Data Academy Course

Intro to Power BI [OPEN]

About this course

This course is designed to give you a strong foundation in Power BI and a jump-start on your 1st Power BI project.

Power BI is a powerful, low-cost program that focuses on the entire business intelligence chain: from data wrangling to visualizing to sharing to automation.  Most BI programs (such as Tableau) focus primarily on data visualization, which often leaves users having to do significant (often repetitive) ‘data wrangling’ in Excel before it is ready to import. In contrast, Power BI enables users to clean data and then visualize and share.

Power BI also has substantial visualization/sharing/automation abilities allowing for easier exploration of your department’s data by your co-workers and the public. Instead of always having to calculate how many X are in Supervisorial District Y, you can now create an embed-able chart on your department website that automatically updates and always shows the most up-to-date estimates.

What you’ll learn in this course

  • Import and ‘data wrangle’ data from various sources
  • Join multiple data sets for analysis
  • Visualize/map the results
  • Automate the entire process
  • Share your work privately within the city or publicly
  • Best practices for documenting and managing your workflow
  • Tips and Tricks specially designed for the data needs of CCSF employees
  • Note: class is dedicated to practice, not high level overview or comparison to other programs.  Review CCSF powerBI brown bag slidedeck which dives into those areas.

Course outline

  • Instruction - 4 hours
  • Long Exercise - 1.5 hours
  • Your project - 1.5 hours


Participants should have a good working knowledge of pivot tables. This is a fast-paced intermediate level Data Academy course. Working knowledge of higher level programming languages such as R or Python can be substituted for pivot tables. Exceptions are rare and at the approval of the instructor.

Upcoming courses scheduled

View the Course Calendar to see a list of upcoming classes. To get notified when enrollment opens for a class, complete the Course Interest Form and select the class (or classes) you’re interested in.

After completing the interest form, you will get an email when enrollment opens 3 weeks prior to class. Enrollment is not guaranteed as sometimes there are more interested employees than available seats.

Note: You must get your supervisor’s approval to attend any Data Academy courses.