Reading books is one of my favorite things to do! More often than not, I prefer reading a technical book to watching a video on the same topic – yes, I know, I’m the old, traditional guy:)

With that in mind, I felt very happy when I got the chance to grab one of the latest Power BI titles: Extending Power BI with Python and R, written by one of the experts that I especially admire – Luca Zavarella (T) and published by Packt – not just because it’s Power BI related, but more because it extends beyond the “classic” Power BI ecosystem, by including Python and R in the scope.

Luca is a well-known and proven expert in the community, he’s also a Microsoft MVP and someone who always had interesting things to share. Since I don’t know (almost) anything about Python and R, I’ve decided to read this book and learn how these two very popular and powerful languages integrate with my favorite tool – Power BI!

Luca breaks down this wide topic into 16 chapters, spanning across ~520 pages! Some of the chapters that I liked most are:

  • Loading Large Datasets beyond the Available RAM in Power BI – didn’t have idea that this is possible:)
  • Anonymizing and Pseudonymizing Your Data in Power BI
  • Adding Statistics Insights: Associations
  • Exploratory Data Analysis
  • Advanced Visualizations – circular barplot, for example!
Circular Barplot in action

Have you heard about Dask?! Neither did I! But, I’ve learned from Luca’s book that you can use this Python library to increase the parallelism of your machine and manipulate 100+ GB datasets with one single laptop!

At the end of each chapter, there is a short summary of the concepts and skills you’ve learned, which helps you to stay on track. Luca writes clearly and there are a lot of practical examples of how to apply gained knowledge.

Personally, the book overcame my expectations – I’ve learned a lot about some new features and how Power BI can be extended beyond default functionalities using popular languages such as Python and R. I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone interested in deepening knowledge about using Python and R to enhance your Power BI solutions.

In my opinion, the book is not for the Power BI “newbies”, more for intermediate and advanced users.

If you are interested to learn how Python and R work in synergy with Power BI, this book is definitely for you! You can find it on Amazon, or directly on the Packt online store.

Last Updated on November 27, 2021 by Nikola

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