This blog will start off with a word (or a lot of words) of advice for job seekers looking for a new Power BI development position.
Bring Power BI examples.
DO NOT come empty-handed and explain that you cannot show your prior work because it was confidential data.
There are plenty of free data sources that you can get your hands on, show that you have initiative, and show that you fine tune your craft outside of the assigned projects you have worked on.
I am not going to list all of the free data sources available for building sample data models and visuals. There are plenty of resources out there if you search for them. I will include a few links to sites that aggregate those free data sources below:
DO NOT provide samples with confidential data that you created at a prior employer. This is a huge red flag that you are not concerned about privacy, protecting data, etc.
DO NOT steal and present someone else’s solution as your own.
DO NOT quickly build a model without implementing best practices.
DO take the time to ensure the data model is clean, you have parameterized your data sources (or at least referenced them on other queries, you are implementing query folding where possible, used friendly/descriptive naming on your Power Query steps, use query grouping for organizational purposes, add documentation in code as necessary, denormalized as necessary to move towards a star schema and away from snowflake, etc.
DO take the time to show you pay attention to details. Align visuals, evenly distribute them, use friendly titles on visuals, rename visuals (in the selection panel is easier) and while there, go ahead and group them nicely (make sure you are using modern headers to do so), make sure visual interactions are optimal, make sure column spacing is wide enough to accommodate totals, use conditional formatting where appropriate, etc.
DO take the time to update your old models to utilize new features and/or visuals; showcase them in your solutions. This shows that you keep up with new features and functionality.
Veering away from that topic now…..I am providing a quick sample of a Power BI model (pbix) built on a portion of the Wide World Importers data warehouse provided by Microsoft: https://github.com/Microsoft/sql-server-samples/releases/tag/wide-world-importers-v1.0
Feel free to use it, put your own spin on the visuals, and provide it to perspective companies as an example.
There are other fairly standard models here for use as well: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/sample-datasets#the-power-bi-samples-as-pbix-files
They could definitely use an overhaul on the front end but that is why they are perfect for this scenario! You can show the original and then show your upgraded (hopefully) version to detail improvement.
What would be the best example to give? Find a poorly modeled model, implement best practices, and show the before and after – along with all of the noted improvements and best practices implemented. Reduce the granularity from 10 million to 2 million records? Reduce the size of the model by 50%? Increase the speed of a DAX measure by 30%? Add metadata definitions to the model? Ensure query folding was occurring where possible? Note it all and what the benefit of doing so is.
PROVIDE POTENTIAL EMPLOYERS EXAMPLES THAT SHOW YOU HAVE AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE TECHNOLOGY!