When beginning to use Power BI, one of the most common questions is always “Where do I go to get sample Power BI data I can use?”. Unless you are willing and able to create your own datasets, downloading an already generated dataset provides a helpful place to start. Thankfully Microsoft is heavily invested in getting people to use Power BI and provides users with helpful resources in order to get started.
This blog post will walk through the resources that Microsoft provides and easy use cases to practice with. The resources are provided here.
- A PBIX file that can be opened in Power BI desktop.
- 8 sample Power BI content packs representing different industries and containing various dashboards, reports, and datasets.
- Excel representations of the same content packs
- An example Power BI app located in AppSource
- An Excel file containing a fictitious financial data sample
The best place to begin is with the Sales and Return sample PBIX file. It can be downloaded from this link and opened in Power BI desktop. Going through it and examining how the builders of the report put things together really helps give a glimpse into Power BI best practices. I would point to the following pieces of functionality as particularly well done and good examples to follow:
- Net Sales and Return Page: The alternate views built out using bookmarks is a very cool way of squeezing extra visuals onto a page without making the report to crowded.
- I published a blog post in the past on how to do this.
- Return Rate and Market Basket Analysis Page: The “What If” analysis on this page is a particularly good example of how to integrate this functionality into a report.
This report is also a great starting point for those users who want to practice adding on to an existing report. Some use cases that I might recommend adding to the report:
- Add layers on top of the Category Breakdown visuals to represent averages or subsections of each category by Store.
- Embed a PowerApp into the report as a way to let users update the underlying dataset.
- Pick your own map visual and make it more prominent within the report. Add heatmap functionality on a per category basis.
Once you are done using that particular Power BI app, install the Sales & Marketing app and do the same thing. Or alternatively, download one of the 8 pre-generated PBIX files. Each PBIX file has a tour that you can find starting here.
Lastly, definitely check out the pre-built content packs that Microsoft provides. There are 6 PBIX files representing different organizational teams containing sample data and dashboards. These PBIX files are easier to build on to as they aren’t quite as robust as the Sales & Marketing report detailed earlier. In addition, the PBIX files are also provided in Excel format.
All of the resources that Microsoft provides above are a great way to get started with Power BI. By giving sample Power BI data to users, Microsoft encourages honing your skills as well as understanding how Power BI apps are constructed with best practices. Taking the time to dig through them and find ways to enhance your existing skills can only be beneficial!
Disclaimer: All of the materials and resources listed in this post that are hosted on Microsoft’s website are the sole property of Microsoft. Kumo Partners claims absolutely zero ownership.