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Microsoft Power BI First Steps

How to go from Excel, Access or SQL to master Power BI fundamentals

Topic: Data
Jordan Goldmeier

Many people are afraid of Power BI and put off using it. It’s true that Power BI can get complicated, but you don’t need to be a data scientist to realize its practical value. In fact, Power BI was created with analysts in mind and was built for the basics, combining the best features from Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Access, SQL, and other related technologies.

Join expert Jordan Goldmeier to learn how to get started with Power BI. Through demonstrations and real-world case studies straight from the data trenches, you’ll discover how Power BI can help you connect to different datasets and build databases on the fly; how to use Power Query to transform your data for analysis; how to visualize your data after you’ve connected it together and tell the story of your data quickly and effectively; and how to continue to build your knowledge alongside the service’s frequent updates.

What you'll learn-and how you can apply it

By the end of this live, hands-on, online course, you’ll understand:

  • How to start using Power BI right away to build reports from data in your workplace
  • How Power BI can save you time and effort
  • The importance of data visualization in storytelling and how Power BI can help you to accomplish this task

And you’ll be able to:

  • Connect multiple data sources into a relational data model
  • Identify where and how Power BI can be best used in your organization to solve pressing data issues
  • Create multiple reports in Power BI to tell a story of your company’s performance

This training course is for you because...

  • You’re an analyst.
  • You work with Excel or SQL wrangling, reporting, and analyzing data.
  • You want to become a data scientist or business analytics professional.


  • A working knowledge of Excel (e.g., Excel formulas, charts, pivot tables, etc.)
  • A basic understanding of Microsoft Access or databases
  • Familiarity with SQL (useful but not required)

Recommended preparation:

Recommended follow-up:

About your instructor

  • Jordan Goldmeier is "chief data therapist" at Excel.tv, where he empowers individuals, teams, and executives to be smart data thinkers without investing in expensive new technologies. He’s authored two books on Excel and data visualization and once saved the United States Air Force $60 million using Excel. Past clients include the NATO Training Mission, Principal Financial, and H&M. His work has been written about by Bloomberg Businessweek and the Associated Press. You can find him speaking across the globe on how to make the most of your data.


The timeframes are only estimates and may vary according to how the class is progressing

Introduction to Power BI and associated tools (55 minutes)

  • Presentation: Key concepts and class outcomes; history of Power BI and associated tools
  • Demo: Gather data from the internet—pulling in the data, formatting the data, and creating a Power BI report
  • Break (5 minutes)

Power Query (55 minutes)

  • Presentation: What is Power Query?; What actions and activities does it streamline?
  • Demo: Combine multiple datasets of different file types—reviewing each dataset, using merge queries and relationships, and creating a Power BI report
  • Break (5 minutes)

Data visualization (55 minutes)

  • Presentation: A quick primer on data visualization
  • Demo: Explore visualizations provided by Power BI—matrix, table, treemap, column chart, bar chart, and unlisted visualizations

Wrap-up and Q&A (5 minutes)