If it is true that, any thing that is worth doing is worth doing well (I’m sure you know that). Then it also very true that before you learn anything, it is good to know how to learn it.
Sometimes we learn sub-consciously, other times we learn deliberately. If you are reading this piece, then you are taking deliberate efforts to learn how to learn Power BI faster.
First off, what is Power BI?
The official Power BI website has these to say:
Power BI is a business analytics service that delivers insights to enable fast, informed decisions.
- Transform data into stunning visuals and share them with colleagues on any device.
- Visually explore and analyze data—on-premises and in the cloud—all in one view.
- Collaborate on and share customized dashboards and interactive reports.
- Scale across your organization with built-in governance and security.
I have also written a simplified Introduction to Power BI that is easy for anyone looking to get started with this amazing product of Microsoft. Power BI has led the way in making Microsoft a clear leader in Gartner’s 2019 Magic Quadrant for BI and Analytics, ahead of Tableau. I don’t see them slowing down, Power BI, which is barely 4 years old has done so much and has much more coming.
So, if you plan to join the train or have already joined the train but wish to be really good at it in the shortest possible time period, (anything that is worth doing is worth doing well), then you will be glad to learn how to go about that here, and also find:
- The best free resources.
- The best Power BI trainers and consultants, why you should follow them, where to find them (their websites, blogsites, YouTube channels, Twitter handles and their books).
Before I go into the details of learning Power BI faster, let me answer some Frequently Asked Questions with my Frequent Answers.
Question 1: Is Power BI difficult to learn?
Answer: NO. Just learn principles, rules and concepts.
Question 2: Do I need to have a strong Mathematics/Statistics, Computer Science background?
Answer: No, you don’t. Having them may serve some advantages, Not having cannot be regarded as disadvantages.
Question 3: Is there a Power BI Certification?
Answer: Yes, there is. You can take the exams for certification once you have a strong foot on Power BI, not before. You don’t want to rush or prepare for it in a haste.
Question 4 : How long will it take me to learn?
Answer: Learning never stops. But if you mean to learn the core foundations, then it depends on you, the learning mode you employ and how many hours you put in. On the average, it should take you around 25 hours of tutoring and another 15 hours of self-practice to lay a solid foundation.
Question 5: How can I learn Power BI Fast?
Answer: Attend a live class!
How to learn Power BI fast.
Yes, there are numerous ways to learn anything. All with different degrees of results. But the fastest way you can learn Power BI is to start by attending a live class and I will let you answer the why for yourself.
An Introductory level to Essentials of Power BI can be taught in a live class for anything ranging between 2 to 5 days depending on your level of experience, the trainer and the course content. That is something between 16 to 40 hours.
How long will it take you to read a technical book of 250 pages with a reasonable level of assimilation?
How long will it take you to get the response to a question from an online course or a book you have been reading?
How likely are you to get distracted in a live class compared to you reading a book or watching a video?
The truth is, Power BI is all about concepts, rules and principles and the faster you are able to know them the better for you.
In a Power BI class, learning is reinforced. When other participants ask questions, you learn new stuff instantly or validate what you already know. If your trainer happens to create group activities, the merrier. You not only learn from others, you are also able to network better.
Before going to the Live Class
Attending a live class is your fastest way to learning Power BI. This is not to say everything starts from the live class. Before attending that class, make sure you have done the following to ensure maximum benefits.
- Visit the Power BI official website and get more ideas of what Power BI is all about.
- Download the Power BI Desktop on your own machine, launch it and just have a look around.
- Think about the data you have and what you would like to do with it after your Power BI class. If you don’t have data, get some from data.world , www.kaggle.com , https://data.worldbank.org/ or anywhere you know and think about doing something with it.
During the class
A Power BI class is not an Excel class, it is not a normal class. You will be learning a lot of rules, principles, concepts and technical jargon. So, you need to pay proper attention in class. Everything becomes very easy once you pay attention. You will also want to do the following:
- Take notes.
- Relax and focus on the instructor.
- When it’s time to practice in class, don’t waste time if you forget something. Ask the instructor and note the correction.
- Ask questions
- Don’t eat!!! Just kidding. Don’t over feed during your lunch break. You don’t want to be weak for the remainder of the class. Remember, you want to pay full attention.
- After the day’s class, practice what you have learnt before the next day’s class begins.
After the class
The class has laid a solid foundation for you. It is up to you to build yourself from there. Now is the time to enjoy the numerous free resources put together by the people I call the Power BI best, who are leaders in the industry. They have Blog posts, You Tube videos, articles, webinars and even free books to compliment what you have learnt in class and take your knowledge to advanced levels.
You will find the best value from these only after attending a live class.
Here is a list of the things you should also do after your class:
- Practice your class materials within 24 hours of the end of the class.
- Use your own data to build a Power BI solution
- Continue your learning to more advanced stuff by reading books, watching You Tube videos, attending webinars, asking questions and visiting the Power BI blog
Best Free Resources
- Guided Learning from Power BI website: You will find a button to download the PDF on the bottom left of the page.
- Power BI Documentation: You will find links to other official Power BI learning documents and the Power BI blog.
- Power Query M reference: You will find a download button to download the PDF on the bottom left of the page
Top Power BI personalities
These are the leaders of Power BI. If you want to get serious about this Power BI, then you will follow all of them (They belong to the same network and are also following one another). Take your time, click on every link, bookmark all their websites, subscribe to all the You Tube channels, Follow all their social media accounts.
Scroll To View Entire Table
[table id=5 responsive=scroll /]
What is worth doing is worth doing well! You stand a better chance to learn faster when you attend a live class. However, you should take certain measures before going to class. Such as visiting the official Power BI website.
You should also ensure to be very attentive in class so you can easily commit the concepts, rules and principles to memory.
After the class, create time to practice, follow thought leaders, who I refer to as the gurus, some of who are already in my list above. Create the time to follow them all, at least on one channel. It is one of your best investments and it’s 100% free.
I wish you well in your Power BI journey. Have you followed all the Gurus?