Head Coach Kriebel has tasked DS12 to investigate City of New Orleans calls, and we’re to use Microsoft Power BI. No Tableau!

I’ll be honest, I am not a big fan of Power BI. After using Tableau for a few months, I have definitely developed an attachment and some sort of dependence in how I approach analysing and visualising data. I found out the hard way that I am quite reluctant in learning new BI tools that would achieve the same (if not, a beta version) of what Tableau can do. It was this sort of attitude that hindered my exploratory experience with Power BI for today.

Issues that I have faced with BI is waiting for things to “load”. Yes, I know – first world problems! For example, when trying to build a map, I would check to use Latitude and Longitude, but Power BI would return two bar charts because they summarise (or average) Latitude and Longitude values by default, see Image 1.

Image 1: Attempt to build a map but Power BI defaults to producing two bar charts as seen in chart on the right.

To get an actual map view, I’d have to go on the Fields pane, right click on both Latitude and Longitude fields and select Don’t Summarize.

Image 2: Check Don’t Summarize on both Latitude and Longitude fields

There were a lot of time spent having moments such as ‘Uh, I know how to do this on Tableau, but how on Earth do I do it on this Power BI thing?!’

Other than my constant complaining, I do have to admit that Power BI is convenient especially considering that it is FREE. At the very least, if ever you would like to quickly investigate your data and drill down on questions, Power BI isn’t a bad tool to use.