An Introduction to Power BI

9th Sep 2019
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When we think about Artificial Intelligence (AI) our mind boggles at the idea of endless, impenetrable code, Silicon Valley breakthroughs and robots taking over the planet. With these associations, it's easy to understand why so many of us fear that AI will make our livelihoods obsolete.

But AI comes in many shapes and sizes. Disruptive technology is here to help the finance profession. It's here to make our jobs easier.

As the profession grows there is a greater expectation that accountants will not only collect and analyse data but use what they've found to help create and aid business strategies. We need to take information and turn it into something we can rely on to make good decisions from.

However, businesses have access to more information than ever before. With the amount of raw data at our fingertips it may seem impossible to find the time to compile, analyse and create value from it.

This is when we can use AI to help.

Power BI is a self-service business intelligence package from Microsoft, and it allows you to connect, transform, model and visualise data. This enables you to create powerful reports. And it's free!

Despite Power BI being a great tool for accountants, many of us are in the dark about what it is and how to use it. Take this short quiz to find out how your Power BI knowledge stacks up.


1. Which of the following statements about Power BI Desktop are true?

A. A new version is released every year

B. It is free to download

C. It is part of Microsoft's self-service business intelligence package

D. You can use it to connect to data on Facebook


2. On which of the following can you carry out DAX formulas?

A. Cell references

B. Columns or subsets of columns

C. Hard-coded values

D. Rows or subsets of rows


3. DAX can carry out how many types of calculation?

A. 1

B. 2

C. 3

D. 4


4. When you load data into the Power BI Desktop data model, the software will automatically create relationships between your tables for you.

True or false?

A. True

B. False


How did you fair up? Take a look at the answers below.

1. B, C, D

2. B

3. B

4. A


Over the next few weeks, we'll be looking into Power BI and how you can use it effectively.

Downloading Power BI Desktop

Power BI is free to download and use. To download Power BI Desktop, click here

Find out more about how accountingcpd can help you and your team stay on top of your CPD plan with our annual licence.