I like free stuff and I like books, so of course I like free books – and it seems that the more I provide free publicity for relevant books here the more free books I get sent. I’ve now got enough to merit writing another post covering those I’ve received recently from various publishers and authors. As always these are not reviews, just short summaries of books you might want to check out.
Studying for a certification is a great way to learn a technology and this book is intended for those studying for the PL-300 Power BI Data Analyst exam. In terms of technical content this book is a good general introduction to Power BI development and administration, so nothing out of the ordinary, but knowing that the book is written to cover the exam syllabus and the generous number of practice questions would be the reason to buy it.
Taking a different angle on learning Power BI is Wyn Hopkins, who has aimed his book at people coming from the Excel community (Wyn himself is a well-known Excel and Power BI MVP who has a great YouTube channel). I’m surprised there aren’t more people writing content like this since the vast majority of people using Power BI come from this background; Rob Collie cornered the market years ago but has been very quiet recently. Once again it’s an introductory guide to Power BI development but there’s a healthy amount of real-world experience inside as well as opinion, which I like – it not only makes the book more valuable but also more readable.
Adam Aspin is a prolific author of Power BI books and this one focuses on the mechanics of building reports and dashboards. It’s not one of those preachy “data visualisation” books but a guide to the Power BI report canvas, all the visuals and their properties and settings: there’s a whole chapter on drilling up and down, for example. As a result even an experienced Power BI report designer will probably find something in it that they didn’t know.
Not strictly a Power BI book, I know, but a general introduction to Synapse in the worked example/cookbook format – although there is a chapter on how to use Power BI with Synapse. Gaurav is a colleague of mine on the Power BI CAT team at Microsoft so of course I want to call out this new book that he has co-written! My Synapse knowledge is not as good as it should be so I learned a few things reading it.