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Richard diZerega – Developing for Power BI

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski


We see a lot of people who are doing amazing things with the new Power BI APIs. Today we’re starting a new recurring feature on the Power BI Developer blog where we’ll interview the people behind these solutions. These are people who are hands on with our APIs. They’ll share their perspective and learning based on their experiences.

We’re very excited today to have with us Richard diZerega.

[Power BI]: Richard, welcome! Can you tell us a little about what you did with Power BI?

[Richard]:I built a wizard-based website that allows Yammer users to export Yammer data and automatically model it in the new Power BI. As the “Social Enterprise” has gained tremendous momentum, so too has the need to try to measure the value/ROI out of social platforms/tools. The people who are looking for answers are often in HR or Corporate Communications with very little knowledge of data modeling. Power BI APIs make it easy for the developer to get the data into the hands of the folks who need to made decision.


diZerega yammer analytics


[Power BI]: What excited you about Power BI and how did Power BI make your solution possible?

[Richard]: I’m excited that the new Power BI has APIs that enable developers automate modeling for end-users. Consumers of BI are looking for answers and they want them immediately (not after hours of data modeling). The APIs enable developers and software vendors to give consumers immediate answers.

[Power BI]: When you think of the potential of Power BI what do you hope it will enable you to do?

[Richard]: I’m most excited about how Power BI will enable BI consumers to answer their own questions. As a developer, I’d prefer to be transparent in the process instead of helping build one-off visuals/reports.

[Power BI]: What’s next for this project/solution?

[Richard]: The original solution was a proof-of-concept, but I’m eager to enable everyone in the social enterprise to become investigative with Power BI. A social network contains way too much value to only enable social analytics for network administrators/owners.

[Power BI]: If you had one request of the Power BI team, what would that be?

[Richard]: I’d like to see more complex modeling scenarios enabled in the APIs such as calculated measures/columns in tables. For now, I can store calculations in table columns. However, exposing formulas/DAX in the APIs would enable even more powerful scenarios.

[Power BI]: If you had one thing to tell others about Power BI, what would that be?

[Richard]: The new Power BI has really grown up from its predecessor. It has endless data visualizations that render across almost any form-factor and is super-simple to use. Best of all, it can consume data from virtually ANYWHERE (the APIs fill almost any data connector gaps that might exist).

[Power BI]: If you could wish for someone to build Power BI into their product/service who would that be and how would that help you?

[Richard]: Selfishly, it would be Garmin Connect as I’m a big runner. Connect has some interesting charts on my running progress, but Power BI would enable me to mix my running statistics with other data sources such as weather. I’d love to see just how temperature impacts my running pace and heart rate.

[Power BI]: You seem to take a developers perspective to the new Power BI, what is one thing developers or software vendors should know about Power BI?

[Richard]: Almost every software product has reporting or data visualization needs. With Power BI you can concentrate on WHAT data your customers can investigate and stop guessing on HOW your customers want to view that data. Get out of the report-writing rat race and leverage the beautiful insights that Power BI delivers.

[Power BI]: Thank you Richard!


If you’d like to learn more about Richard’s Yammer analytics solution, head on over to his blog:

To learn more about the Power BI Developer APIs, head on over to the Power BI Developer Center:

If you have ideas on who else we should interview here, please drop a note in the comments!