Review: “Learning Microsoft Power BI Desktop” LinkedIn Learning Course

Review: "Learning Microsoft Power BI Desktop" LinkedIn Learning Course

Perhaps, like me, you are an information worker and have been seeing references to Power BI turning up in articles, conversations and job ads. You wonder “what is this Power BI that they speak of?”  Well, this course at LinkedIn Learning will give you the good oil.

The BI referred to is Business Intelligence. To borrow from Wikipedia “BI technologies provide historical, current, and predictive views of business operations. Common functions of business intelligence technologies include reporting, online analytical processing, analytics, data mining, process mining, complex event processing, business performance management, benchmarking, text mining, predictive analytics, and prescriptive analytics. ”

Business Intelligence is not something new to me. A decade ago I was working with a great product called IQ4Biz that went on to become HaloBI. At the time I was blown away by what BI could do, allowing users to interrogate their own data with so  much more ease.

Now I work for a different employer and am contemplating the BI journey again. Enter Power BI as a blip on the radar. I needed to get an understanding of the Power BI offering and I needed to get that understanding quickly. So I turned to LinkedIn Learning. Straight away I found the course “Learning Microsoft Power BI Desktop” by Gini von Courter. It promised to take about half a day with the following learning outcomes:

  • Installing and launching Power BI Desktop
  • Connecting to Excel and CSV files
  • Connecting to a database or web data
  • Shaping, combining, and merging data
  • Appending data to a query
  • Creating visualizations and reports
  • Publishing to the Power BI service
  • Sharing and unsharing reports

At the end of the course I had installed my free personal version of Power BI Desktop, could do everything mentioned above and had the following interactive views of world population data.

So it achieved its objectives. But was the training good?

Yes. It was excellent. The trainer, Gini von Courter, was very methodical and thorough and set a realistic pace. I genuinely found it very understandable and easy to follow. Given that the course dates from June 2018, there were very slight differences in the Power BI interface, but nothing radically different. And I must say that the course successfully conveyed to me the potential of this tool.

If you have access to LinkedIn Learning and you want to gain a quick understanding of Power BI then I highly recommend this course.