Online forums provide a space to ask questions and receive answers from a community of users that have experienced similar hurdles or who have specialized expertise in Power BI dashboard design. We love interacting with online communities and owe a lot of our growth in knowledge to the users that participate. It’s always humbling to learn how smart other Power BI pros are! So we decided to compile our top recommendations for online forums.
We’re hoping this helps our Numerro community find the value in these forums to uncover Power BI design best practices. When considering our top picks, we factored in our personal experience and took a look at the activity levels of the community, the credibility of its users, as well as the overall user interface/user experience (UI/UX) when searching for information and interacting with other users.
Reddit is a powerful way for users to connect and create community around focused topics. The Microsoft Power BI Subreddit is no exception with over 73,000 users, ranking the subreddit in the Top 5% of all subreddits by user count. We may be a bit biased as to why this forum is ranked as our all-time favorite, given Simon Nuss is one of the moderators and also sits on our Numerro Advisory Council. But that’s what makes it so great! It’s filled with professionals that we can trust to learn from.
Users in the subreddit are extremely active with numerous posts and updates being made daily. Additionally, users are tagged as verified Microsoft employees, BI professionals, and moderators to help denote credentialed power users.
A search for the word ‘inspiration’ yields a lengthy list of results with tags to denote whether the post is a blog, question, or video—helping users navigate various threads to find inspiration to create their next Power BI report.
Additionally, the subreddit community includes direct links to Microsoft Power BI documentation as well as community recommendations.
This sample thread includes a user looking for common design improvements that can be added to a dashboard. We like this example because it has 65 upvotes, meaning many people are interested in the topic. It also contains 21 comments, including one from a BI professional which showcases the way in which user profiles can be tagged to demonstrate credibility.
The official Microsoft Power BI Community website contains forums, featured topics, user profiles, a kudos system, and brands itself as a place to “connect, learn and discuss business intelligence with experts and peers”.
The community is managed by Microsoft and provides access to forums, blogs, and local meetup opportunities. The forums themselves allow users to give each other kudos, earn badges, and create user profiles—all of which help provide visibility into the user who is providing answers on community topics.
The forums have daily activity, community moderators, and include documentation on how to craft and format inquiries so that they receive traction within the community.
This sample thread includes a user who is struggling with dashboard design and looking for feedback and resources. We like this example because it showcases a question that was solved, various user types in the comments (e.g. super user, community support, helper), and includes links to multiple resources for Power BI themes and templates.
Enterprise DNA is a top resource for Microsoft Power BI education and learning—including courses, challenges, and a supportive community forum for Power BI users. The forum includes the ability to ask questions, write replies, and provides an overview of a thread’s total views and date of last activity.
Additionally, Enterprise DNA is an active user in the forum and expert Enterprise DNA users are also labeled to help identify experienced users in threads and comments.
The forum’s search functionality allows users to search by keyword and includes advanced filters to narrow down results by category, status, user, and date. Results can also be sorted by relevance, date, or popularity.
This sample thread includes an Enterprise DNA expert providing tools to better storyboard a dashboard before beginning any of the technical work. We like this example because we are proponents of creating dashboard storyboards, wireframes, and mockups. The post has 4.7k views and nine replies from Enterprise DNA experts, providing insights and helpful tools for storyboarding.
MR Excel, a website created for Microsoft Excel tips and solutions, has a forum dedicated to Power Tools, including Power BI. The forum includes over a million threads and close to half a million members.
New users are labeled as such and gain credibility over time, becoming well-known members and MVPs. Threads also include a view and comment count on the post listing, allowing users to identify how a topic is trending prior to opening a particular thread.
The Power BI threads are not as frequently updated as the other forums listed, but still include great content that extends to a broader range of data applications.
This sample thread includes a new member asking a question pertaining to Power BI scatter charts. This example showcases the UI of the forum, which does not have as many features as our top three picks—lacking a view count or thread upvote system. However, the important thing to note is that the question was answered and the user found the response helpful in learning how to better visualize their data.
If you are not already an active member or frequent browser of these Power BI forums, then hopefully these resources are helpful in discovering a new place to learn from others. And if you’re one of the experts that’s been working with Power BI for years, we encourage you to hop in these forums and contribute to the learning of others.
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