Turning data into insights with Power BI Q&A

“Q&A” is a powerful feature of Microsoft Power BI, whereby you can ask questions about your data using natural language and get answers instantly. It is a game changer as it truly empowers business users to rapidly come up with charts, reports and dashboards and turn data into insights. Gone are the days when you had to come up with report specifications and wait for days (or even longer) for the reports to be developed, only then to find out they were not what you had imagined and any further changes would cost more and take longer time!

Power BI supports connecting to a large variety of data sources (a full list can be found here). In this article I use Sydney property auction results for 2nd of July, which I extracted from the Domain website and saved as Excel.

00 - Excel
You can download the Excel file here: Auction Results – Sydney – 2016-07-02.

To setup in Power BI, simply follow these steps:

  1. Sign-in to Power BI (https://powerbi.microsoft.com).
  2. Add a new dataset from files. Choose the Excel spreadsheet containing the auction results, and select Import Excel data into Power BI.
  3. You are now ready to Q&A the data!

Click Ask a question about your data, and start entering your question. Below are some examples. Please share with me what other insights you could get out of the data, I’d be interested to know!

  1. total price”, or what is the total sale for Sydney for that weekend?
  2. Similarly, “average price”, or the average sale for Sydney for that weekend.
  3. count of suburb”, or how many suburbs partake in the auctions over the weekend?
  4. average price in eastwood” – I like to focus on this suburb (Eastwood). What is the average price in this area?
  5. full address by price as map”, or how did the property prices compare across Sydney?
  6. full address house price under $1,000,000 as map”, or were there any houses sold in Sydney over the weekend under $1M, if so where were they?
  7. best performing agent price descending”, or show me the best performing agents over the weekend.

This is another beauty, for any Q&A you like, you can pin it to a new or existing dashboard, it’s that easy!

04 - Dashboard

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