40+ Best Power BI Interview Questions To Hire Or Get Hired With

power bi interview questions

Power BI is a powerful piece of business analysis software. As I discuss in other articles, business analysis is becoming more and more of a hard need in today's modern technology companies. As we produce more product and those products begin to bump into each other in more ways, the business analysis provides a lens to be able to differentiate and encourage growth in the right paths. Reporting is a big component to this as it allows executives to understand how well their company is performing. Power BI is a tool that helps executives and engineers fill this void. Below are some great Power BI interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next job interview. They can also be used to hire a Power BI professional in-house. All answers should be considered mock answers and I would encourage you to spend the time attempting to answer these experienced interview questions in your own way. That will give you the best chance of success and portrayal of confidence while being interviewed.

Before we begin

Below is a small demo that Microsoft put together regarding the Power BI desktop application. I always find it helpful to see how the creators of a product describe its use cases as well as generally just how they describe it. I think it will be helpful for you going into your interview to have a look at this video and familiarize yourself with the language.

Power BI Interview Questions Table of Contents


1. Can you please tell me how you'd describe Power BI

Power BI is a cloud-based data sharing software tool, which enables companies and or teams to survey and gather data/visualizations, efficiency and cohesively. Additionally, it helps teams by connecting them to a broad assortment of data with an easy to work with dashboard and the overall intelligence reports. Power BI is a part of SharePoint, there is a web platform which provides a chance to stack Excel exercise manuals into the cloud and then offer them with a selected number of collaborators or team members. Your team members or peers may likewise interface with these reports so as to apply channels and slicers to the highlighting information. These types of jobs are done by Power BI as the primary system for sharing assessments of data sets from Microsoft Cloud. The Power BI highlights allow for the following to be achieved:

• Introductions and discussions with associates.
• Generally refreshing excel files or sheets of data sources within company cloud infrastructures.
• Showing the data and yield on a variety of devices chosen by the Company
• You can also query the data to ask a question of sorts or analyze any of the data by utilizing common dialect (questioning).

2. What is the general business need for Power BI?

You can take the data and create robust reporting very easily. This assists in attracting new clients toward servicing and monitoring the customers already present. It also becomes possible to track information and set goals. Therefore, completely building an extraction, transformation and loading solution ultimately assists the management so they are able to make better decisions in the process. The return on investment when it comes to Power BI is also very high. Lastly, it makes some of the unwanted data into information, which can be utilized progressively.

3. Which data sources are often associated with Power BI?

There are a number of associated software tools that make Power BI more powerful. If you had to show some of the highlights of Power BI, it would be:

• Records: data ingestion from excel spreadsheets as well as shared Power BI desktop documents (.pbix) and comma separated value operations or (.csv) files
• Content packs: This is an accumulation of related reports or records. There are two types of substance packs. Connectors to databases and datasets like Azure SQL and SQL, Server Analysis Services.

4. Can you please tell me what the distinctive channels in the Power BI reports.

Power BI provides an assortment of choice by which to channel a report, data and/or perception.

• Visual level filters: these channels can chip away at the particular perception that decreasing the amount of data, which can be viewed. The visual level channels may also channel computations.
• Page level filters: these channels operate at the report level. They may have more diverse page level data.
• Report level type of filters: these are channels, which chip at the entire report and sift all the pages and representations that are included within the report. The realization is Power BI visual has certain operations, which make the act of sifting that much better. Visual associations are also valuable though they come with a number of constraints. You should be able to open a report created by another user and begin to play with the visual channels. Although there is no way of storing those channels within the spared report itself. The channel is also noticeable. Sometimes you may need a channel for the report in a variety of ways. However, there is no need for a visual sign to be indicated on the channel which is being connected.

5. Can you please tell me what some of the key competetive differences are between Power BI and Power BI Pro?

Power BI gives you a number of key features to assist with exploring data in a multitude of ways. Power BI Pro provides some of the better features within Power BI along with the additional type of features including the storage capacity, and scheduling data refresh more frequent than normal, live data sources with interactivity and much more.

6. Do you know how much Power BI costs?

For the Power BI Pro package, there is a 60-day free trial period. After that, it is $9.99 per month or there is an annual fee as well which you can opt for.

7. Can you please tell me about the Power BI desktop application?

The Power BI deskto application is a simple way to access Power BI via your Mac or PC. It works pretty cohesively with the web application, giving all the advanced data exploration features you might see in the web app. Data modeling and shaping are included, well as report creation with highly interactive and beautiful visualizations. It is possible to save your work to a number of export types and then publish your data and reporting to the Power BI site to share with team members.

8. Can you please tell me what DAX is?

In order to conduct basic math or calculations and data analysis when it comes to power pivot, there is a need to use Data Analysis Expression or DAX.

• It works on the column values
• DAX cannot modify or insert information or data
• It is possible to calculate calculated column and measures but it is not possible to calculate rows with the use of DAX

9. What are some of the core parts of Microsoft self service business intelligence solutions?

Microsoft has two parts for self-service business intelligence solution:

• Excel BI toolkit: this allows the customers to initiate an interactive report through the importation of data from different sources and modeling the data according to the requirements of the report.
• It is an online solution, which allows one to share the interactive reports and queries, which have been created with the use of Excel BI Toolkit.

10. Can you please tell me what the self-service business intelligence offering is?

• Self-service business intelligence or SSBI refers to the approach of data analytics which allows the users or colleagues to filter, analyze and segment data without an in-depth technical knowledge of business intelligence and/or statistical analysis.
• SSBI has made it pretty easy for the general end users of company or organization to access information from it and then create data visuals in order to get key business insights.
• Anyone that has a basic understanding of the data should be able to create reports in order to come up with intuitive and sharable types of dashboards.

11. What are the building blocks when it comes to Power BI?

• Visualizations; this is a visual representation of the data which can be line graphs, pie charts, side bar charts, graphical representations of the source data and tree maps.
• Datasets: a dataset refers to a collection of data, which the Power BI software may utilize in order to come up with their visualizations.
• Dashboards: the dashboard is a type of single layer presentation interface that has provides a variety of visualization modes for you. If you the user integrates one or more of the visualizations into one of the page layers, it becomes a pretty fancy and powerful display. For example: a sales dashboard may have pie charts, geographical maps as well as, bar charts.
• Tiles: A tile refers to a single visualization made within a report. An example in this case would be a pie chart in dashboard or report.

12. What are the content packs when it comes to Power BI?

Content packs are essentially prebuilt pieces of logic for a number of your services as part of the Power BI platform. A customer to one of the supported content pack services should be able to connect their account from Power BI admin panel in order to see the data. Microsoft is one of the more popular providers of this. They've released content packs for Marketo, Salesforce.com, Adobe Analytics, Mobile Engagement, Azure and many more. The organizational content packs allow the users, system integrators (programmers) and BI professionals with the tools for building their content packs in order to share purpose built dashboards, datasets and reports within their organization.

13. Can you please tell me how you use the FILTER function?

The FILTER function returns a table with a set of conditions applied for each of the source table rows.

• FILTER is the function that refers to an "iterator" so it can negatively effect the returned data set.

• For example: FILTER(MyTable,[SalesSheet] > 1000)

14. What are the various names of Power BI?

• Excel BI Toolkit: In the heart of Microsoft’s Power BI would be the Excel BI Toolkit. This is what provides it with power and boost. This comprises of Excel and a number of add-ins, which allow you to shape, create and project the data as analyzed and consider some of the components. There are four main elements, which would be: Power View, Power Pivot, Power Map and Power Query.

• Power View: this mainly analyses and represents the data in a means that is interactive as a data visualization manner with the use of Power View.
• Power Query: this investigates; change public and internal information as well as access to the information sources.
• Power Pivot: this works as an information modeling for the in-memory analytics.
• Power Map: Assist in bringing information to bear with visualization approaches, which are interactive.

15. Name some of the filters that you can utilize with the Power BI Reports.

• Visual filters
• Drill filters
• Page filters
• Report filters

16. Can you tell me how well you understand the Power BI designer?

This is a solo application that is associated with Power BI. And yes, it is entirely possible to make Power BI reports and then transfer them to PowerBI.com pretty easily.

17. What are the main differences between the Power BI gateway and Data management gateways?

The data management gateway is a component which gathers data continuously and exposes tables and relevant data to the user. In the case of Power BI gateway, this is software, which considers the on-premise Network. This data is not generally stored in the cloud for security purposes. It can be utilized for a single data or different data sources. The data is usually stored within an encrypted gateway cloud service.

18. Can you please tell me what the selection pane is inside of Power BI?

It can generally be used for controlling the tab order between the visuals on the data viz page. You can actually combine two or more of the visual pages into one single visual group if you'd like. This can be used to select data in a single visual for highlighting purposes and drill down a bit further from there.

19. What is your opinion of the dynamic filtering option within Power BI?

The dynamic filtering in Power BI is implemented using a number of steps. Here are just a few.

• It is then published to Group Work Space
• Create Filter link is then used (filter = Salesperson// Employee)
• Create DAX calculated column is then made
• Public Overview Report is produced

20. What data sets are generally used for creating a visual dashboard within the streaming data tiles?

Hybrid datasets are most common.

21. What would you consider to be the normal amount of table capacity for gathering/importing data in Power BI?

The "Summarize ()" function
Fundamental group work in produced within SSAS
The prescribed practice would be to determine table and gathering by sections not metrics. You may utilize ADDCOLUMNS work. SUMMARIZECOLUMNS
New gathering by work for SSAS and Power BI Desktop; more productive
Indicate bunch by different segments, table and articulations

22. Can you tell me what some of the advantages are of utilizing the variables within DAX?

• Through assessing a variable, the variable can be reused in different circumstances or instances within the DAX articulation. Because of this, the manner stays away from the extra inquiries of the particular source database.
• Factors may make the DAX articulations instinctive so they can be deciphered.
• Factors are just perused to their measure or question as they cannot share among the measures, inquiries or characterize at the model level.

23. Can you tell me what Power Pivotis?

Power Pivot is included as part of the software for Microsoft excel which allows you to import several lines of data from the different data sources into a solitary Excel exercise manual. This generally provides the opportunity to make connections between data and make figures based on that. It can also be used to measure the utilizing equations as well as the assembly of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts. Additionally, it is possible to break down the data so that a team member can settle on the convenient alternatives without the need for support.

24. Tell me what some of the key contrasts in the dislpay of data between Power BI Desktop and Power Pivot for Excel?

• Power BI Desktop underpins the multidirectional connections, figures/tables, security and Direct Query options you've setup.
• Power Pivot for Excel also has single bearing connections, ascertained segments and underpins the import mode, as it would be. The parts related to security cannot be characterized in Power Pivot for Excel.

25. Can you tell me what the Power Pivot Data Model is?

This is a data model which is comprised of data write tables as well as table relationships. The data tables usually are there for holding data together when it comes to business query that is being made.

26. When is the x-Velocity examination tool utilized for Power Pivot?

This is a core part of the engine that is behind "power rotate", or what would be the x-Velocity in memory examination engine. It can assist with a big data measurement because it stores data in a column database and then in the memory examination, which brings a much faster preparation of data as it places most of the query power to your machines RAM memory. It is an efficient way to analyze large data.

27. Can you tell me if you would have access of one dynamic connection between two tables in the data model in the intensity rotate process?

It is generally not possible to have access to one dynamic connection between two tables. However, it usually is possible to have access of one connection between two tables. There is usually just one single dynamic relationship available.

28. Can you please describe to me what Power Query is ?

Power Query is the ETL tool used to shape, clean and alter the data via an interface. It allows us the users to import data from an extensive variety of sources. You can shape the data according to necessity through evacuation and inclusion of the data.

29. What are data goals when it comes to Power Queries?

It would be described as two goals for a yield that are obtained from the question you asking the data.

• Loading to a table within a worksheet
• Loading to the Excel Data Model

30. Can you tell me what question collapsing within Power Query is?

Query collapsing is the process that happens when steps characterized in Power Query/Query Editor are converted into SQL or MySQL queries and then executed. It is important for the preparing of execution and versatility given the restricted assets on the customer machine.

31. Can you tell me if Power BI available for on-prem (or on premises)?

No, it is not available as a private server setup. This is usually called "on-prem". However, with Power BI, you do have a secure connection to your on-prem data sources if you'd like to set that up. With the on-premises Data Gateway, you should be ablee to connect your on-premises SQL Server and some of the other data sources you have available. You may also want to schedule refreshes with a centralized type of getaway. In the event that a getaway is not there then you can refresh the data from the on premises data sources with the use of Power BI Gateway Personal. It is also possible to view the on-premises SQL server mobile reports with the Power BI iOS application:

• SQL Server mobile reports on the iPad • SQL Server mobile reports on the iPhone

32. Does Power BI support general mobile devices like Android and iOS?

Power BI does, in fact, have native applications for Android phones, iOS devices and some of the Windows 10 devices. You can find the application in many of the branded app stores.

33. The Power BI Desktop’s Software License Terms show that one may install and use one copy of the software on the premises. True or false?

The question is whether this means you are limited to one copy of Power BI Desktop for the entire company. Power BI desktop’s use rights do not limit the individual to one copy of Power BI Desktop for the entire firm. Each of the individual users at the firm is able to install and use one copy on their premises.

34. Can you tell me what the query folding tool is in Power Query?

Query folding is the process of going through the steps defined in Power Query which translated SQL executed by the source database. This is opposed to the users local machine. It is important for processing performance as well as, scalability considering the limited resources when it comes to the client machine.

35. What are some of the most commonly used Power Query Data Transforms?

Changing the data types or sets, removing columns, filtering by rows, grouping and splitting one column into many columns.

36. Can the SQL and Power Query Editor be used together?

Absolutely, usually a SQL statement can be defined as the source of the Power Query function. That would be one of the better practices to make certain that an efficient type of database query is passed to the source in order to avoid the unnecessary type of complexity or processing by the client machine and the M function.

37. What are the main query parameters and Power BI Templates you have access to?

The Query parameters are parameters which can be used to provide the user of the local Power BI desktop report via a prompt that is geared to be specified for the values to access.

Parameters and templates as well can make it possible to share or email smaller template files and limit the amount of data loaded within the local PBIX files, thus improving the time for processing and experience.

38. What is the main language, which is used in Power Query?

It is a new programming language, which goes by the term M-Code. It is easy to use and similar to the other programming languages. It is a case sensitive type of code.

39. Can you tell me why you would need Power Query when Power Pivot can import the data for you?

Power Query is apparently a self-service type of ETL tool that runs as an excel add-in. It allows the end users to pull their data from different sources and manipulate it into whatever forms they wish, which would best suit its needs and then load it into Excel or some other type of data export source. Its usually better to use Power Query because it allows you to load the data much easier and also manipulate it according to the needs of the user.

40. Can you tell me what the Pwer Map is within Power BI?

The Power Map refers to a Microsoft Excel plugin that provides a set of functions which usually assists in the dat visualizations and data insight from large data sets. It can also assist in the production of 3D visualizations if you choose. It can plot up to a million data points in the form of a heatmap, into columns and also bubble maps if you choose. If the data is time coded, then it may also give some interactive views, which illustrate the manner the data is changing over the course of both space and time.

41. What are some of the main requirements for a table to be used within Power Map for Power BI?

For the data to be consumed in power map there ought to be location data such as the:

• Latitude and longitude pair
• Street, country, region, zip, postal code and state, which may be geo-located with the assistance of Bing. It also has to have data that can be in the form of a latitude/ longitude pair though this is not necessarily one of the requirement. It is possible to use some of the address fields instead like the country, city, street/ region, zip code. These can be geo-located with Bing.

42. What are the data hotspots when it comes to Power Map?

The data can either be available in Excel or it can be available remotely. For simplicity of setting up your data make sure the majority of your data is inside an Excel table where each of the columns is setup to a unique record. The segment headings or the column headings ought to have a message as opposed to genuine data with the objective that Power Map is there to decipher it in an accurate manner especially when it plots the geographic directions. The utilization of some of the important names makes the classification fields accessible in the Power Map Tour Editor Sheet. In order to utilize table structures, both time and geology within the Power Map have to incorporate the better part of the data within the table lines. In order to do this you might have to:

• You wish to stack the data from an outside source.
• In Excel click on the menu data > the association you need within the Get external data gathering.
• Take the means or results within the wizard that begins.
• On the last advance of the wizard, make certain Add this data to the Data Model is checked.

43. Is it possible to invigorate the Power BI reports once they are uploaded to the cloud?

Yes, absolutely. It is definitely possible to revive the reports through a Data Management gateway when it comes to SharePoint and Power BI Personal gateway.

44. What are some of the unique data invigorations used for generating the distributed reports within Power BI?

There are four main types of invigorating steps when it comes to Power BI. Bundle invigorate can model or revive your data.

• Visual compartment - This type of invigorating is a visual compartment refresh stored in a report type within a report once the data starts to change. In order to find out if the data invigorate worked and view how to actualize the data, you can check on the accompanying connections.
• Tile Invigorate - Tile invigorate refreshes the stores for the tile visuals on the dashboard once the data begins to change. This happens at regular type intervals. You may also constrain a tile for invigorating through the option of the ellipsis (which is three dots like this ...)on the upper right of the dashboard and choosing Refresh Dashboard Tiles.
• Bundle Invigorate – This would then synchronize the Power BI Desktop or Excel document between the Power BI benefit and OneDrive, or SharePoint Online. This does not pull the data from the first data source though. When the data comes to Power BI it can refresh it once it is inside the OneDrive record.
• Display/data revive – This refers to the type of revising to the dataset inside the Power BI benefit with data from the initial data source. This would either be finished by utilizing booked revive or invigorate now. That usually requires an entry point for the for the on-premises data sources, in the form of access tokens or login credentials.

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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