Sunday, April 7, 2019

Improve Game Night with the Power Platform: Lessons Learned

For the last several weeks I have been working on a project to encourage myself to learn more about Power BI, PowerApps and Flow. I have been procrastinating learning these tools waiting for the perfect use case to test on. However what I really needed was just time and a data set to work with.

I have been procrastinating on learning these "new" tools for far too long. So my main takeaway is that there is no excuse! There are so many resources available to learn. No one needs to be an expert right away, its just important to start trying.

When creating new entities it is always important to plan your data structure ahead of time. In this case I planned for this use case but there are probably additional questions to be answered if this was a more real-life scenario. Additionally there are probably other data points that would be helpful for this. It would be helpful to get this data at the beginning instead of trying to add later.

Power BI was really exciting! Once the data was in the Power BI Desktop it was easy to add in data tables and visualizations. Then it only took a bit longer to figure out how to make the changes I was looking for. I was very impressed with what could be done with only a few minutes of dedicated time. 

PowerApps was not as easy for me. I learned the importance of reviewing the templates and different options available. I initially created a blank canvas app, got stuck and started again with the app from data. Also learned to look at all of the different settings for each element. It was easy to think I could just delete or edit something on the screen when I really just needed to edit the properties. There are so many resources for PowerApps plus a great community to help us out. So I didn't stay stuck for long. Some research and some trial and error.

I liked how I could get to the Flow editor right from the PowerApp. It was quick and painless to make the simple flow and it worked as expected.

These posts have been a long time in the making and the main thing I learned was I needed to stop procrastinating! There are no more excuses. It's time to learn these new tools and start applying them to your organization! Thanks everyone for coming with me on this journey.

How do you learn new tools? How do you find good use cases to test?


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