While BlueGranite offers a variety of technical training courses, one of our most popular continues to be a multi-day, onsite Microsoft Power BI exploration course. Over the past few years, Microsoft has transformed both self-service and enterprise analytics through its Power BI platform. But due to frequent updates, the pace of innovation can be difficult to manage. That’s why we keep our training material current. Our team of experts created the content, and keeping it up to date is our priority. We believe so strongly in its merits, we even use the course for internal training. 

With a wealth of outside Power BI resources available, why do so many businesses take advantage of our our traditional, onsite, classroom-style training?

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Self-directed learning has its benefits. It’s convenient to use books and online courses to try to keep technical skills up to date. But nothing replaces the strong benefits of taking a formal course, attending an event with others, or working under the mentorship of a more seasoned professional.

What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

In a study and article in 1999, Justin Kruger and David Dunning explored the “tendency of the average person to believe he or she is above average”1. Self-perception is complicated. Individuals tend to think that they know more than they truly know, and this reflects in how they assess their abilities, a phenomenon now known as the Dunning-Kruger Effect.

Too many employees working under the assumption that they are already experts, or those who do not position themselves to benefit from outside guidance, can be detrimental to an organization. However, an experienced person typically recognizes gaps accurately and strives to overcome them, rather than plateauing in their skills under the mistaken belief that they already know all they need to know.

Steps to Success

How can you prevent bad outcomes while your team learns Power BI? Even in the age of online courses and so many self-directed resources, in-person training sessions with peers still offer a variety of benefits over other modes.

1) Cater the Experience to Your Team

An onsite instructor can more easily adapt to the needs of an audience. That might involve providing more depth on certain concepts that are of particular interest to you, answering questions as they are asked, giving immediate feedback and guidance, or putting you in position to begin combining Power BI with your own data and unique business needs.

2) Quality of Work

With more Power BI exposure, it becomes easier to distinguish a good data model from a bad one, or a well-designed report from a quick collection of visuals. From the outset, we expose you to content created by professionals well-versed in data visualization and data modeling best practices, who fully explain the reasons behind specific implementations.

3) Explore Your Knowledge Gaps

Through exposure to a variety of concepts and demonstrations, you will be able to better understand what areas you can focus on going forward as you gain experience with Power BI. No one is an expert in every single facet of Power BI. Rather than treating these gaps as weaknesses, they are opportunities for future learning.

4) Collaboration

On-site classes also offer the valuable advantage of peer collaboration. Your organization can reap rich benefits from student questions, answers and dialogue – gains likely unacheivable with self-directed learning. You can even use class time to discuss specific business requirements with the other attendees, ultimately using your own data to build reports in class that matter to you.

Our Trainers Are Practitioners

In addition to some of the general benefits, BlueGranite’s instructors primarily work in the field. We are not full-time trainers. We come from diverse technology backgrounds, but we all have one thing in common: we regularly implement Power BI and other Microsoft technologies on client projects ourselves. Our real-world experience enhances BlueGranite’s Power BI training course. Most trainers also have a background in working with Microsoft Power BI precursor technologies, and have deep data modeling, DAX language, and related proficiencies, by virtue of applying them in the field for years.

We Recognize the Audience

We also recognize that there are many user types, all interacting with Power BI in different ways. Some will gradually become experts at creating content, while others will only consume reports. Some may go deep into data preparation or modeling, while others only want to view insights. Some may be daily users, while others may only occasionally use it. Training a broad audience like this can be difficult, but our content approaches different types of users in different scenarios. We provide a broad survey on the first day of training but do not shy away from advanced concepts as the course progresses. We draw a distinction between an audience of Consumers, versus Power Users, and cater the content appropriately.

Bring Your Own Data

Finally, BlueGranite’s training often finishes with something we call “Bring Your Own Data”. After your team has spent time learning concepts with a sample dataset, you can apply much of what you have learned to building reports that directly matter, and often have immediate impact on your business.

Okay, Let’s Get Started

By coaching you through the Power BI ecosystem, exposing you to the broad landscape, and then helping you to explore any gaps in knowledge, BlueGranite helps your team quickly progress in Power BI proficiency. Rather than suffering the potential consequences of mistaken assumptions about existing skills, or slowing progress through self-directed learning, many organizations choose to gain proven Power BI proficiency from our team. You can too.

Interested in learning more about how BlueGranite can help your organization better take advantage of Power BI? See the Power BI Training page on our website. Our training is also listed on Microsoft AppSource.

1. Justin Kruger and David Dunning. “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Self-Inflated Assessments,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 77, no. 6 (1999): 1121-1134.