The best books to ramp up from Excel to Power Query and Power BI

Bill Jelen Author Of Power Excel 2019 with MrExcel: Master Pivot Tables, Subtotals, VLOOKUP, Power Query, Dynamic Arrays & Data Analysis
By Bill Jelen

Who am I?

I’ve been running the MrExcel website since 1998 and have written 66 books about Excel. I am an Excel generalist – I know a fair amount about almost every aspect of Excel. But I respect the specialists who become experts on one part of Excel and offer deep knowledge dives into those portions of Excel. Cleaning data with Power Query, calculating “impossible” calculations with DAX, and then presenting them on interactive dashboards are some of the deep dives that you will learn on this list.


I wrote...

Power Excel 2019 with MrExcel: Master Pivot Tables, Subtotals, VLOOKUP, Power Query, Dynamic Arrays & Data Analysis

By Bill Jelen,

Book cover of Power Excel 2019 with MrExcel: Master Pivot Tables, Subtotals, VLOOKUP, Power Query, Dynamic Arrays & Data Analysis

What is my book about?

657 Excel mysteries solved. Direct from MrExcel himself, Bill Jelen. If you use Excel 10, 20, 40 hours per week, you will save 50 hours per year with the tricks in this book.

The books I picked & why

Shepherd is reader supported. We may earn an affiliate commission when you buy through links on our website. This is how we fund this project for readers and authors (learn more).

Cleaning Excel Data With Power Query Straight to the Point

By Oz du Soleil,

Book cover of Cleaning Excel Data With Power Query Straight to the Point

Why this book?

If you just want to find out if Power Query is for you, this short book, written by the entertaining host of the Excel On Fire YouTube channel will show you what is possible using Power Query. Oz will show you the types of everyday problems that can be solved using the Get & Transform section of the Data tab in Excel. Once you get a taste of what is possible, you will be ready to dive in with Ken Puls’ book.


The Absolute Guide to Dashboarding and Reporting with Power Bi: How to Design and Create a Financial Dashboard with Power Bi - End to End

By Kasper De Jonge,

Book cover of The Absolute Guide to Dashboarding and Reporting with Power Bi: How to Design and Create a Financial Dashboard with Power Bi - End to End

Why this book?

Kasper DeJonge works at Microsoft on the Power Query team. Before joining Microsoft, he was a data analyst, just like you. In this book, Kasper walks a data analyst through the steps of modelling your Excel data and getting it published on a Power BI dashboard. Along the way, his examples are designed to get you up to speed with the important aspects of Power BI.


Supercharge Power BI: Power BI is Better When You Learn To Write DAX

By Matt Allington,

Book cover of Supercharge Power BI: Power BI is Better When You Learn To Write DAX

Why this book?

Have you ever built a pivot table in Excel? They are great at summarizing data. But they are lousy at answering certain questions. When your manager asks for anything slightly complicated, the Pivot Table Calculated Field is destined to fail. 

The Microsoft team who built the Power Pivot calculation engine realized that Calculated Fields were the weak point of pivot tables. They created an amazing new formula language that could let you answer the hard questions like how are we doing on same-store sales through the first two weekends of December?

The formula language – Data Analysis Expressions – or DAX is powerful but confusing. Matt Allington, another former data analyst has figured out how to use DAX to come up with all of those industry-standard calculations that he used to need as a manager at Coca-Cola. 

He walks you up the DAX learning curve in this book.


Power Pivot and Power BI: The Excel User's Guide to DAX, Power Query, Power BI & Power Pivot in Excel 2010-2016

By Rob Collie, Avichal Singh,

Book cover of Power Pivot and Power BI: The Excel User's Guide to DAX, Power Query, Power BI & Power Pivot in Excel 2010-2016

Why this book?

Rob Collie was a pioneer at Microsoft. After leaving the Excel team, he helped architect the tools that would become Power Pivot and Power BI. He left Microsoft and started his own consultancy, helping big companies answer important questions in just a few hours with Power Pivot.

His books are the best-selling books in the category. 

While Matt Allington will get you up to speed, Rob will explain every nuance of Power Pivot, DAX, and Power BI.


Master Your Data with Power Query in Excel and Power BI: Leveraging Power Query to Get & Transform Your Task Flow

By Ken Puls, Miguel Escobar,

Book cover of Master Your Data with Power Query in Excel and Power BI: Leveraging Power Query to Get & Transform Your Task Flow

Why this book?

Microsoft quietly slipped the Get & Transform tools onto the Data tab in Excel in 2016. These tools are incredibly powerful – you clean your data once and Excel will remember how to clean your data every month, every week, every day, every hour. Ken Puls and Miguel Escobar will show you all of the best tricks for using these tools.


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Microsoft Power BI, Power Pivot, and business intelligence?

5,888 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Microsoft Power BI, Power Pivot, and business intelligence.

Microsoft Power BI Explore 5 books about Microsoft Power BI
Power Pivot Explore 5 books about Power Pivot
Business Intelligence Explore 2 books about business intelligence

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Neuromancer, Competing on Analytics, and The Nature-Printer if you like this list.