Important: This post was written and published in 2019, and the content below may no longer represent the current capabilities of Power BI. Please consider this post to be an historical record and not a technical resource. All content on this site is the personal output of the author and not an official resource from Microsoft.
Last week Microsoft held its annual Microsoft Business Applications Summit (MBAS) event in Atlanta. This two-day technical conference covers the whole Business Applications platform – including Dynamics, PowerApps, and Flow – and not just Power BI, but there was a ton of great Power BI content to be had. Now that the event is over, the session recordings and resources are available to everyone.
There’s a dedicated page on the Power BI community site with all of the sessions, but I wanted to call out a few sessions on dataflows and the Common Data Model that readers of this blog should probably watch.
Power BI dataflows sessions
Microsoft Power BI: Democratizing self-service data prep with dataflows
This session is something of a “deep technical introduction” to dataflows in Power BI. If you’re already familiar with dataflows a lot of this will be a repeat, but there are some gems as well.
Microsoft Power BI: Enterprise-grade BI with Power BI dataflows
This session is probably my favorite dataflows session from any conference. This is a deep dive into the dataflows architecture, including the brand-new-in-preview compute engine for performance and scale.
Common Data Model sessions
As you know, Power BI dataflows build on CDM and CDM folders. As you probably know, CDM isn’t just about Power BI – it’s a major area of investment across Azure data services as well. The session lineup at MBAS reflected this importance with three dedicated CDM sessions.
Common Data Model: All you need to know
This ironically-named session provides a comprehensive overview of CDM. It’s not really everything you need, but it’s the right place to begin if you’re new to CDM and want to the big-picture view.
Microsoft Power BI: Common Data Model and Azure Data Services
This session covers how CDM and CDM folders are used in Power BI and Azure data services. If you’ve been following dataflows and CDM closely over the past six months much of this session might be review, but it’s an excellent “deep overview” nonetheless.
Microsoft Power BI: Advanced concepts in the Common Data Model
This session is probably the single best resource on CDM available today. The presenters are the key technical team behind CDM, and goes into details and concepts that aren’t available in any other presentation I’ve found. I’ve been following CDM pretty closely for the past year or more, and I learned a lot from this session. You probably will too.
Once you’re done watching these sessions, remember that there’s a huge library of technical sessions you can watch on-demand. Also some less-technical sessions.
 I have a list of a dozen or more sessions that I want to watch, and only a few of them are dataflows-centric. If you look through the catalog you’ll likely find some unexpected gems.
 If this is all you need to know, why do we have these other two sessions?
 Including Jeff Bernhardt, the architect behind CDM. Jeff doesn’t have the rock star reputation he deserves, but he’s been instrumental in the design and implementation of many of the products and services on which I’ve built my career. Any time Jeff is talking, I make a point to listen closely.
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