Download Power BI and set up a directory to hold your data

Access to Power BI and SIMS

I'm assuming that you have already downloaded a copy of Power BI and that you are using your school's SIMS database.

Here's the link to download Power BI - if you are given the option, choose the 64-bit version of Power BI.

The download link might require some of you to download the software from the Microsoft Marketplace - that's fine.

Data security

At the moment, the best way to import your SIMS data into Power BI is in the form of CSV files. CSV stands for comma separated value and is a commonly used file format for exchanging data between different computer systems.

We will create different CSV files for basic pupil data, attendance data, behaviour data and A8 data etc.

All those CSV files will need to be saved in a location that's easily accessible to Power BI.

Remember that the information we are visualising is very sensitive information - so don't be tempted to save it to a pen drive or your local hard drive.

Save your files to a network drive that only you have access to, or at least a network drive that is restricted to you and your senior management team.

If in doubt, talk to your IT support team and ask them to suggest a safe location to store your files.

Later in the course we will talk about automating the report process. At that time we will discuss using Microsoft OneDrive (a cloud storage location) but for now, a secure network drive will be sufficient.

Create a sub directory to hold your CSV files. I've called my sub-directory 'data'.