Most Active Speaker

Belinda Allen

Belinda Allen

Microsoft MVP, Microsoft MCT (Trainer) - Smith & Allen Consulting, Inc.

Summerville, South Carolina, United States

Belinda Allen is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for Power BI. Belinda is currently a Microsoft Power Platform (Certified) Trainer (MCT), Speaker, and the Co-Author of 2 books on Business Intelligence and Microsoft Dynamics GP. Belinda focuses on the Microsoft Power Platform. She happily wears the title #CitizenDeveloper. All of Belinda's blogs and notes can be found on


Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Microsoft Power BI
  • Microsoft PowerApps
  • Microsoft Power Automate
  • Microsoft MVP
  • Microsoft 365
  • Microsoft Power Apps
  • Microsoft Dataverse

Report Design for the Novice Power BI User

Your data model may be brilliant, and your visuals may be powerful, but what do you do if some of the potential report consumers, who need your amazing work, just say “no thanks”. There is a good chance that those users might be:
• Worried about having to learn something new
• Afraid to be embarrassed about not knowing how to analyze data.

These are some of the most common reasons people resist anything to do with Technology. Fortunately, these issues can be easily resolved with report design. Not changing your existing reports, that more than likely someone in your company specifically wanted. But instead, adding some additional report pages, that will easily guide these “Novice” users through exploring data for themselves.

Join Belinda for a demonstration and discussion on some easy visualizations and report options to make all users excited about checking out data.

Power Platform 101

This full-day, hands-on workshop is ideal for those new or newer to the Power Platform looking to learn how to leverage the entire platform. Led by a team of experts in their product area and Microsoft MVPs, you will learn best practices in all areas.

This includes a full, deep-dive overview of the Power Platform - Power Apps, Power BI, Power Automate and Power Virtual Agents. Training will include lecture, case studies and hands-on labs and have plenty of opportunities for Q&A in each product area to help answer your specific questions.

Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst (PL-300) Exam Cram

This 1-Day workshop is a FAST PACED, Hands-On workshop which follows the Skills that are measured on the Microsoft PL-300 Exam, providing you the Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst Credential. This workshop is NOT an introduction to Power BI, nor is it for beginners. The structure of the workshop is the entire class working the labs together, being quizzed throughout each lab and receiving an opportunity to retake the quizzes for 30 days after the workshop.
The Hands-On labs, taken from the Skills measured on the exam, include:
• Get data from different data sources
• Clean, transform, and load the data
• Design the data model
• Develop a data model
• Create model calculations by using DAX
• Optimize model performance
• Create Reports
• Create Dashboards
• Enhance reports for usability and storytelling
• Identify patterns and trends
• Manage files and datasets
• Manage workspaces
This is based on topics taught in a full 3-day course. In the unlikely event that the entire content cannot be completed in this 1 day, the workshop will continue virtually.

Exam PL-300: Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst - Learn | Microsoft Docs

3 Case Studies using Power Apps and Power Automate in your Power BI Report

Belinda will share with you 3 separate case studies for using Microsoft Power Apps and Microsoft Power Automate right on your Power BI Report. Using these 3 Products together will open a wealth of opportunities, particularly when it comes to using an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System. Opportunities in this context specifically mean time savings, cost savings and a reduction in errors. Every business uses an ERP/Accounting system at some level, so every business can benefit from the combination of these 3 Power Platform Products.

User Adoption: Creating and Supporting Power BI Champions

With several decades of ERP (Accounting Systems) implementations under my belt, I’ve dealt with many leads and end users who’ve both adopted and rejected the new process/software. For those that reject the new processes/software, it’s a challenge to turn the rejection into acceptance, let alone excitement. In this area I have both succeeded and failed. We know we are offering tools that will help users make better decisions for timely and accurate information, but that may not always be enough. In this session, Belinda will share experiences and Microsoft Suggested Methodology to help you create more champions for your Power BI projects.

This session is great if group sharing is available at the end.

New Customer (or any ERP record) Workflow in Power Automate

We all have tasks to perform on data entered in your ERP system. A common set of tasks involve the setting up and creation of new Customers, which is the example we’ll use in this session. It could be any record in your ERP: (e.g. Adding a new Item or Employee, Managing Sales Returns, etc.) In this session Belinda will show how to use a Dataverse to manage tasks, then create a series of flows in Power Automate that not only manage the SP list, but also trigger other flows. This is Low-Code Workflow Automation for everyday tasks. It’s Belinda, so there is also a Power BI report to monitor the process. :D

Making Power BI easy for end users to encourage adoption

Just because you build that amazing Power BI report doesn’t mean that the report recipients will like it or even use it. There are many reasons for this. Perhaps they are afraid it’s too hard to use and they’ll look dumb, maybe they like the idea of building their own Excel reports, or maybe they are too busy to learn another tool. In this session, Belinda will share some tips to make it easier for these users, which will encourage adoption of BI, improve the success of your business, and/or maybe even save your job.

How do I get started with Power BI?

So, you’ve seen Power BI and want to try using it with your ERP and perhaps other data as well, but you are not sure where to start. In this session, Belinda will cover some basics to get you started on your Power BI journey. She’ll focus on resources to get you started, discuss where and how you can improve your skills as you continue your journey, and end by reviewing tips on small implementations.

Power BI Data Modeling for Financial Data

If you use Power BI, you know that Data Modeling is the whole process. In this session, Belinda will review the specifics of a data model for “Financial Data”. Financial data has some unique issues over Sales data, or statistical data, for example some accounts use Debits minus Credits, while others use Credits minus Debits. There are special Financial KPI’s as well. This session is based on a star schema that uses actual transactions and budgets and includes some discussion time of “Operational” statements vs. “Period” statements.
Specific areas covered:
• Modeling the Chart of Accounts including to which statements they belong
• Modeling Transactions
• Modeling Budgets
• Modeling Dates
• Relationships among tables
• Special Financial KPI’s
• Suggestions of Financial Visuals.

Considerations for Power BI Modeling and Visuals with Financial Data

Financial Data reveals how healthy your Company is. It’s the X-ray’s, EKG, the blood test results, etc. Preparing your data to make the results comprehensible for all consumers is essential, and that’s what is in this session. There will be tips on data modeling in Query Editor, DAX formulas, and ideas for Financial Visuals and KPI’s. We’ll go beyond the traditional Financial Statements, which I call Period Statements, and enter the informative world of “Operational” Reports.
If your business is bleeding, do you want to know ASAP or wait until the middle of next month?
Specific areas covered:
• Simplifying your Data Model
• Modeling the Chart of Accounts
• Modeling Transactions & Modeling Budgets
• Modeling Dates
• Suggestions for Financial KPI’s and Visuals.

4 Examples of using Power Automate and Power Apps IN Power BI

In this fast-paced session, Belinda will use an existing Power BI Reports, reporting on ERP (Accounting and Distribution) data, adding Power Apps and Power Automate flows to enrich the user experience and efficiency. The ability to utilize apps and flows within a Power BI report allows you to act on your analysis without ever leaving the page. During this session we will:
• Build a Power App to change data at the source
• Build multiple Power Automate flows
o Utilizing Paginated Reports
o Refreshing Data
• More
If you have never used the apps and flows in your Power BI Report, this session is for you!

The only Woman in the Room

I have been in tech for over 30 years, and I am still the only woman in the room in some meetings. Look around the room in your next tech meeting and count the women, count the people of color, count the LGBTQIA, count the physically/emotional disabled people. Who is missing from the room? Our world is diverse, and our community should represent the world. Join me as I share insights that I have learned over the years, that will help improve diversity in our tech community and our world.

How to save several hours a week by letting the Power Platform do your busy work

I cannot wait to show you some ideas of how Power BI, Power Apps and Power Automate can save you time and save you money. How? It is simple, figure out where you spend your time using your ERP system. Then build a report, app and/or flow to make it better. In this session I will show you specific examples, using Dynamics 365 Business Central that surely will get your creative juices flowing! Note, the ideas will apply to ALL ERP systems, not just Business Central. It is a do not miss session!

Not your Daddy’s Cash Flow Statement, using Power BI

One of the first things we all learn in Business 101 is that Cash is needed to operate a business. We also learned that being Profitable does not mean you have cash in the bank. Have you ever really looked at the traditional cash flow statement? It’s supposed to provide information about gross receipts and gross payments. Does it really do that? Attend this webinar and see Belinda present alternatives to the traditional cash flow statement and cash flow analysis using Microsoft Power BI and your ERP system.
Learning Objectives
• Start the process of new ways to visualize the movement of your cash
• Create a plan that can provide information to your team that might improve cash flow
• Provide information to that person in your company who is always asking for the bank balance.

Business Intelligence, where do you start?

Are you new to the Microsoft Power BI, or looking to gain more benefits from these amazing tools? We all know how cool the data modeling, visuals and even AI (Artificial Intelligence) are in Power BI as we’ve seen the demos. If we want to gain a real ROI (Return on Investment) we must stop creating visuals that display what we already know and visuals that support our opinions. These visuals may be important and helpful, but to gain real insight we must go deeper. So how do you go deeper? In this session, Belinda will use her almost 30 years of experience implementing Accounting and ERP systems to help you get to what you really need to see.

5 ideas using the Microsoft Power Platform for the Accounting/Finance Department

5 ideas using the Microsoft Power Platform for the Accounting/Finance Department

Not your Daddy's Financials

In 28 years of working with Microsoft Dynamics ERP customers, the formatting for P&L and Balance Sheets has not changed. Sure, some people look at each month side by side, others compare to budget or previous years, but the format varies very little. How many people in your organization receive a copy of these statements, but do not know how to read the data? Can they really obtain useful information that provides sound decisions to make your company more profitable?
The traditional format will always be needed, but for operations perhaps there is a more insightful way to really “see” your data. Attend this webinar and see Belinda present alternatives to the traditional financial statement using Microsoft Power BI and your ERP system.
Learning Objectives:
• Start the process of new ways to visualize financial data
• Create a plan that can provide information to your team that will help them make more profitable and timely decisions
• Provide information that helps your data tell you what’s happening in your company.

Microsoft Forms and Power Automate. Make Forms and Quizzes, then make the Forms do stuff!

So, you need to create a form or a Quiz for your internal team, or maybe even customers or prospects. How do you do this now? Do you build it in Word or Excel? Do you create paper versions?
Did you know in Office 365 there is a product called Forms that will do this for you? It’s so easy, you’ll be kicking yourself for not using it sooner. Attend this webinar for a quick tutorial on using this product. We’ll attach an action to it, using Microsoft Flow (which is an optional step.)
Here is an example of how the presenter of this session uses these two products:
1. Belinda presents a Power BI session somewhere, maybe a Webinar, Conference, a User Group event, etc.
2. Belinda throws a QR code and a URL on the screen for attendees.
3. Using the QR code or the URL, the attendees are taken to a Microsoft Form, where they share their name and email address. This is Microsoft Forms in action.
4. Once they click submit, Microsoft Flow kicks in. The user receives an email from Belinda with whatever she is offering at that event. Also, the user’s name and email address is added to Belinda’s Mail Chimp list.
5. All of these steps happen automatically before Belinda even leaves the event.

A Little JSON goes a long way

Ever run across a feature that uses JSON and though “UGH”? JSON is a standard format and is pretty easy to use/write and especially easy to read. It’s also kind of like hot sauce, a little (knowledge of JSON) goes a long way. In this session, Belinda will start you on your own JSON journey, while demonstrating JSON to help create a custom connector in the Microsoft Power Platform and a Microsoft Power BI dataset.

A Little T-SQL goes a long way

Ever run across a feature that uses T-SQL and though “UGH, I don’t know SQL”? Many of the Microsoft (and other) products allow for T-SQL queries. In the case of Microsoft Power BI, using T-SQL queries can provide better performance. Likewise, T-SQL offers additional benefits using both Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate. This session is for SQL novices, reviewing layouts basic scripts/queries and tools/resources. Think of this session as an abridged “How to write a SQL Query”.

Financial Statement Distribution in Power BI

If you are curious about using Power BI to distribute your financial statements in Power BI, you have several options. This session covers various options for using Power BI to distribute your financial statement packages. Specifically, we will cover:
• Using an (BC) Account Schedules as part of your “Power BI App”
• Building a Profit & Loss statement in a Power BI Matrix visual
• A few financial KPI’s that can aid every business, and should be in every financial package
• Cash movement visuals.
This will be a fast-paced session, with some technical aspects and some high-level overview aspects.

This session is geared towards a Microsoft Dynamics Business Central Audience.

Planning Steps for a Power BI Report

During this session, the steps she NOW takes for implementing a new Power BI report. These steps are helpful for the first report in your company or the 10th report. It’s a combination of Microsoft’s Center of Excellence; 30+ years of report writing experience; wireframing; advice from Microsoft, MVP’s and other learning groups. This session will review questions to ask at the start of a project, during the project, and after the project; and how to utilize these answers for success.
Topics covered:
• Use of the Reports
• Report Branding
• Report Layout (UI)
• User Experience (UX)
• Ongoing user growth
• Preparing for the next Report.

SQL Saturday Jacksonville #1041

May 2023 Jacksonville, Florida, United States

Power Platform Conference (Community Content)

September 2022 Orlando, Florida, United States

Data Insight Summit

September 2022 Chicago, Illinois, United States

TechDay Pakistan

March 2022

Power BI Fest

November 2021

Belinda Allen

Microsoft MVP, Microsoft MCT (Trainer) - Smith & Allen Consulting, Inc.

Summerville, South Carolina, United States