BI Theory #5: What are databases?

Just a quick disclaimer – I don’t intend on getting too technical with databases. The target audience for this article is still your everyday office worker rather than a database administrator or IT professional.

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What is a database?

A database stores and organizes digital information. The way data is organized within the database allows it to be specialized for different scenarios. This results in different types of databases. Continue reading “BI Theory #5: What are databases?”

BI Theory #4: Where to get Power Query and Power Pivot

Now that you know the basic idea behind Power Query and Power Pivot it’s time to start downloading them! (if you have no idea what I’m talking about you may want to read my earlier posts here [1], [2], [3])

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The thing to remember is that Power Query and Power Pivot aren’t just Excel features – they pop up in a few places and if you know how to use them in one application you can easily use them in another.

See below for some housekeeping on where to get access to Power Query and Power Pivot. Continue reading “BI Theory #4: Where to get Power Query and Power Pivot”

BI Theory #3: PQFL (“M”) vs DAX

See here on why you might want to learn these languages for Power Query and Power Pivot, and see here for where they fit within creating a data model that you can analyse to get quick insights.

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In this post I hope to give a brief comparison of M (formerly “PQFL”) and DAX. Continue reading “BI Theory #3: PQFL (“M”) vs DAX”

BI Theory #2: The Microsoft Self-Service BI Toolset

It’s time to meet the new tools! If you missed the introduction explaining why you might want to use these tools, check out my last post here.


I hope you like the illustrations, I decided to make some custom ones myself because the Power Query and Power Pivot icons are different depending on which application you use them in (even though they are the same tool!). Continue reading “BI Theory #2: The Microsoft Self-Service BI Toolset”

BI Theory #1: An introduction to the changing world of self-service BI

New beginnings

Hi everyone.

It seems like the best way to start a blog is with an introduction, but instead of boring you with my life’s details let’s just jump straight into it.

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The gist is that I’ve decided to start this blog about business intelligence and analytics in the hope that I can share some of the tools, tips, and tricks that I’ve picked up on my journey to becoming a better analyst.

Starting a blog always comes with some trepidation – the fear that not only will you lack the stamina to continue with what you’ve started, but also that it’ll be public for the world to see! Hopefully this blog marks the beginning of a great journey… but for now you’ll just have to settle with some thoughts on why I think the analytics industry is in for a shake-up. Continue reading “BI Theory #1: An introduction to the changing world of self-service BI”