5 Reasons Power BI Users Should Participate in Makeover Monday

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Makeover Monday is a weekly social effort to help everyone in the data visualization community. Working primarily from data.world and tweeting with the hashtag #MakeoverMonday, this community strives to steadily improve the quality of data analysis and visualization at the individual and community level. There’s even a new book that grew out of the weekly effort and advice of Makeover Monday’s two current facilitators: Andy Kriebel and Eva Murray.

Why would Power BI report designers (and really anyone regardless of primary software used) benefit from following and participating in Makeover Monday? Here is a quick list of five reasons why I think that anyone should be part of the Makeover Monday movement.

1) Improve Your Data Visualization Skills

Makeover Monday is about self-improvement. Data visualization isn’t a Sisyphean task requiring you to start from scratch on the same hill each time, but you still must continually work at it. Every time you clear a hill, you find that there’s a bigger mountain with more learning just beyond. Develop your foundation and build upon it.

2) You Don’t Need Tableau

Isn’t Makeover Monday a Tableau thing?

Yes and no. It’s Tableau-heavy, is currently facilitated by two Tableau Zen Masters, and the majority of submissions use Tableau. It’s not exclusively Tableau though. Participants regularly submit and are recognized for makeovers in Power BI, Excel, D3, R, and more.

Ultimately, many of the skills you gain when improving upon your own past work and witnessing the work of others are foundational and not tied to a particular piece of software.

3) There Is No Commitment

Contribute to Makeover Monday as you are able. I am certainly not a regular participant. Datasets are published every Sunday with the recommendation that you constrain yourself to about an hour of effort. Between family and work, if I cannot get to Makeover Monday on a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s not going to happen that week. For everything I’ve published, I probably have three unfinished PBIX files from attempts I started and couldn’t complete.

Also, if you cannot contribute with a visualization, you can still contribute to the discussion, read the weekly recaps, etc.

4) Put Power BI’s Data.World Connector to Good Use

Data.World is where the discussion and posting of visualizations takes place. In addition to publishing a CSV copy of the data, the datasets are available directly from Data.World. Share your visualizations on Twitter with the #MakeoverMonday hashtag, and participate in the sharing and viz review by posting to Data.World as well.

5) Build a Portfolio of Your Work

What you build in Makeover Monday over time is a steady portfolio of work that you can showcase anywhere. That might mean that you are your own audience studying your visualizations and progress over time, or it may be for a more professional portfolio that you could show others. Either way, you put the time in, and you can reference a growing body of reports with public datasets.

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