Starting over with Power BI

I had decided it was time to write a new presentation and happily chose Power BI, being that it’s the new hotness and looks to be the future of Business Intelligence. My timing couldn’t have been better with the general release going live recently it seems like now is the time to get going. I have titled this starting over because I had been using Power BI to create maps and other fun things inside Excel; it seems fitting since the changes to Power BI are coming in fast and furious. So I am here to tell you what it took to get back on track with this new release.

What’s New

First I went to the Power BI site and did a bit of reading about the new release (I did have the old version). I took a few notes about the new features

  • Office 365 groups
  • Content Packs
  • 60-day Power BI Pro for *FREE*
  • Excel workbooks stored on OneDrive now usable
  • Upload .csv
    • Respectively if the name is the same content will be updated
  • Row level security – on premises in SSAS Tabular
Desktop app
  • New visuzilations and customizations: matrix, area, waterfall, dounut chart, colors, tiles labels and legends
  • New data sources
  • Direct access to SSAS

Then I went on to start the downloads. For my first round I decided to work on my new Surface 3 to see what starting clean looked like.

  1. Check windows update, restart as needed
  2. Close open programs
  3. Head to
    1. Download Power BI desktop (.msi)
      • Install (spouse mode: nothing but clicking yes)
    2. Choose which download better fits your needs: Personal Gateway (.exe) or Analysis Services Connector (.exe). You can’t have them both installed
  4. Head to the Microsoft store to download and install the Power BI app (or iTunes, Android)

Overall, the installation was quick and easy–took less than 10 minutes to complete all of the tasks. As for Bea which already had the Power BI application installed when I launched the application, I was notified that there was an update available. Close the existing application and continue. Done! New desktop icon to boot.

Signing up

Hit the Power BI site and find the sign up. You’re entitled to a 60 day free trial of Power BI Pro. But you will need a company email address. It doesn’t ask for too much information.

So come back soon and I will show you what I learned creating my first demo for this presentation.

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