Power BI is an incredible tool that transforms your organization’s data into coherent and actionable insights. While Power BI makes business operations more impactful and efficient in the long run, there is a pretty sharp learning curve for beginners.

We’ve done Power BI Foundations trainings for a variety of enterprises. No matter how unique each business and team is, there are a few common challenges we often see new users encounter on their Power BI journey.

In this short video, I give you a rundown of these obstacles and share a few best practices to help you keep moving onward and upward.

Power Query

The first obstacle that beginners face when learning Power BI is the Power Query feature. Power Query is one of the most helpful features across the entire desktop platform. This feature allows you to source, clean, and prepare your data prior to loading it into a data model.

By automatically cleaning your data before moving it into a data model, it ensures that you’re reporting accurate metrics to your end users.

Power Query is particularly useful for financial reports, especially those created in Excel. It automatically moves month and date information into a place where Power BI’s data modeling features can read it most effectively.

Data Modeling

After you’ve finished your Power Query transformations, the next step is to load your data into your data model. Data modeling is another obstacle that we see beginners face during the Power BI learning process.

Having a solid data model is an essential part of creating an efficient and useful end product. When building your data model, you’ll need to make sure that all of your tables are separated out into dimension tables, fact tables, and that your relationships between the two are created correctly with one-to-many cardinalities. This helps you build all of your calculations and visualizations quickly and accurately.


DAX calculations are the final obstacle that Power BI beginners need to tackle. DAX stands for Data Analysis Expressions, and it is Power BI’s formula language that creates calculated measures and columns. A well-built data model helps make the DAX process much easier.

Learning these three Power BI skills can help you take control of your organization’s data and reporting needs. We cover all of these obstacles in great detail in Collectiv’s Power BI Foundations training. We also offer a variety of trainings for different experience levels, whether you need customized or advanced training.

If you’re interested in signing up your team for one of our trainings, feel free to reach out.