Updates to the Power BI course

Recently I published an open-source course/workshop to learn Power BI Desktop. Fellow MVP Dan English (blog | twitter) gave me the excellent feedback that IMDB actually doesn’t like people scraping their website for data. Furthermore, the OMDB API appears to have fallen almost out of funds and is thus not as reliable as I thought. Refreshing the queries takes an incredibly long time (previously around 2 minutes, but now I cancelled after 10 minutes), which makes the .pbix unworkable for teaching Power Query.

So I have changed the source data: I made a list of movies available in an Excel file and extra movie in a tab delimited file.
Instead of writing a function in Power Query, the exercise now focuses more on merging queries (which is perhaps a better exercise for starting users).
The reports and visuals themselves have not changed at all (except that I removed all references to IMDB). The model now refreshes in a couple of seconds. When you download the .pbix file and the source data, don’t forget to change the connection strings to point to the correct location at your hard drive.
In summary, these are the changes:
  • Changed source data to two files: Excel file for the top movies and flat file for extra movie information
  • Updated the exercises to reflect the changes in Power Query
  • Deleted two columns in the model, since they were actually duplicates of other columns.
  • Removed all references to IMDB, since we’re not using their website anymore
  • Added a slicer at the report “New Features 2” to demonstrate that the time slicer can be affected by other slicers. You have to set the interactions to filter though.
  • Changed some screenshots in the slidedeck

All the code can be found at Github, slides at Onedrive.


Koen Verbeeck

Koen Verbeeck is a Microsoft Business Intelligence consultant at AE, helping clients to get insight in their data. Koen has a comprehensive knowledge of the SQL Server BI stack, with a particular love for Integration Services. He’s also a speaker at various conferences.

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