Power BI Certification Summer 2020 Cohort

In the Summer of 2020, UTSA Business Intelligence led a cohort of UT students and employees in pursuit of the Microsoft Certified: Data Analyst Associate credential.  The cohort was trained on Microsoft Power BI using the Microsoft Learn platform in preparation for the one exam required for this certification.

The Power BI Users Microsoft Team served as a hub for cohort activity and a place to interact with other participants. That Team is still available, the training content is still available, and those interested are still welcome to pursue the training on their own time apart from the cohort model.

All of the training is asynchronous, available for you to take at your own time and pace. We recommend a schedule for tackling the content, but all content will be available from day 1. Current estimates are that most people will require about 30 hours total (not per week) to complete the training

There will be no charge to students or faculty/staff for the training.  We also have a significant discount available for the certification exam: $25 each for vouchers good through August, 2021 (retail price is $165).

A description of the credential and associated exam is available here:


​​​​This page contains a curated set of video tutorials for learning to use Power BI.  Note that we have some specific ways at UT that we’re utilizing Power BI, so there may be some university-specific details we’ll have to catch you up on along the way.  Also, because the UTSA BI team does a lot of the modeling for you, you can safely ignore lessons on modeling data, creating measures and calculated columns, etc.

If you’d like a complete​ course-based approach to learning Power BI, consider enrolling in the free edX course Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Microsoft Power BI. Users with access to LinkedIn Learning (formerly Lynda.com) may be interested in Learning Microsoft Power BI Desktop or Power BI Pro Essential Training.

Here are the core videos from the course:

We recommend first viewing this short (4 minute) introduction to the Microsoft Guided Learning course on Power BI:

Next, watch this video that explains a bit about the Power BI Desktop application. Everyone can have access to Power BI Desktop. You can download it here.

This video starts to show you how to get data in Power BI Desktop. In the video they show getting data from Access. You’ll most likely be getting data from Microsoft SQL Server (you can try entering dbedev01.utk.tennessee.edu for a SQL Server database to see what’s available there) or from Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services (try ssasdev02.utk.tennessee.edu). But, to learn, a simple Excel spreadsheet with some data you’re familiar with will do nicely.

Now that you’re familiar with the Power BI Desktop interface and know how to get data, it’s time to start learning about the visualizations available in Power BI.

The above video, Introduction to creating, editing, and formatting visuals on the report canvas, is the start of an entire playlist of videos covering various visualizations:

Explore the Playlist now (go as far as “Lab 3-12”).

​A note about the online service: many features available in the online service are only avaialble to Power BI Pro users. Pro licenses cost a modest annual amount, so we don’t make Power BI users “Pro” by default. If you’d like to use Power BI Pro, please contact your helpdesk. Know that any time you share anything in Power BI that uses Pro features, a non-Pro (aka “Free”) user will not be able to access the content.

Once you’ve got something put together in Power BI desktop, you may want to access it through Microsoft’s online Office 365 version of Power BI. This video shows you how to publish to “the service”