Don’t miss the Power Platform Conference!

Join Pragmatic Works for the only 100% virtual conference dedicated to the #PowerPlatform on July 23rd and 24th…

Looking to enhance your Power BI, PowerApps and Flow skills but can’t attend an in-person conference? Check out this virtual (on-line, live) conference featuring several headlining, international conference presenters.

http://powerplatformconference.com/ #powerplatformcon #PowerBI #PowerApps #MicrosoftFlow

FAQs
What is the Power Platform Virtual Conference?

The Power Platform Virtual Conference is the only online conference 100% dedicated to Power Platform topics.

– The conference is 2 days. One day for Power BI sessions and the second for PowerApps and Flow
– There will be 12 sessions each day
– Every session will be a different Power Platform topic

What Topics Will Be Covered?

Day 1 will cover Power BI and day 2 will be dedicated to PowerApps and Flow.

– Each session will be one hour
– Each session will be hosted by industry experts
– You’ll have the opportunity to ask the presenter questions

Why Should You Attend?

For a low cost, you are able to get all the content and connections of a traditional conference.

– Cost is 99% less than in-person conferences
– Session recordings will be available to registrants for 1 year
– Ability to pick and choose the sessions you want to attend
– As a bonus you get additional PowerApps videos, access to exclusive courses and 1 lucky attendee will receive a special surprise package

Power BI: If you’re just getting started as an admin

Here are links to the resources that helped a client recently as her team is switching over to Power BI. For additional resources, please let me know what you’d like to see, and I will dig it up. 😊

Pertaining to Admin/Auditing, I thought some of the “Activities audited by Power BI” section in this documentation might be helpful:  https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/service-admin-auditing

Auditing for non-admin: https://guyinacube.com/2016/10/power-bi-auditing-non-admin/

How to download and leverage the audit logs: https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/charles_sterling/2017/04/25/automatically-download-and-use-the-power-bi-audi-log/

If you have some licenses to our learning platform, so I thought a few of these courses might be good go-to’s for people who are just getting started:

Power BI for the Consumer: This course is designed to get you up to speed on consuming data and interacting with reports in Power BI. This is key to help you understand where your business has been and where it’s going in the future. First you will learn how to get connected to the Power BI Service. Once connected you will see how easy it is to interact with report and even change their appearance to better suit your needs. Last you will learn how to build your own dashboards from these reports and see how they can be immediately viewed from your mobile devices. https://pragmaticworkstraining.com/courses/20459

Power BI Service Administration: This course provides the framework necessary to successfully integrate Power BI into your corporate environment. In this course we cover various topics such as deployment, data refresh, security, collaboration, data governance, auditing and more. https://pragmaticworkstraining.com/courses/power-bi-service-administration

SQL Saturday – Jacksonville, FL

Last call! Today’s pre-conference for SQL Saturday kicked off, and tomorrow is the big day!

Event details…

So, what is SQl Saturday?


“SQLSaturday is a free training event for Microsoft Data Platform professionals and those wanting to learn about SQL Server, Business Intelligence and Analytics.”

Master data strategies at SQL Saturday… #Checkmate

And where in Jacksonville is it?


“This event will be held on May 04 2019 at The University of North Florida Campus, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, Florida, 32224, United Statees.”

For the full schedule, visit: https://www.sqlsaturday.com/820/Sessions/Schedule.aspx

Topics include: Advanced Analysis Techniques
Analytics and Visualization
Application & Database Development
BI Information Delivery
BI Platform Architecture, Development & Administration
Cloud Application Development & Deployment
Enterprise Database Administration & Deployment
Information Delivery
Professional Development
Strategy and Architecture

To register, visit: https://www.sqlsaturday.com/820/registernow.aspx

Power BI Interview Q’s, Round #1

What do you need to know when you’re heading to a Power BI interview?

We’ve started to see a pattern: Power BI continues to be adopted as an essential self-service business intelligence tool, and more job opportunities are being created.

We thought it would be interesting to tackle this topic from both directions: If you’re an interviewer, what might you want to ask? If you’re an interviewee, then what might you expect to hear?

Our first video is a basic introductory overview, and we cover the following topics:

Why is Power BI a good investment for the company? What are the development stages for the Power BI project? What are the components of Power BI? What are the laptop considerations for Power BI? What needs to be installed for Power BI?

With our help, you could be the Dwight of Power BI…

Power BI Monthly Digest for April 2019

Check out Pragmatic Work’s Power BI monthly digest, where we take a comprehensive looks at Power BI’s latest releases, updates and what that means for you! The video clip is towards the bottom of this post. 🙂

April 2019 brought a lot of new content which can be explored more in-depth. There’s a 400+ page overview of 2019 Dynamics 365 and Power Platform releases, too… https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/business-applications-release-notes/april19/

And if you’re interested in learning more about dataflows, check out last week’s Data-Radiant post! 🙂 https://data-radiant.com/2019/04/12/dataflows-in-power-bi-considerations/

A comparison of how dataflows fits in the ETL process…

In this month’s Power BI Digest, Manuel Quintana [Blog | Twitter] and Devin Knight will again guide you through some of our favorite Power BI updates this month. In our April 2019 edition, they highlight the following features:

  • Filter Pane updates
  • Restrict ability of users to change the Filter Pane filter types
  • Conditional formatting on tiles
  • Conditional formatting on Web URL Visual Actions
  • M Intellisense in formula bar
  • Drillthrough across reports

Dataflows in Power BI: Considerations

Licensing has direct impact on the value of dataflows in Power BI for your organization

Dataflows in Power BI sound great – and they are – but who truly benefits from this new element in the BI process?

Functional illustration of dataflows in the Power BI Service compared to the Power BI Desktop experience

First, as a quick recap:

With dataflows, ETL logic is elevated to a first-class artifact within Power BI and includes dedicated authoring and management experiences.


Business analysts and BI professionals can use dataflows to handle the most complex data preparation challenges and build on each other’s work, thanks to a revolutionary model-driven calculation engine, which takes care of all the transformation and dependency logic—cutting time, cost, and expertise to a fraction of what’s traditionally been required for those tasks.


Better yet, analysts can now easily create dataflows using familiar self-service tools, such as the well known Power Query data preparation experience.


Dataflows are created and easily managed in app workspaces, enjoying all the capabilities that the Power BI service has to offer, such as permission management, scheduled refreshes, and more.


Advanced Analytics and AI with Azure – Power BI dataflows store data in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 – which means that data ingested through a Power BI dataflow is now available to data engineers and data scientists to leverage the full power of Azure Data Services such as Azure Machine Learning, Azure Databricks, and Azure SQL Datawarehouse for advanced analytics and AI.


This allows business analysts, data engineers, and data scientists to collaborate on the same data within their organization.

“Dataflows in Power BI” White Paper by Amir Netz, Technical Fellow, Nov. 2018

It sounds great. It is great… but wait, a caveat: the true benefits of dataflows in Power BI are unleashed if you have a Power BI Premium license, not as a Pro license holder (not yet, at least.)

Side-by-side: The dataflows in Power BI license comparison

As of right now, the main components that drive the value of dataflows is not available without the Premium license capability.

These benefits are namely:

Computed entities: only for Premium
Incremental refresh: only for Premium
Capacity and parallel executions of transforms: only for Premium
Dataflow linked entities: only for Premium

There’s more to come, I am sure, but as of right now it’s best to contain your excitement, unless you’re a Premium license holder…

Unveiling Dataflows in Power BI

Check it out!

Microsoft announced the public availability of dataflows in Power Bi this week and described dataflows as the key element for transforming ETL in Power BI into a “first class citizen.”

This just in… 🙂

“Data preparation is considered the most difficult, expensive, and time-consuming task, estimated by experts as taking 60%-80% of the time and cost of a typical analytics project,” according to Microsoft’s blog, “Introducing: Power BI data prep with dataflows.”

There are a number of reasons why this is true, including “fragmented and incomplete data, complex system integration, business data without any structural consistency, and of course, a high skillset barrier…[and] such advanced skills are rare and expensive.”

Additionally, the self-service data preparation in Power BI often bypasses normal ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes which can limit other key players  – enterprise developers for example – from benefiting from the work. Dataflows in Power BI changes this.

Bringing it all together…

I’m working on a new course on Dataflows in Power BI and thought it may be of value to share some insightful resources around this now-available, much-anticipated service within the ever-growing world of Power BI.  

To get started:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/service-dataflows-create-use

http://blog.pragmaticworks.com/etl-in-power-bi-with-dataflow

https://exceleratorbi.com.au/power-bi-dataflows-and-why-you-should-care/

24 HOURS of PASS

Quick update to all my BI friends. I’m speaking #24HOP!

I’m super excited for the opportunity to present on one of my favorite Power BI topics: Data Storytelling. I love taking Power BI users through some practical techniques that exploit Power BI’s potential as a leading data narrative medium.

I’ll cover some basic in theory about opportunities and barriers related to storytelling, but the main purpose is to deliver practical takeaways and a sense that your own reports contain tremendous potential that can be accessed with just a little know-how.

Features like bookmarks, tooltip report pages – also known as “Cool-tips” in my world –, and interactive popups are just a few examples of how you can turn dull reports into a more dynamic experience.  This session introduces some of those Fundamental design patterns.

You can register for my session on Data Storytelling with Power BI:

Don’t miss out on this FREE learning opportunity April 3-4! #sqlpass

We’ll cover some fun and effective ways to turn your Power BI report into a more compelling digital narrative by leveraging Power BI’s storytelling capabilities. Hope to see you there!

SQL Saturdays

Why does it matter and when you get involved?


“PASS SQLSaturdays are free 1-day training events for SQL Server professionals that focus on local speakers, providing a variety of high-quality technical sessions, and making it all happen through the efforts of volunteers. Whether you’re attending a SQLSaturday or thinking about hosting your own, we think you’ll find it’s a great way to spend a Saturday – or any day.”

https://sqlsaturday.com/

Jacksonville’s SQL Saturday is coming quickly – May 4th – which is, of course, Star Wars Day, too. Fun coincidence? Maybe. But it sounds more like an excuse to dress up while learning, in my opinion!

This is a great opportunity to plug into your local SQL Server community, or at the very least to learn more skills! To check out a full range of dates and locations, visit: https://sqlsaturday.com/

Directly from the source:

“The PASS SQLSaturday program provides the tools and knowledge needed for groups and event leaders to organize and host a free day of training for SQL Server professionals. At the local event level, SQLSaturday events:
  • Encourage increased membership for the local user group
  • Provide local SQL Server professionals with excellent training and networking opportunities
  • Help develop, grow, and encourage new speakers

How It Started

The SQLSaturday concept took shape in May 2007. That’s when planning for the first SQL Server-focused event, held in October 2007, began. From the start, the hope was to leverage the SQLSaturday model, investments, and lessons learned to help other cities and groups host their own events. Tampa held one in February 2008, and SQLSaturday events have grown steadily ever since. PASS continues to collect lessons learned in an effort to continually improve the event model and encourage more events to take place all over the world. PASS also maintains and supports the SQLSaturday website resources that reduce the time and effort required to plan and execute the event.

Funding and Ownership of SQLSaturday

The SQLSaturday brand name and website are owned by the Professional Association for SQL Server (PASS). PASS licenses the use of both to groups or individuals that want to host a SQL Server training event at no charge. Event hosts take full ownership of their events. They plan, organize, and operate the entire venture from start to finish. PASS provides the tools and coaching to make each SQLSaturday event a resounding success. PASS is determined to stay true to the grassroots nature of SQLSaturday – all sponsorship funds collected by events go to the event. No fee or percentage is paid back to PASS or SQLSaturday.com. Just like the founders of SQLSaturday – Andy WarrenBrian Knight, and Steve Jones  – PASS believes SQLSaturday has a tremendous, positive impact on the future of SQL Server and its user communities.”

PowerApps 101: Building a Basic CRUD Application with SharePoint Online

Fundamentals are FUN… #PowerApps101

CRUD – it’s not just the junk that comes with being sick, but the ability to Create, Read, Update and Delete within an application’s user interface.  Of course, I’m writing in the context of building a PowerApps application, but this concept/operability undoubtedly has extensive use cases across the tech field.

What I am introducing in this blog is a very simple PowerApps app that allows a user to:

  • Create or add new entries
  • Read, retrieve, search, or view existing entries
  • Update or edit existing entries
  • Delete/deactivate/remove existing entries

Without these four basic operations, most applications would not be considered complete nor particularly useful.

We never want this experience or feeling associated with our app.

Fortunately, PowerApps provides a range of app building capabilities that allow user to start from scratch with a completely blank interface, or to start from data and use a wizard to create a basic template based on that data.

Today, we will go over the Start from data option using a simple SharePoint Online List. The scenario is that I am sick of losing track of my spending habits, so I want to create a simple app to track how I’m using my money.  

Hmm, what’s going here?

If you have access already, sign in to SharePoint and PowerApps with your credentials. If not, then you can sign up for a free trial for one or both technologies we’re using, and that should suffice. (Alternately, you can always use Excel and just look for that connector instead of SharePoint Online. This will yield different results long term for building out and app, but will work fine for creating a basic CRUD app.)

 Once you’ve signed into both sites, go to SharePoint and click +New at the top of the page and select List from the drop-down options. Give this List a name and description and hit Create.

Use the +Add column option along the top of blank table to add the following columns and data types. Please note that Title is a default, unique column that can be renamed. Use the following:

Keep Title and do nothing with it.

Add a Single line of text column and call it Merchant.

Add a Currency column and call it Total.

Add a Choice column and call it Category. Under Choices, replace the default values (one per line) with Food, Transportation and Personal. Set the Default value to Personal.

After adding those columns, click on Quick Edit in the top ribbon. Add two entries:

For entry one,

Title = New business dress

Merchant = Macy’s

Total = 95.99

Category = Personal

For entry two,

Title = Fuel

Merchant = BP

Total = 36.52

Category = Transportation

Exit Quick edit. This is enough data to go to PowerApps and Start with data and build our basic CRUD app. Before leaving, copy the SharePoint site URL, but only copy the first part of the URL and do not include anything after the “Lists/…” You need only the main container site, not the List URL itself.

You only need the main component of the URL, not the List-specific URL.

Open the PowerApps site and choose +Create in the side bar. Choose the Start from data canvas app option.  Click Create on the pop-up box and a new web page will launch.

Choose the SharePoint connector, or for those using Excel, click the right-facing arrow to find the Excel connector as an alternate option.

If using SharePoint, you need to add the copied URL from the SharePoint site. Click Go and Choose the list you just created. Hit Connect and the wizard will create an app for you!

You should see a default mobile app containing the data from the SharePoint list, and this satisfies the Read aspect of CRUD.

If you click on the Play icon on the top right of the page, you can test the app’s functionality. This is called Preview mode.

Once you’re in Preview mode, click on the Plus sign on the top right corner, this will allow you to add a new entry and satisfies the Create element of CRUD.

Add your own info and hit the Check mark in the top right corner to add an entry. After you add an entry, you will return to the home screen.

Click on the right-facing arrow next to each entry to view the entry details and to experience the Update element of this CRUD app. If you click on the Pencil icon, you can Edit the entry. This is the Update element and will take you to the Edit screen.

Click on the Garbage can icon next to Delete the entry and experience the final element of our CRUD app. Boom, the entry is gone.

PowerApps at your fingertips! 🙂

This is the most basic beginning to creating a CRUD app with PowerApps. Tune in for another blog to start customizing our app! 😊