Power BI

How Color Is Used in Power BI and SSRS Dashboards

By Garth Jones Continuing on with my Power BI Desktop blog post set (How to Install Power BI Desktop, Getting Started with Power BI Desktop and SCCM, Adding a Calculated Column to a Power BI Table and Adding a Chart to a Power BI Dashboard) where I showed you how to create a basic Power BI dashboard, in this blog post I will show you how color is used in Power BI and SSRS dashboards. In my opinion, color is one of the areas where Power BI falls short when compared with SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). In SSRS you can assign colors to charts or tables by using its color code feature, however, a similar feature doesn’t exist within Power BI. I will demonstrate what I’m talking about by taking the Power BI chart (where I left off in the previous post) and comparing it with a similar SSRS...

Adding a Chart to a Power BI Dashboard

By Garth Jones Building on the steps shared in my blog posts, How to Install Power BI Desktop, Getting Started with Power BI Desktop and SCCM, and Adding a Calculated Column to a Power BI Table, in this post I will be adding a chart to a Power BI dashboard. It might be helpful for you to review the previous blog posts to see how we got to this point. Again, as a reminder, this is what our Power BI canvas looks like now. Adding a Chart to a Power BI Dashboard Start by selecting the Age column for Query1. Drag the Age column to an empty area on the Power BI canvas. Notice how Power BI automatically selects a bar chart for you. Congratulations! You now have a chart on your dashboard. Wasn’t adding a chart easy? Okay, I hear you, as it stands it isn’t that useful, but wait for it! Drag the Age...

Adding a Calculated Column to a Power BI Table

By Garth Jones In my last blog post, Getting Started with Power BI Desktop and SCCM, I showed you how to create a very basic Power BI dashboard by adding a table to the canvas. In this post I’ll show you how to add a calculated column to a Power BI table. Ultimately this particular calculated column will be used within a chart, but I’ll talk about that more in my next blog post. Keep in mind that the steps I’ll be showing in this post can be used for any number of items that need to be calculated. This can include calculating the age of computers or determining how long ago a software title was last used. In my last post I started designing a Power BI dashboard about computer ages by adding a table. As a reminder this is what the Power BI canvas looked like at the end of that post. Adding ...

Getting Started with Power BI Desktop and SCCM

By Garth Jones In this blog post I will show you how to connect Power BI Desktop to your System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) SQL Server database. During the connection process I will then show you how I added a query and created a basic table, so you can do the same! Before starting, though, make sure to download and install Power BI Desktop. If you haven’t yet, then I would recommend that you first see my blog post, How to Install Power BI Desktop, before continuing. Also make sure to have the SQL Server query ready to go that you plan to use within your new Power BI dashboard! After Power BI Desktop is first installed and launched, you will be asked to create an account. If you haven’t filled out the account details yet, then make sure to do so and then click on Done. If you alrea...

How to Install Power BI Desktop

By Garth Jones I was looking at my upcoming blog post set about Power BI and I thought it would be appropriate to start off first by showing you how to install Power BI Desktop. This way, once the other blog posts come out, you will already have Power BI Desktop installed and you’ll be ready to get started creating reports for System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) and Intune! With that in mind, this blog post will give you a bit of background about Power BI and then I’ll show you the step-by-step instructions on how to install Power BI Desktop. What is Power BI? To quote the Microsoft Power BI website: Power BI is a suite of business analytics tools that deliver insights throughout your organization. Connect to hundreds of data sources, simplify data prep, and drive ad hoc analysis. P...

Microsoft Power BI Desktop and Report Server Preview Downloads

Microsoft has now made available Power BI Report Server and Power BI Desktop (optimized for server) for customer preview. Power BI Report Server Preview, available as part of Power BI Premium, enables on-premises web and mobile viewing of Power BI reports, plus the enterprise reporting capabilities of SQL Server Reporting Services. Power BI Desktop Preview helps you empower others with timely critical insights, anytime, anywhere. It combines state-of-the-art interactive visualizations, with industry-leading data query and modeling built-in. This version of Power BI Desktop is optimized for use with Power BI Report Server (Preview). Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Microsoft Announces ISV Cloud Embed

At the start of Microsoft’s Inspire conference this week in Washington, DC, the company has made announcements to help bolster its partner ecosystem. Included in that coverage already… Microsoft Previews New Office Apps for Microsoft Business Microsoft Combines Office, Windows 10, and Management into Microsoft 365 Microsoft Azure Stack is Now Available   One additional announcement that Microsoft is delivering today is focused on a new ISV Cloud Embed program. According to Microsoft… Today we are making it even easier for ISV partners to modernize their existing business applications, and build new ones, with a new program we are calling ISV Cloud Embed. Later this year, we will extend the number of higher-level services available as embeddable “building blocks” to i...

Pretty Up Your Power BI Reports Using the New Theme Gallery

Microsoft has now added a new theme gallery to Power BI, to allow customers to make their reports look better more quickly. Additionally, once you’ve created a fantastic theme you’re proud of you can share it back to the gallery or feel free to give thumbs-up to others’ creations. Theming is a new preview feature in the Power BI Desktop that lets you pick colors to use in your charts and to show in the color palette. This feature is a great way to quickly incorporate your company branding or a little personality to your reports. To add a theme to your report, you import a JSON file listing all the colors you want to use in your report’s charts. Login and find them here: https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Themes-Gallery/bd-p/ThemesGallery Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense ...

Microsoft to Kick-off Its Second Annual Data Insights Summit on June 12th

Registration is now open for the second annual Microsoft Data Insights Summit in Seattle, Washington. The summit is a user conference for Power BI, Excel, and the Microsoft Data and Analytics family of offerings.  This user conference is for Analysts, BI Analysts, Architects, Consultants, or Lead/Manager/Director/VP of Analytics that work with Microsoft Power BI, SQL Server BI, Excel, PowerApps, Flow, or Stream. Register here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/datainsightssummit The summit is a two-day affair, June 12th-13th, 2017. Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Developers, and DevOps? IT/Dev Connections kicks off in San Francisco in 2017!

Create Reports with Power BI Desktop and Publish Them to Local SSRS

Now available as a Technical Preview, Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services is a tool that allows customers to create reports with Power BI Desktop and publish them to an on-premises report server. This Technical Preview includes preview versions of Power BI Desktop and Reporting Services. With them, you can… Connect “live” to Analysis Services models – both Tabular and Multidimensional (cubes) Visually explore data and create an interactive report Save that report to your report server running the Technical Preview View and interact with the report in your web browser Available for download from here: Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services – Technical Preview Looking for an awesome, no-nonsense technical conference for IT Pros, Devs, and DevOps? IT/Dev C...

Holy Cow, 4.5 Million Extra Rows…! Wow.

By Garth Jones The title of this post is a quote from Alexander Phu when we were discussing the differences between Power BI and SSRS for ConfigMgr reporting. In my last blog post, I talked about how the SQL Server Team believes that Power BI is NOT a replacement for SSRS. Let me explain to you why I agree with the SQL Server Team, particularly when it comes to ConfigMgr. What’s the problem with Power BI? Power BI doesn’t allow you to use variables within its queries. Why is that important? Well, the short answer is: you might get 4.5 million rows of extra information from your query, especially when it comes to the amount of unfiltered data you get with Power BI reporting. Instead of using variables, with Power BI queries you have to either hardcode a dataset or grab the whole dataset and...

Power BI, SSRS and ConfigMgr

By Garth Jones Don’t get me wrong, I like Power BI because it allows for quick and simple dashboards to be created, whereas SSRS dashboards take a bit more time to setup. However, for advanced reporting and multiple executions by multiple people, SSRS dashboards are the better option. Creating a dashboard or report with Power BI still means that you need to understand ConfigMgr, know how to write a SQL query, and have SQL access to the database. If you don’t understand ConfigMgr or know how to write a SQL query for ConfigMgr then be prepared to run into issues. I truly believe that both Power BI and SSRS have their place. In his PASS 2015 Foundation Session: Microsoft Business Intelligence, James Phillips, Corporate VP and GM of Microsoft’s business applications, platform and intelligence ...