So, you want to be a Data Analyst? Pt 2

Earlier, we discussed the role of Data Analyst and some of the other roles that sit within the Data family. Now let us look at one of primary tools of the Microsoft Data Analyst – Power BI and some of the foundational training available.

Microsoft Power BI

What is Power BI? Power BI lets you easily connect to your data sources, clean, and model your data without affecting the underlying source, visualize (or discover) what’s important, and share that with anyone or everyone you want.

Power BI enables everyone at every level of your organization to make confident decisions using analytics. Power BI consists of several elements that all work together, starting with these three basics:

  • Power BI Desktop – for creating rich, interactive reports with visual analytics at your fingertips
  • Power BI service – for collaborating on reports with colleagues and sharing the reports and insightson the web, in apps, or using Microsoft Teams.
  • Power BI mobile- for work on the go—available on Android and iOS devices.

Power BI consists of a Microsoft Windows desktop application called Power BI Desktop, an online SaaS (Software as a Service) service called the Power BI service, and mobile Power BI apps that are available on phones and tablets. These three elements — Desktop, the service, and Mobile apps—are designed to let people create, share, and consume business insights in the way that serves them, or their role, most effectively.

Credit: Microsoft and

Virtual workshops and training – Power BI

You may have seen from my earlier blog post Free Digital Skills Training from Microsoft – Microsoft Cloud Learning Pathways ( that Microsoft offer a range of free to attend, virtual live training events offered to students/families and business/professionals. This Microsoft training covers a range of Microsoft products including Power BI. This is an excellent way to start getting to grips with the power and potential of Power BI and is an ideal starting point for beginners or those just looking to find out a little more about ease of use/art of the possible

Below is a view filtered by Power BI – you can access the same view here >

“Getting Started with Power BI” or “Getting Started with Power BI Desktop” is a good place to start, with the latter introducing Power BI Desktop, a complete data analysis and report creation tool that is used to connect to, transform, visualize, and analyse your data. Most users who work on business intelligence projects use Power BI Desktop to create reports, and then use the Power BI service to share their reports with others. With Power BI Desktop, you can go from data to insight to action with hundreds of data visualizations, built-in AI capabilities, a tight Excel integration and prebuilt and custom data connectors to develop rich and interactive reports to share with colleagues.

These sessions are typically about an hour long and will cover areas such as:

  • Helping you understand the building blocks of Power BI Desktop
  • Exploring the data prep capabilities of Power Query
  • Writing formulas and modeling your data
  • Start to visualise your data and format a report
  • Saving and publishing a report to the Power BI service
Power BI – Certification Options

So, you have had a taster of Power BI and want to learn more. You will be pleased to know there are a range of certification offerings available from Microsoft; so, join us for the third and final part of this blog series where we will explore these in more detail.

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