Bottom line: Check out our new video from the Power Query Pro course on the benefits of learning Power Query.
Skill level: Beginner
The Power Query Data Machine
When I was thinking of a real life analogy to use in our new Power Query Pro course, I kept coming back to the idea of a donut factory.
This is a great way to explain Power Query, because the basic steps of a depositor (donut) machine are:
- You add ingredients to it.
- Change some settings.
- And it automatically creates donuts that are ready for baking.
Once you save your settings, the process can be repeated over-and-over again to make perfect pastries every time. Yum.
Power Query works in a very similar way!
- You add your data sources (Excel tables, CSV files, database tables, webpages, etc.)
- Press buttons in the Power Query Editor window to transform your data.
- Output that data to your worksheet or data model (PowerPivot) that is ready for pivot tables or reporting.
Power Query is like a machine because once you have your query setup, the process can be repeated with a refresh every time your data changes.
This is just one of benefit, but below we outline (what we believe) are the 3 main benefits of using Power Query.
Benefit #1: Save time & money
Power Query can be a powerful (and life changing!) tool for those of us who routinely process data.
By automating processes, Power Query can save you huge amounts of time, and that time equates to dollars.
In fact, I encourage you to equate time to money when you're discussing the amount of resources you saved your company by using Power Query.
Benefit #2: Reduce errors & improve accuracy
Boring, redundant tasks of cleaning up data can take up to 80% of our time…and very few of us are completely accurate 80% of the time.
Power Query can reduce the amount of time you spend transforming data, but also ensure that the data is transformed accurately and without errors.
Benefit #3: Delegation & career growth
In our Power Query Pro Course, we look at updating a Weekly Order Reports. We show you how to update them with Power Query.
But for those of you who don't use Power Query, the manual process for updating an order report may look like this very long, tedious list.
The deadline for the report above is Monday at 7AM. What does that mean for you as the person managing this role? Maybe a long Sunday night? Or a very early Monday morning…
If that sounds familiar, you're not alone. This happens in most data analysis roles. Managing projects can be extremely stressful, particularly without the help of tools like Power Query.
But what if that long list could look like this instead?
Turning the 12 steps from the manual process above into these 3, easy steps could not only save you TONS of time but also allow you to delegate this process to someone else.
This may sound a little scary, because you're not doing the work and someone else is, but by freeing up your time with one particular project you will have time to look for other projects within your organization.
Before you know it you, you could be automating manual processes for other departments and gaining the recognition you deserve!
How Do I Get Power Query?
I have a dedicated page that will help you determine if you have the right version of Excel to get Power Query. It also provides complete installation instructions and the download link:
The Power Query Pro Course
Power Query is one of our favorite Excel tools, mostly because it's so complex and extensive in its possibilities.
However, if you're new to this tool (or even familiar with it)… it can be a little overwhelming.
This is why we created the Power Query Pro Course. Our comprehensive Power Query training program with 7 modules and over 90 bite-sized training videos.
We provide step-by-step instruction on how to become a Power Query Pro, and help you became the data hero of your data driven organization.
What Do You Think?
Are you using Power Query yet? If so, please leave a comment below letting me know how you use it.
Thank you! 🙂