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Q: What is/are your specialist tech area(s)?
Andrea: Business Intelligence.
Q: How did you become an author for Packt? Tell us about your journey. What was your motivation for writing this book?
Andrea: I was introduced to Packt thanks to a colleague that was writing a book on Cloud Analytics. He thought I had enough experience and knowledge to share it with a wider audience. I was motivated by the fact of learning new things and settling my existence knowledge and I wanted to prove to myself that I could be able to transmit that knowledge effectively.
Q: What kind of research did you do, and how long did you spend researching before beginning the book?
Andrea: Since it is a practical book, I thought about my everyday work and did a summary of all my customers have asked me in the past three years and then I researched on top of that. I searched for new features, for public product roadmap and managed to put everything together.
Q: Did you face any challenges during the writing process? How did you overcome them?
Andrea: I didn’t want the book to be full of obvious content. I really wanted to put diversified content with different levels of difficulty and sometimes it was not easy to find the right example for some recipes. I did a lot of testing to find the right practical example for the right recipe.
Q: What’s your take on the technologies discussed in the book? Where do you see these technologies heading in the future?
Andrea: It’s about preparing data for analytics in the easiest way possible and with a low code approach. If data is the modern fuel and it is becoming companies’ main asset, it’s important to give business users and data engineers a set of tools to prepare their data for quick and valuable analytics. Power Query is meeting these requirements and makes the time-to-report quicker, especially in self-service BI scenarios.
Q: Why should readers choose this book over others already on the market? How would you differentiate your book from its competition?
Andrea: If users want less theory and get their hands dirty with real business examples, they can use my book for that. It is suitable for both beginners and intermediate/advanced users who want to enter the Power Query world or settle their knowledge. It is possible to get key building blocks in a practical way
Q. What are the key takeaways you want readers to come away from the book with?
Andrea: They can really learn a lot following step-by-step real practical examples and then build their own preparation and transformation steps to get the most out of their data. It’s important to be aware they can use both no-code and code to generate relevant data queries.
Q. What advice would you give to readers learning tech? Do you have any top tips?
Andrea: I’d advice to be curious, test and practice a lot! Watch a lot of videos and try to associate always a business problem that will need a technical solution. It’s easier to envision what your technical solution is meant for.
Q. Do you have a blog that readers can follow?
Andrea: Not at this time.
Q. Can you share any blogs, websites, and forums to help readers gain a holistic view of the tech they are learning?
Q. What are your favorite tech journals? How do you keep yourself up to date on tech?
Andrea: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/ and internal roadmap meetings/events within Microsoft
Q. How would you describe your author journey with Packt? Would you recommend Packt to aspiring authors?
Andrea: It has been amazing. The editorial team is super nice and available to help you with any kind of ask and help you finding the best solution. I would definitely recommend Packt to aspiring authors.
Q. What is the one writing tip that you found most crucial and would like to share with aspiring authors?
Andrea: Plan upfront and take all the feedbacks to improve yourself. There is no negative feedback, just the ones who can make you better.
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