2018 to you!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Power BI #3: The Query Editor

When you launch the Power BI Desktop, the start up screen you get has Get Data on the top left side.

The Get Data is the your first window into the Query Editor. If you are familiar with Excel, the Query Editor is the exact replica of PowerQuery. 

In Power BI, it is your main data manipulation and data cleaning tool. Once you connect to the data you want to analyse, it is good to go to the Query Editor to examine the data and, if the data needs some cleaning or transformation, do all that transformation in the Query Editor.

Clicking on Edit, when done connecting to the data, takes you to the Query Editor, and I recommend you always use Edit rather than Load which brings in the entire data without allowing for preview and modification/transformation.

Below is what the Query Editor looks like and it always opens as a separate window from the main Power BI window.

The Query Editor can be divided into four functional sections.

1. Menu section
2. Queries section
3. Data Preview section, and
4. Query Settings section.

The Menu section is more like the control panel housing all the tools you will need for most of your data cleaning and data transformation processes. In the end, it is a section you will have to be very proficient at and we will do a lot of practical demonstration of real world analysis that involves using this section.

The Queries section mainly lists all the data sources you are connected to. Right-clicking on any of the data source gives you some very useful set of options.

The Data Preview section shows a preview of the data selected in the Queries section. This gives the Query Editor some advantages over loading the data directly into the Data model, especially in a case of a large data set that would take too many system resources and time to load. By loading just a preview, one can get working immediately on the data and even set filters and formulas to pull in just the segment of the data set that is needed rather than pulling in the entire data set. It also has some useful features — like filter, rename, delete, replace errors and others.

The Query Settings serves as a very interactive and feature-rich audit trail. It allows you to see all the transformation steps carried out in applied order. You can modify any step and re-order the steps if you want.

In future chapters we will do some real world analysis that will help us further dive into the Query Editor and see its practical usefulness.