# Thursday, 31 January 2019

GCast 33:

An Introduction to Power BI

Power BI is a tool that allows you to create visualizations from a variety of data sources. This video shows how to get started with this tool.

Thursday, 31 January 2019 08:03:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, 08 January 2019

Microsoft Power BI is a tool for users to create visualizations of data from disparate sources. You can get started with the browser-based version of Power BI by navigating to https://powerbi.com/. This page is shown in Fig. 1.

pbi01-start
Fig. 1

If your company has an Office 365 account, you may be able to sign in by clicking the [Sign in] button and start using Power BI. If not, you can click the [START FREE] button to create a free account.

Once you are signed in, the Home page displays, as shown in Fig. 2.

pbi02-home
Fig. 2

You can add data to Power BI to begin working with it by clicking the [Get Data] button (Fig. 3)

pbi03-GetDataButton
Fig. 3

The "Get Data" page displays, as shown in Fig. 4.

pbi04-GetDataPage
Fig. 4

From this page, you can choose to import data published by your organization ("My organization"), from a third-party service ("Services"), from a file on your computer or network ("Files") or from data in a database ("Databases").

Click the [Get] button on the "Files" blade (Fig. 5) to display the "Files" page, as shown in Fig. 6.

pbi05-GetFilesTile
Fig. 5

pbi06-Files
Fig. 6

As you can see, you can import data from your local file system, from OneDrive, or from a SharePoint site.

Click the "Local File" blade (Fig. 7) to open a File Open dialog, as shown in Fig. 8.

pbi07-LocalFile
Fig. 7

pbi08-SelectFile
Fig. 8

Navigate to the folder containing your data file, select the file, and click the [Open] button.

A list of all files imported is displayed, as shown in Fig. 9.

pbi09-FileList
Fig. 9

Click on your data file name to display the "Ask a question about your data" blade (Fig. 10); then, click the file name in this blade.

pbi10-AskAQuestion
Fig. 10

A blank canvas displays, along with a side menu and a list of fields in your data, as shown in Fig. 11.

pbi11-BlankCanvas
Fig. 11

Select the checkboxes next to some of the fields to create the first visualization on the canvas. In the example in Fig. 12, I selected "nMonths", which holds a number from 1-12, representing the month (Jan-Dec) that a measurement was taken. This is set as the x value. I also selected, "temp", which contains the measured temperature. This created the bar chart visualization at the left of the canvas.

pbi12-SelectData
Fig. 12

If you click on "temp" under "Value", you will notice that it shows the Sum of the temperatures, which is not very useful information. You can select something more useful, like "Average", "Minimum", or "Maximum" temperature from this menu, as shown in Fig. 13.

pbi13-SelectAggregateFunction
Fig. 13

If you don't like a bar chart, you can also change the type of visualization by selecting something different from the "VISUALIZATIONS" blade, as shown in Fig. 14.

pbi14-Visualizations
Fig. 14

This quick overview shows some of the features available in Microsoft Power BI.

Tuesday, 08 January 2019 09:54:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Tuesday, 08 May 2018

IMG_0394The DataFest concept was created back in 2011 by the American Statistical Association. Students are provided a large data set and are given 2 full days to report on some useful insights and/or visualizations about the data.

IMG_0388I attended the ASA DataFest at the University of Toronto May 1-2. The event was organized by UT Professor Nathan Taback, who served as host.

The students – all from U of T - worked in teams of 2-4 and presented their findings on the evening of the second day. This was a judged competition with prizes for the top 4 teams.

Students had no knowledge of the data set before it was made available to them when they showed up at the venue. Data was provided by the Indeed job search engine and included information on job postings in the United States, Canada, and Germany.

IMG_0406 Following Dr. Taback's opening remarks, I delivered a presentation on Data Science tools in Azure, including demos of Machine Learning Studio and Azure Notebooks. Over half the teams ended up using these tools in their analysis.

IMG_0407In addition to the opening ceremonies, I served as a mentor during the DataFest and a judge at the end. Several professors and students donated their time as mentors during the event and judges included professors and industry professionals. I also recruited local MVPs Atley Hunter and Vivek Patel, along with user group leader Ashraf Ghonaim to serve as mentors and/or judges.

Almost 200 students attended, and 19 teams presented their findings on Day 2.

IMG_0414The winning team used Azure ML Studio to split users into low, medium, and high salary ranges and determine the factors required to move from one level to the next level above.

Microsoft donated prizes and money for food to the event (along with my time) and Azure credits for the students to use.

Tuesday, 08 May 2018 12:01:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Saturday, 15 September 2012

Several people asked me for my Data Visualization slides, so I am making them available here. You can download the entire deck here.

 

Saturday, 15 September 2012 22:57:41 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Tuesday, 17 January 2012
Here are the slides from my Data Visualization presentation that I delivered at CodeMash last week.
Tuesday, 17 January 2012 21:23:00 (GMT Standard Time, UTC+00:00)
# Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I am scheduled to deliver my Data Visualization presentation 4 times in the next few months: At DevLink in Chatanooga, TN on August 18; at the Dayton .NET Developers Group in Dayton, OH on August 24; at 1DevDayDetroit in Detroit, MI on November 5; and at the Detroit Area FoxPro Users Group in Southfield, MI on November 17.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011 05:08:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)
# Thursday, 09 June 2011

I’m a big fan of the Deep Fried Bytes podcast. I’ve listened to every episode since Keith Elder and Chris “Woody” Woodruff began recording years ago. So I was thrilled when they asked me to be a guest on Deep Fried Bytes this month.

We talked about Data Visualization. I recently developed a presentation titled “Data Visualization – The Ideas of Edward Tufte” that I’ve delivered at the Kalamazoo X and at Codestock. I’m scheduled to deliver it again at Devlink.

Keith was packing for a fishing trip the night we recorded, so Woody and I spoke via Skype for the better part of an hour. I think it turned out very well. I had a blast and I hope I get invited back.

You can hear the interview and download it at http://deepfriedbytes.com/podcast/episode-71-talking-data-visualization-on-an-audio-podcast/.

Thursday, 09 June 2011 15:52:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)