Book Overview: “The Definitive Guide to Power Query in Power BI and Excel”
This article was authored by Reza Rad, a community author. Please reach out to your Microsoft contact if you are interested in contributing to the Power Query Blog.
Author: Reza Rad, https://radacad.com, CEO
Recently, Leila and I published a series of two books under the name of The Definitive Guide to Power Query in Power BI and Excel. Both books are now available in eBook and paperback formats on Amazon and Google Play Books. In this blog, I’ll explain some details about the book, the agenda, and who is this book for.
About the Authors
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker, and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years of experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for 11 continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand, and the Power BI Summit (the biggest Power BI conference). He is a best-selling author of over ten Power BI books.
Dr. Leila Etaati
Dr. Leila Etaati is the first Microsoft AI MVP in New Zealand and Australia, She has a Ph.D. in Information Systems from the University Of Auckland. And she has been working with information systems since 20 years ago. She is the Co-director and data scientist in RADACAD She is the co-organizer of Power BI and Analytics user group (meetup) in Auckland with more than 2500 members, She is the co-director of conferences such as the Difinity Conference (2017 till now) and the Power BI Summit (the biggest Power BI conference). She is a Data Scientist, BI Consultant, Trainer, and international Speaker. She is one of the very few AI and Data Platform Dual Microsoft MVPs in the world. Leila is an active Technical Microsoft AI blogger for RADACAD.
Who is this book for?
A good analytics solution combines a good data model, good data preparation, and good analytics and calculations. We have written another book about the Basics of modeling in Power BI and a book on Power BI DAX Simplified. This book is covering the data preparation and transformations aspects of it. This book series is for you if you are building a Power BI solution. Even if you are just visualizing the data, preparation and transformations are an essential part of analytics. You need to have a cleaned and prepared data ready before visualizing it.
About the books
Any data analytics solution requires data population and preparation. With the rise of data analytics solutions these years, the need for this data preparation becomes even more essential. Power BI is a helpful data analytics tool that is used worldwide by many users.
As a Power BI (or Microsoft BI) developer, it is essential to learn how to prepare the data in the right shape and format needed. You need to learn how to clean the data and build it in a structure that can be modeled easily and used high performant for visualization.
Data preparation and transformation is the backend work. If you consider building a BI system as going to a restaurant and ordering food. The visualization is the food you see on the table nicely presented. The quality, the taste, and everything else come from the hard work in the kitchen. The part that you don’t see or the backend in the world of Power BI is Power Query.
You may already be familiar with other data preparation and transformation technologies, such as T-SQL, SSIS, Azure Data Factory, Informatica, etc. Power Query is a data transformation engine capable of preparing the data in the format you need. The good news is that to learn Power Query; you don’t need to know programming. Power Query is for citizen data engineers. However, this doesn’t mean that Power Query is not capable of performing advanced transformation.
Power Query exists in many Microsoft tools and services such as Power BI, Excel, Dataflows, Power Automate, Azure Data Factory, etc. Through the years, this engine became more powerful. These days, we can say this is essential learning for anyone who wants to do data analysis with Microsoft technology to learn Power Query and master it.
Unfortunately, because Power Query and data preparation is the kitchen work of the BI system, many Power BI users skip the learning of it. They become aware of it somewhere along their BI project. Once they get familiar with it, they realize there are tons of things they could have implemented easier, faster, and in a much more maintainable way using Power Query. In other words, they learn mastering Power Query is the key skill toward mastering Power BI.
We have been working with Power Query since the very early release of that in 2013, named Data Explorer, and wrote blog articles and published videos about it. The number of articles we published under this subject easily exceeds hundreds. Through those articles, some of the fundamentals and key learnings of Power Query are explained. We thought it is good to compile some of them in a book series.
This book is compiled into a series of two books, which will be followed by a third book later;
– Getting started with Power Query in Power BI and Excel
– Mastering Power Query in Power BI and Excel
– Power Query dataflows (will be published later)
Although this book is written for Power BI and all the examples are presented using the Power BI. However, the examples can be easily applied to Excel, Dataflows, and other tools and services using Power Query.
What is the prerequisite?
There is no prerequisite for this book series. The first book gets you to start the journey from an absolute beginner in the world of Power Query. Being familiar with Power BI Desktop is helpful in some areas of the book, but it is not mandatory. You can learn the basics of Power BI Desktop by reading a simple blog article like this.
The book series starts with the book Getting Started which focuses on beginner to intermediate level usage of Power Query, and then the Mastering Power Query takes you to the next level with some advanced concepts and practices.
Available on Amazon and Google Play Books in Kindle (eBook) and Paperback format
Both paperback and eBook versions are available now through Amazon and Google Play Books.
If the paperback version looks a bit pricy on your end, it is because we used the premium all-color printing option, the best printing option available on Amazon books. All the interior images are colored so that you can understand the concepts more easily. Here is an example of the interior of our books
What’s Included? (Table of Contents)
Book 1: Getting Started with Power Query in Power BI and Excel
- Part 1: Getting Started with Power Query
- Part 2: Getting Data
- Part 3: Files and Folders
- Part 4: Text and Numeric Transformations
- Part 5: Date and Time Transformations
- Part 6: Filtering Data
- Part 7: Conditional Column
- Part 8: Table Transformations
Book 2: Mastering Power Query in Power BI and Excel
- Part 1: Combining Data Tables
- Part 2: Grouping and Aggregation
- Part 3: Fuzzy Operations
- Part 4: Parameters and Custom Functions
- Part 5: Performance Tuning
- Part 6: Error Handling, Exception Reporting, And Data Profiling
- Part 7: Advanced Analytics Using Power Query
- Part 8: Power Query Formula Language: M
- Part 9: Table and List Functions