Continuing with my dive into Power BI for Office 365. Overall it has been a very positive experience. and the source of some renewed energy in my career – and that is something. But there are some puzzles that I haven’t been able to get worked out yet.
First, there is the trio of Powerpivot, Power View, and Power Query. I’ve been able to get the gist of what each’s function is but it still doesn’t make total sense. Frankly, practically everything that needs to be done can bed done in Powerpivot, right? Power View and Power Query each serve as substitutes for subsets of Powerpivot functionality, but neither does so convincingly. The most egregious example of this is that, while Power Query is nice to work with and provides access to many public data sources, the fact that any Power BI document built with Power Query can’t be automatically updated from my office SQL Servers is an absolute deal breaker. I honestly can’t believe they would release a product with that deficiency.
Power View is in a similar state though not so extreme. There is no question that Power View produces lovely reports. Hell, I used Power View reports to sell my boss on making the Power BI commitment. They have their purposes. But at the end of the day, there’s too much missing. The lack of Top 10s and, especially, timelines make it far less useful. That and the fact of just having two different presentation systems adds another layer of complexity that seems pointless to the beginner.
Finally, there is SharePoint. I’ll grant you that SharePoint is an ambitious system. It does a lot, it’s very powerful, and it’s very confusing. If you ask me, and no one has, Power BI should have it’s own system for report sharing. I can see how incorporating Power BI into SharePoint makes sense to some, but it doesn’t for me. It’s a mess as far as I’m concerned.
Finally again, the lack of support for compound keys in linking tables makes life way more complicated than it needs to be. I hope they will fix that soon.
Anyway, I will persevere. Sorry to have gone on so long. I’ll have better news to report soon. I’m sure of it.