Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Power BI 2022 In Review: My Favourite Features

Last night we had a work meeting at Powerdobs, with a few presentations about business updates, new joiners in the coming months and Power BI projects. I had the pleasure of closing the evening with a presentation on Power BI.

So I decided to do a presentation on my favourite additions to Power BI over the past year. But instead of doing a regular PowerPoint presentation, I decided to do an all-Power-BI presentation. It was very well received and I was encouraged to share it here!
Without further ado, here is the report: πŸ˜€    

In future posts I will dig into the details of this report and let you know how I created it.
I'll also explain why I did (not) include certain features.

For writing this post I was inspired by Kasper's Power BI year 2022 in review and Marco's What happened in the DAX world in 2022.

Let me know what you think, any comments/additions/improvements are welcome!
Do you think I missed features in this review from the last year?

Friday, December 30, 2022

Closing out on 2022

It's the holiday season again. This year flew by if you ask me.
As I did last year, I like to close this year with a little review and mention a few of the things I did.


I can at least say I did a bit better than last year, writing a total of 12 posts this year. I still like to get some more time for writing posts, but motivation is still not easy... On the kind of posts: I like in-depth technical ones, where I explain a specific problem or solution I've come across.
And I've also written a lot about Administration and Governance type of topics, like:


Luckily, in-person speaking has returned again. I think I can speak for everyone if I say that we missed that very much the last year(s).
I've had some great speaking gigs this year, like a virtual presence at SQLBits, The Dutch Power BI User Day (Deep Dive as well as the free Saturday), DataGrillen, and (both virtual) New Zealand Business Applications Summit and the Pakistan Power Platform Bootcamp.
While I didn't have the pleasure to speak at dataMinds Connect this year, I did attend it with a few colleagues, which was again awesome!


I've been awarded Microsoft Most Valuable Professional in the Data Platform category for the 3rd time in a row now! 

Learning goals

In May, I took the (then beta) exam DP-500 (Azure Enterprise Data Analyst Associate) and in early July I got the confirmation of receiving the certification!

Are you still interested in taking this exam? Have a look at my overview post.

I didn't do much reading, in books that is. I've read numerous blog posts, but not really any books. Let's up that game in 2023 and put in effort to do more reading.

I do like listening to podcasts, ranging from running (Susy Q&A, Klaas en Koen lopen weg) to tech (Knee-Deep in Tech, Kasper on BI, Explicit Measures). I like to listen to them during my morning or lunch walks and sometimes during running also.


In February of this year, I started my job as the Unit Lead Power BI at Powerdobs B.V. It's a small consultancy company based in 's-Hertogenbosch, focused on the Azure Data Platform and Power BI. We now have 8 consultants (in one month 9 πŸ˜€), with some backend, some front-end and a few both.
As the Unit Lead for Power BI (Sjoerd Donker is Unit Lead Data Engineering), next to client engagements, I am responsible for spreading knowledge about Power BI and also getting my colleagues excited about sharing knowledge, inside but also outside the company, through blogs and presentations.

I definitely thought my move to Van Lanschot Kempen (my previous employer) was the best I would ever make, because of the permanent employenent, less travelling and building a solid relationship and solutions inside one company.
However, I missed the point of being with my hands on the buttons of Power BI a bit, so I couldn't resist taking the chance to join this family of Power BI enthusiasts at Powerdobs. And it truely feels like a little family here! πŸ’›


With a last year of running just over 1800 km's, I was a bit fed up with running in the first quarter of this year.

This year my total will be around 1120 km, so a lot less then last year, but I can definitely say I ran much more effectively. For example: I used to go running to and from the interval training at the club (4.5K), just to get more K's in. Now I take the bike to the training, so the training itself can be more effective, especially with an interval training.
On the half marathon goal (of 90 minutes): I had one try in October in Eindhoven, but that didn't go as planned. 😐
I still love the fact that all the #runhappy buddies are going strong!

Next to running I've also been doing a bit more workouts at home, being mainly pilates and strength exercises (with the Skimble app) to complement the running, and the last monhts also some yoga to start the day.

I've also been doing some cold showers and Wim Hof (a.k.a. the Iceman) breathing exercises once in a while the last year. But in the beginning of October I've had the pleasure of attending a Wim Hof (half day) workshop, on mindset, breathing and cold. So I took an ice bath! 😁

After that day, I've been consistently doing a cold shower every morning now! It feels amazing going through that stress and adrenaline rush in the morning, and feeling relaxed after a few seconds of focussing on my breathing.
I just have to get the breathing exercises incorporated more into my daily routine also.

That's all for this year. I whish everyone the best New Year's Eve and a great start of 2023!

Nicky. Out.

Monday, December 19, 2022

SSMS Error when refreshing a Power BI Table: Paramter name already exists

2 weeks ago I talked about A No-Code Method to Refresh One Table From a Power BI Dataset in the Service. I recently ran into an error using this method, so I thought it was worth sharing this error, and the solution πŸ˜€, with you.


Don't use the initial catalog when you're connecting to a Power BI dataset with SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS).
If you want to now more details about the exact problem and solution, please read on below.


In my previous post I mentioned:

"With some tools it might be necessary to also provide the Initial Catalog (the dataset to connect to in your workspace). The datasets in your workspace will eventually show as databases under your AS-server:"

I did specifically say some tools, and might. 😁
So, to be even more specific, when using SSMS Γ‘nd the option for initial catalog, you run into the below error message:

I tried a few things before I got asked for some (external) help. A little bit of context around the problem:
  • Note that the message itself also has a typo in it (paramter πŸ˜‚).
  • It happens to every table in every dataset (I tried so far) in this workspace. I tried another workspace and that refreshed fine from the UI.
  • A colleague is getting the same error message in the UI for this particular workspace.
  • Looking at the error I checked if there are params called name in the datasets, but there aren't.
  • It's a test workspace in a deployment pipeline.


Luckily the solution is very simple! 
  • Don't use the Initial Catalog option in combination with SSMS, leave it at <default>
  • Or, if for any reason you need the above option selected, install SSMS 19 Preview 4
    • This preview version is a side-by-side installation, so it installs next to SSMS 18.x

I hope this helped you if you encountered the same problem.