Microsoft Power BI YouTube Channel

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If you need to brush up on your Power BI skills, check out the Microsoft Power BI YouTube channel.  See the link below.  There are some new videos out there that have been uploading in the last two months.

                  https://www.youtube.com/user/mspowerbi

Videos available

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Use Fuzzy Lookup for Excel Instead of VLOOKUP

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Fuzzy Lookup is Microsoft’s add in for Excel Tables that give brilliant results!

Using Excel’s VLOOKUP tool can be frustrating for finance folks and business analysts because it requires an exact match to get the link between two sets of information.  For example, if you look up J Hirst and the other information shows Hirst, J, you will not get a match.

Enter Fuzzy Lookup.  Microsoft designed Fuzzy Lookup to work only within Excel Tables so all data must be converted to tables to start the process.  My thought is that data is easier to work with in tables, anyway.  Fuzzy Lookup will match J Hirst with Hirst, J, and you can ask Excel to check again for all matches.  The match rate is quite high.  Here is what Microsoft says about Fuzzy Lookup…

The Fuzzy Lookup Add-In for Excel was developed by Microsoft Research and performs fuzzy matching of textual data in Microsoft Excel. It can be used to identify fuzzy duplicate rows within a single table or to fuzzy join similar rows between two different tables. The matching is robust to a wide variety of errors including spelling mistakes, abbreviations, synonyms and added/missing data. For instance, it might detect that the rows “Mr. Andrew Hill”, “Hill, Andrew R.” and “Andy Hill” all refer to the same underlying entity, returning a similarity score along with each match. While the default configuration works well for a wide variety of textual data, such as product names or customer addresses, the matching may also be customized for specific domains or languages.

Before you can use Fuzzy Lookup, you must download it from Microsoft and install it on your computer.  The link is http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=15011

Fuzzy Lookup is a super tool that will make your analyzing of data so much easier.

New Microsoft Office 365 Deal–6 Seats for $100

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I am a fan of Office 365, and I thought this information about Office 365 on HOW TO GEEK, at https://www.howtogeek.com/364457/why-microsofts-office-365-is-a-great-deal/ was very useful.

Here is a summary of the information.

Microsoft’s Office 365 service has been a great deal for a long time, and it’s getting better. Starting October 2, 2018, Office 365 Home will let six users install an unlimited number of Office applications. Each person gets 1 TB of OneDrive storage, too.

Each user will also be able to install Office applications on an unlimited amount of devices. Users can only be signed into five Office applications at the same time, however. This is an improvement from now, where those five users can only install Office on up to 10 devices in total.

These changes take effect starting October 2, 2018. Microsoft isn’t raising the price of any Office 365 plans, either.

Microsoft has made a few account changes that are taking effect immediately. After signing up for Office 365, all user accounts in your Microsoft Family will be automatically given access. You can manage your subscription directly from the Microsoft account website, too.

Office 365 includes Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Outlook. Publisher and Access are also included but are only available on Windows. These are the same full desktop Office applications you’d get if you purchased the standard boxed copies of Office, but they also have the advantage of getting more frequent feature updates. And yes, you can use them offline—your PC or Mac just has to appear online once every 30 days to keep them activated.

SharePoint Starter Kit

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Microsoft  announces the availability of a new SharePoint Starter Kit open-source project, which can be used to demonstrate possibilities with the communications sites and group associate team sites in Office 365. Communications sites have great out of the box capabilities, but in certain cases, you might need to extend them based on your business or functional requirements.

SharePoint Starter Kit is designed to demonstrate how you can extend out-of-the-box communication sites and group associated team sites with additional capabilities. You can find this open-source project from GitHub and you can reuse any of these assets any way you want in your own work.

Free Up Space – A Tool in Windows 10

I have used CCleaner for years, but recently, I have found that it is getting very annoying with pop up reminders.  Some of the messages make it seem un-trustworthy.  I was looking for a new cleaning tool.

Then I read an article on “How To Geek” about Free Up Space, a tool in Windows 10.  Here are some highlights.

  • Windows has a built-in Disk Cleanup
  • Microsoft has been improving it
  • Works even better in the latest versions of Windows 10
  • Removes temporary files, previous Windows installations, log files, old Windows updates, thumbnails, and various other cache files

To access the Free Up Space tool on Windows 10, head to Settings > System > Storage and click “Free Up Space Now” under Storage Sense. Windows will automatically scan for files you can delete. Check the files you want to delete and click “Remove files” to get rid of them.  See the partial screen shot below of Free Up Space.

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If you check “Recycle Bin,” Windows will also empty your Recycle Bin. Be sure you don’t want to recover any deleted files from your Recycle Bin before checking this option.

How To – .XML Files

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Increasingly, I need to work with .xml files that are produced from cloud based software.  The .xml files frustrate people from time to time because they don’t produce what we expect, especially when we try to use them with Excel.

Here is an excellent write up on using XML files by Brady Gavin.  https://www.howtogeek.com/357092/what-is-an-xml-file-and-how-do-i-open-one/.


Windows Server 2019

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Windows Server 2019 will be generally available in the second half of calendar year 2018. Starting March 20, 2018, users can access the preview build through Microsoft’s  Insiders program.

To see more about Windows Server 2019, take a look at the blog Introducing Windows Server 2019 –   Now Available in Preview. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/windowsserver/2018/03/20/introducing-windows-server-2019-now-available-in-preview/?MC=WinServer&MC=MSAzure&MC=SysMagSof&MC=Windows&MC=Virtual

System Requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018

Microsoft has announced the system requirements for Microsoft Dynamics GP 2018 which is to be released on December 1 2017. 

The details are here: https://mbs.microsoft.com/customersource/northamerica/GP/learning/documentation/system-requirements/MDGP2018_System_Requirements.

The requirements listing is very thorough, and, needs to be read carefully.

Client Requirements

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New Features in Power BI From June 2017 Release

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Figure 1 – Explanation of Power BI from https://powerbi.microsoft.com

On June 12, Amanda Cofsky, Program Manager for Power BI, provided an overview of the new reporting features available as of June.  The link to download Power BI is…. http://powerbi.microsoft.com/desktop?WT.mc_id=Blog_Desktop_Update.

Here’s the complete list of June updates from Cofsky’s blog posting.

Reporting
  • Data bars for new table & matrix (preview)
  • Markers on line, area, & combo charts
  • Accessible reports
    • Consume Power BI reports with keyboard navigation and screen reader support
    • Create accessible reports
  • Visuals font family setting
  • Horizontal Image Slicer
  • Combo chart formatting updates
    • Force zeros to align between the two axes
    • Shade area of the line
  • Bing maps improvements
    • Map themes
    • Improved geo hierarchy experience
  • High density line sampling
Data connectivity
  • Custom Data Connectors support
  • Power BI service Live Connect to On Premises and Push streaming datasets
  • Impala connector is now generally available
  • Amazon Redshift connector is now generally available
  • SAP BW connector – DirectQuery support (beta)
  • IBM Netezza connector (beta)
Query editing
  • “Add Column from Examples” enhancements

You can watch a video of the new features by clicking on https://youtu.be/YlNVE5dgcSI (Power BI Desktop Update – June 2017).  Remember that YouTube links can change from time to time so this link may change over time.