Written By Rick de Groot

Rick is the founder of BI Gorilla. He believes learning is one of life's greatest pleasures and shares his knowledge to help you improve your skills.

More and more people work with data. Whether extracting data from an API, transforming exports in an Excel sheet, or creating a proper data model. Data transformation skills are useful in any job. And Power Query is one of the most effective tools to do that. Today, I’m happy to announce the launch of a resource that will change the way you work with data: The Definitive Guide to Power Query M.

If you prefer voice over text, in below video I go through what the 700+ page book covers.

The Definitive Guide to Power Query M - What to expect?

Book Overview

Cleaning up data is not ‘just another step’ in the data analysis process. Without it, you will never get useful reports. The Definitive Guide to Power Query M is not just another book on data analysis. It’s an in-depth guide that teaches you the Power Query M language, so you can transform your data like never before. So what can you expect?

  • Set the stage: From the basics to the most advanced techniques, this book provides an extensive exploration of Power Query M.
  • Hands-on Learning: Practical examples based on real-world scenarios guide you through implementing what you learn in actual data transformation projects.
  • Deep Dive into M Language: Understand the intricacies of Power Query M to improve your data manipulation skills.
  • Optimization and Efficiency: Learn how to improve your queries with performance optimization strategies and error handling techniques.

What will you learn?

The book covers the different angles required to learn the M language. From the basics, to more advanced concepts. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Introducing M
  2. Working with Power Query/M
  3. Accessing and Combining Data
  4. Understanding Values and Expressions
  5. Understanding Data Types
  6. Structured Values
  7. Conceptualizing M
  8. Working with Nested Structures
  9. Parameters and Custom Functions
  10. Dealing with Dates, Times, and Durations
  11. Comparers, Replacers, Combiners, and Splitters
  12. Handling Errors and Debugging
  13. Iteration and Recursion
  14. Troublesome Data Patterns
  15. Optimizing Performance
  16. Enabling Extensions

Who should read the book?

This book is made for analyst, BI professionals and data enthusiasts. The most obvious place to use the M skills this book teaches is within Excel or Power BI. Power Query is available for free in either of those tools. And although only few people have mastered the tool, there’s an enormous audience that can benefit from it. Power Query, a tool in these applications, makes working with data easier and more efficient, moving away from older methods like VBA programming.

If you’re just starting with Power Query, this might not be the first book you should pick up. There are simpler books that help you start with the basics, using the tool’s interface and simple actions. These are great for getting your feet wet.

This book, however, is for those ready to dive deeper. If you’re keen on understanding the language behind Power Query, known as M, you’re in the right place. It might be tough at first, especially if this is your first time working with M. You’ll encounter complex ideas that might take time to understand. But, as you get more comfortable with the tool, these ideas will start to make more sense. On a second read, things will click even more.

We aimed to mix theory with practice in this book. The early chapters build up your basic knowledge of the M language. Later on, we include real projects and exercises. This approach means that as you learn more, you can immediately use what you’ve learned in real situations.

In short, if your goal is to get really good at using Power Query M to make your data work better for you, and you’re ready to move beyond just the basics, The Definitive Guide to Power Query M will get you there. It’s available on Amazon and you can get it here.

Armed with a better understanding the M, you can approach virtually any data challenge out there. Enjoy!

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