After several weeks preparing for the PL-300 Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst exam, last week I sat the exam and passed. Here are some resources I found useful.

Microsoft Learn – Learning Paths in the ‘Self-paced’ section

https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/certifications/exams/pl-300/

  • There is a mix of reading materials and virtual labs covering the various areas tested in the exam.
  • While the amount of reading outweighs the practical elements, I found the modules provided good coverage of the ‘theory’ and functionalities unique to Power BI and not found in Tableau.
    • These helped drilling in the jargon used by Microsoft (e.g. ‘report’ vs ‘dashboard’).
    • Examples are data modelling best practices, optimising data models and reports, AI-powered visuals (Key Influencers and Decomposition Tree), implementing row-level security and deploying to Power BI Service.
  • You can add documentation pages and practically anything on the Microsoft Learn platform to custom collections, using the little plus icon (+) at the top right of each page. This is good for organising learning materials and bookmarking things for revision later.

Introducing DAX Video Course

https://www.sqlbi.com/p/introducing-dax-video-course/

  • The SQLBI duo (Alberto Ferrari and Marco Russo) are well-known figures in the Power BI community for teaching DAX.
  • The video course above is free yet still covers the key foundational concepts in DAX, with no prerequisites.
    • Having completed the Udemy course on advanced DAX as well (see below), I’d say SQLBI provides better explanations of the more intricate concepts, e.g. evaluation contexts, relationships and how the CALCULATE function works.
    • However, there are no exercises to complete, so this is more for learning the core theory. I am now going through the Mastering DAX Video Course, also from SQLBI but paid, which does include exercises – this could be an option if you feel like more in-depth DAX learning.
  • The SQLBI website is regularly updated with articles on various aspects of DAX, and there is a YouTube channel as well for those who prefer visual learning. (The DAX 101 series is a good place to start.)

PL-300 Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Practice Test w/ labs – Udemy course

https://www.udemy.com/course/pl-300-practice-tests-microsoft-power-bi-data-analyst/

  • On reflection these practice tests are a bit more difficult than the actual Power BI exam. I consistently got around 70% to 75% and found the Power BI Service questions the hardest.
  • After completing each practice test, a thorough breakdown of every question is provided. This explains not only why the correct answer is correct but also why the other answers must be wrong (especially when there are only minute differences in the possible answers).
  • There are links to Microsoft Learn documentation throughout these explanations, which I found helpful in nailing down which areas to focus my exam prep on.

25 Days of DAX Fridays! Challenge – Ed1 by Curbal

https://curbal.com/25-days-of-dax-fridays-challenge-ed1-northwind-company

  • The questions ask you to write measures to answer specific queries and range from very easy (using one function) to very advanced (requiring good understanding of evaluation contexts).
  • No data modelling is needed – a starter PBIX file is available for download.
  • Have a look at my blog on completing days 1 to 5 if you are stuck.

Advanced DAX for Microsoft Power BI Desktop – Udemy video course

https://www.udemy.com/course/advanced-dax-for-power-bi/

  • I found this to be more of a good summary of DAX functions that are available for various use cases. Nothing too in depth though.
  • Instructions for the ‘assignments’ sometimes are not so clear on the exact desired outcomes. I recommend watching and following along with the solutions to ensure you understand everything.

I hope you find these resources helpful as well. Passing the Power BI exam is not the end – I have found myself enthralled with DAX after getting past the initial hurdle of the core concepts. Feel free to reach out on LinkedIn if you have any questions.

Vincent Ging Ho Yim
Author: Vincent Ging Ho Yim

Vincent has always enjoyed learning new things as well as finding elegant and efficient solutions to problems since childhood. He studied linguistics at university and has subsequently worked in theatre lighting and broadcast captioning. In his previous job he found his passion working with data and decided to pursue a change in career. In his spare time he likes reading, learning languages (both human and programming ones) and playing Pic-a-Pix and sudoku. He loves laksa, sushi and burritos.