Power Query in Power BI: Key Features & How to Use

April 27, 2023 - Aptaworks

Power BI is one of the most popular business intelligence tools in the industry that allows users to visualize and analyze data from a variety of sources. Among its key features, there is Power Query – a data transformation and cleansing tool that helps Power BI users in preparing their data for analysis.

What benefits are offered by this tool, and how can you utilize it to get the most out of your data? Read on to find out!

Key Features of Power BI’s Power Query

Data Transformation

Power Query allows users to transform their data in a variety of ways, including filtering, sorting, merging, and splitting. This makes it easy to clean up messy data and prepare it for analysis.

Source Connectivity

Power Query supports a wide range of data sources, including Excel files, CSV files, SQL Server databases, and more. This makes it easy to connect to your data no matter where it is stored.

Custom Functions

Power Query allows users to create custom functions that can be reused across multiple queries. This can save time and improve data consistency.

Query Folding

Power Query uses a technique called “query folding” to optimize query performance. This means that Power Query will try to push as much of the data transformation logic as possible back to the data source, which can improve query performance.

How to Use Power BI’s Power Query

Connect Data Source

The first step in using Power Query is to connect to your data source. This can be done by selecting the “Get Data” option from the Home tab in Power BI, and then choosing the appropriate data source.

Transform Data via Power Query Editor

Once you have connected to your data source, you can start transforming your data using the Power Query Editor. This editor allows you to apply a variety of transformations to your data, including filtering, sorting, and merging.

Create Custom Functions

If you find yourself applying the same transformation logic across multiple queries, you can create a custom function in Power Query. To do this, select the “New Source” option from the Home tab, and then choose the “Blank Query” option. From here, you can write your custom function in the Advanced Editor.

Optimize Query Performance

To optimize query performance, you can use the “View Native Query” option in Power Query. This will show you the SQL code that Power Query generates based on your transformations.

If you notice that the generated SQL code is not optimized, you can try to simplify your transformations or split your query into smaller steps to improve performance.

Conclusion

Power Query is a powerful tool that can help users prepare their data for analysis in Power BI. Its data transformation capabilities, source connectivity, custom functions, and query folding features make it an essential tool for any Power BI user.

If you’re looking to get the most out of your data, be sure to explore the full capabilities of Power Query in Power BI!

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