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Power BI 101- Logging and Tracing, Part III

Power BI, like many Microsoft products, is multi-threaded.  This can be seen from the logs and even the Task Manager.  I know, I know…you’ve probably heard this part all before…

The importance of this information, is that the logs will display Process IDs, (PID) that are separate from the main Power BI Desktop executable, including the secondary processes..  Moving from the Power BI logs that reside in the Performance folder, (see Part I here) we can view and connect the PIDs and TID, (Transaction IDs) to information from the Task Manager and the data displayed:

Power BI 101- Logging and Tracing, Part II

So we went over locations and the basics of logging and tracing in Power BI.  I now want to know how to make more sense from the data.  In Oracle, we use a utility called TKProf, (along with others and a number of third party tools) to make sense of what comes from the logs.  SQL Server has Log Analytics and the profiler, but what can I do with Power BI?

First, let’s discuss what happens when we have actual activity.  In my first post, the system was pretty static.  This time I chose to open up a file with larger data refreshes from multiple sources, added tables, calculated columns and measures.  The one Access DB has over 10 million rows that is refreshed when I first open the PBIX file:

Power BI 101 – Log Files and Tracing

Knowing where log files are and how to turn on debugging is an essential part of any technical job and this goes for Power BI, too.  Remember, as I learn, so does everyone else….Come on, pretty please?

Power BI Desktop

Log files and traces can be accessed one of two ways-

  • Via the Power BI Application
  • Via File Explorer

In the Power BI application, go to File –> Options and Settings –> Options –> Diagnostics.

Month Over Month and Newer Schtuff- Power BI

Today’s Post is brought to you by Patrick LeBlanc of Guy in a Cube.  I learn best by doing, so I was working with different features while watching along on Quick Measures:

As a newbie, yes, I had problems with my quick measures just as Patrick said I would, but with a twist-  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn DAX, quite the opposite, I could get the expression to work just fine  with DAX, but couldn’t seem to get the hang of the quick measure.  Leave it to me to have challenges with the *simpler* method… </p />

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Data Modeling, Dates and DAX

Presenting data in the format to ease visualization is required for any BI product.  Power BI provides much of this with Data Analysis Expressions, (DAX).   As a DBA, I admit to cringing every time a reference was made how similar it is to functions in Excel or other non-database platforms.  I’m a DBA and I naturally am going to see data at a much larger, more complex level.  I love the simplicity of DAX, which granted me the ability to acquire basic skills using it in just a day, but considering Power BI’s ability to pull from multiple data sources, including SQL Server, Oracle, PostgreSQL and even JSON files, the comparison to Excel left me feeling, well, ‘meh.’  </p />

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Automation and Analytics

They say the devil is in the details and as I come from the DevOps side of the house, it would only be natural that I’d be attracted to how Microsoft Flow works with Power BI.  For those that aren’t familiar with Microsoft Flow, think of it like If This Then That, (IFTTT) from Microsoft.

I used IFTTT to automate a number of tasks at my previous company-  everything from posting to social media automation, notifications on Slack, creating weekly status reports and other tedious tasks that I hated having to do manually.

The Journey Begins- Power BI and AI

I’m back!!  I know you missed my posts…be honest…. </p />

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Time is Gold

So many have asked me when I’m starting at Microsoft and the official date is Monday, June 11th now.  Many also wonder what my upper limits are on how much I can handle, well folks, it looks like we’ve reached them!