We are presenting you a quick guide to the tools you need so that you enter the world of Data Analytics and Business Intelligence. If you want to upgrade your data analytics skills and you are not familiar with the Power tools/apps offered by Microsoft then now it’s the time to join the data revolution.
There is shortage of specialized data and business intelligence analysts globally and those that invest on learning Power Query, Power Pivot, Power BI will experience great career progress plus will save a vast amount of time from repetitive, error-prone tasks done with “traditional” Excel.
So let’s check what you need in terms of software. As there is confusion with the software versions that someone needs to get into the world of Data Analytics / Business Intelligence, we give you detailed instructions and related links to download them.
Most, if not all, the Microsoft Data Analytics / BI tools you need to use are FREE or fairly economical depending on which version of Excel / Office you have installed on your computer.
What programs do I need to install before I go to the seminar with my laptop?
1. We suggest that the following be installed:
Operating Windows: Windows 7 or later
Microsoft Excel for Windows
Microsoft Excel 2016 Professional Plus
Microsoft Excel 2013 Professional + Power Query add-in installed
If you do not have one of the above versions of Excel, you can install a trial version of Office 365 free for 30 days
For those who have prior versions of Excel, except in 2010, they will not be able to follow the rapporteurs through the Excel environment but there is an alternative – you will follow the instructions for installing the Power BI Desktop for free.
For those with MAC, unfortunately, Office tools are not comparable to those in the Windows environment, so we suggest installing Windows with tools like Parallels or Boot Camp. (if you’re in this category, count at least 2-3 extra hours for the related facilities).
APPLICATIONS DATA ANALYTICS / BUSINESS INTELLIGENCE
What additional programs do I need to install (Data Analytics pc setup)?
Power BI Desktop
Power Query is perhaps considered one of the best tools for data analysis in Excel. Learn through a practical tutorial how to draw from various sources (Excel, Text, Access, Web Pages etc) and edit your data and of course, automate things you do daily by drastically reducing your time spent working in Excel. At the same time, you will learn to create reports using Excel Data Model either in Power Pivot or Power BI.
Power Pivot is an Excel add-in that allows you to integrate your data using table relationships and perform powerful data analysis by creating simple and advanced measures using DAX language. By using the power of Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language you will upgrade the data manipulation capabilities of Excel and allows the user to create more sophisticated and complex measures and highlight key business performance e.g. perform advanced time intelligence, combine and filter your data etc.
Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that enables anyone to visualize and analyze data with greater speed, efficiency, and understanding. Learn how you can deliver critical information and get important insights from your data by visualizing your work with Microsoft Power BI. Here is a sample of a dynamic dashboard created with Power BI and you should expect to learn to create similar ones once you are done with this workshop: http://bit.ly/powerbidashboardsample
Let’s reiterate that most Microsoft tools are virtually free of charge as long as you have the proper version of Office.
With regard to Power BI, the options are two: either create an account (with corporate email) and use the online version of the tool, or alternatively, you can install on a Windows PC operating the Power BI Desktop – instructions and links to the installation files below.
Those who have old or lighter versions of MS Office (and do not want to install the trial version for 30 days) will then have to download and install these tools to fully exploit the experience of the seminar.
32BIT VS. 64-BIT: A PARTICULAR PRESENTATION
Ideally, we prefer 64-bit programs/add-ins for stability, speed and flexibility in terms of the volume of data we need to process.
POWER BI DESKTOP
The first and fairly important tool for importing and displaying your data is Power BI. The program is available in a variety of formats (online, mobile, desktop / offline) and most importantly, to install Power BI Desktop on your Windows PC. As mentioned above, you can use the online version of the tool, but we recommend that you install the PC version for FREE to fully exploit the features of the tool. Having processed your data in Power Query and then in Power Pivot, the next step is to visualize and create attractive dashboards.
English: 32-bit & 64-bit
MICROSOFT POWER QUERY FOR EXCEL
Microsoft Power Query for Excel is an Excel add-in that enhances business user experience in Excel, simplifying data discovery, access, and collaboration. (from official MSFT site)
For those who have already installed the latest version of Excel (2016), they do not have to download and install the add-in as it is already installed and is now presented as Get & Transform in the Data Tab.
POWER PIVOT FOR EXCEL
Office 2010: If we do not even have the add-on installed yet and we have Excel 2010 version, we can download it for free here:
English: 32-bit & 64-bit
Greek: 32-bit έκδοση & 64-bit
(we prefer its 64-bit version if supported by our PC!)
Office 2013 or 2016: here things can be very simple if you have the appropriate version or otherwise there is no option to download it for free and basically you have 2 options: You upgrade this version to one that includes Power Pivot or you buy a standalone version of EXCEL 2016 that includes: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/d/Excel-2016/CFQ7TTC0K5F3?tduid=(4d8f37df5904651ff366546b64867299)(259740)(2875970)()()&activetab=pivot: overviewtab
Office 365: here is a lot of attention because it’s the latest version of Office but it has many different shots and the following do NOT have PowerPivot:
Office 365 Home
Office 365 Personal
Office 365 Business Essentials
Office 365 Business & Office 365 Business Premium
On the quite informative Microsoft page titled “Where is Power Pivot?” you will find whether or not you need to install the Power Pivot plug-in.
For those who have Excel 2013 or 2016, you are most likely to have it already and do not know why it is simply not enabled.
How can we check whether or not we have Power Pivot? We open Excel and select Options – Add-ins and check if Power Pivot for Excel is on the right. This list shows the active add-ins at the top and the inactive bottom.
If it’s in inactive application add-ins, then we just have to turn it on. Right at the bottom in the middle of the Excel Options window has a “Manage” option and a drop-down menu. We open the drop-down menu and select “COM Add-ins” and click the “Go” button. In the new window that opens, we select the Power Pivot plug-in and we’re ready!