4Building Your First Report

Following a consistent, proven method is the second guiding principle we talked about in Chapter 2, “From Data to Insight.” In that method, the first steps were to import, prepare, and model your data. In this chapter, we're going to skip those first three steps because someone has already done that work for us! By importing those sample reports in Chapter 3, “Let's Take a Flyover!,” we took advantage of two datasets that have already imported, prepared, and modeled the data. In Chapter 5, “Preparing Data,” we'll dive deeper into those import and prepare steps. And in Chapter 6, “Modeling,” we'll learn about a method for modeling data.

Most Power BI introduction materials I've read start individuals with using Power BI Desktop first. This leads you down a path that takes some time until you really see what is possible in the Power BI Service. It also means that when you build your first report, you're not working with a well-thought-out data model. But in Chapter 3, I wanted to flip that approach and start with the Power BI Service so that you can see where we're headed. You were able to build a report working with a typical data model that has multiple tables and measures already created. Now we're ready to use Power BI Desktop! In this chapter, we can utilize that data model in the service from Chapter 3. But enough talk. Let's get going!


Let's begin by opening Power BI Desktop. After the app opens, click the Get Data ...

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