Category Archives: Power Query

What is new for BI in Excel 2016

It’s been awhile that we are waiting for a sensible improvements in Microsoft self-service BI. The good news is that finally there will be some cool new features added to the next version of Excel which is Excel 2016. By some, I mean, well, there not a lot new BI features, but, some. Something is better than nothing, not too bad though!

Integrating BI features with Excel:

Power View and Power Map:

As you know, Power Pivot was integrated as a built-it feature to Excel 2013. Now I’m really happy that the same thing happened to Power View and Power Map. So you don’t need to install them separately. You can now turn these features on from:

File–> Options–> Advanced-> (scroll down the page) Data-> Enable Data Analysis Add-ins: Power Pivot, Power View, and Power Map

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OR you can still turn them on from “COM Add-ins”:

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Build your First Report in Microsoft Power BI Designer Part 2, Make it More User Friendly

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In this post I would like to explain more details about Power BI Designer features. In the previous post you learnt how to create some very simple reports. However, those reports were just for testing general features of the tool. For instance we didn’t even play with very simple features like renaming the dimension or fact tables and members to user friendly names. In this article not only do I explain some of the simple ones, but also I’ll go through some of the more advanced ones.

Again, as per my previous post, I’m using AdventureWorksDW2012 as a source database.  We imported “Internet Sales” into the designer and we created some reports and one new page and we saved the reports on disc. So we have all the requirements on hand. Let’s go…

Making names more user friendly:

  • Open the *.pbix report file in Power BI Designer
  • Double click on “DimCurrency” to rename it to “Currency”. We need to do the same for all other objects

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  • We also need to do the same for the fields which are getting used on the reports

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Build Your First Report in Microsoft Power BI Designer Part 1, Basics

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First of all I would like to briefly explain Microsoft Power BI Designer. Then we’ll see how easy we can create a report using designer. I will use Adventure Works DW database as the source database.

Microsoft Power BI Designer is basically an integration of Power Query and Power View. Saying that the tool is still a preview version and it’s NOT actually a released product we’ll expect to see more features when it’s released. Some features like PowerPivot models expected to be available to the release version. At the moment PowerPivot models are not available in the designer, but, hopefully Microsoft will add it to the tool. So I added an idea into BI in SQL vNext as I believe it would be great to have PowerPivot functionalities included in the release version of the product. We’ll see what happens.

Let’s have a look at the tool. At the first look, I would like to say it’s an amazing tool integrating lots of awesome features all together with ease of use. It’s so fun to use the tool to create very effective and flashy reports in a short amount of time. First of all you need to download the designer from here.  Install the designer and open it. I’ll use AdventureWorksDW2012 as the source database.

Open the Microsoft Power BI Designer Preview. If you want to get more familiar with the tool click on the videos on the startup screen.

·         To connect to SQL Server click on “Get Data” or “New Source”

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Power Query and SQL Server Stored Procedures

Today I want to explain how you can pass parameters to a SQL Server stored procedure. I myself was looking for a way to pass parameters to a SQL Server stored proc from Power Query. I spent a lot of time to search for a good article over the internet that explains how I could pass parameters to a stored proc from Power Query and show the results in Excel. But, I couldn’t find that much information around this as I expected. So, I decided to do some work around and you can read the results in this post. To simplify the solution, I’m going to use uspGetBillOfMaterials stored procedure in AdventureWorks 2012 database. The stored procedure accepts an integer number as ProductID and a date as CheckDate. So we need to pass two parameters to uspGetBillOfMaterials  to get the results.

If we execute the stored proc in SSMS using

exec [dbo].[uspGetBillOfMaterials] 727, ‘2009-01-02’

, we’ll get the following result:

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Now, lets go to do some works on Power Query. So open Microsoft Excel and go to Power Query tab and select SQL Server database.

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Now type Server, Database and SQL Statement, then click OK.

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