Part 2

Power BI Data Sources

Microsoft Power BI Learning Series

Hemshree Madaan
Mar 13 · 3 min read

In the previous blog, we had learnt what exactly Power BI is and how we can use it at an organisational level to make better business and managerial decisions related to data. If you haven’t read Part 1 of this blog series, you can give it a read.

Power BI Data Sources

The word ‘Data Sources’ is composed of two words: ‘Data’ and ‘sources’ which means where the data in a dataset comes from. For example, the data could come from a database on the cloud such as the Azure SQL Database.

Let’s explore in this blog, how we can do the same.

For doing this, first of all, you need to click the ‘Get Data’ button in the lower left-hand corner. This will redirect you to the ‘Get Data’ page in the Power BI service.

Getting Data in Power BI

There are two sections here: ‘Discover Content’ and ‘Create New Content’.

Under ‘Discover Content’, there are two types of data sources:

  • My Organisation: It comprises apps that have been created and published by someone in your organization. When someone from your team or you create an application that utilises different types of Power BI artifacts, those applications would be saved here.
  • Services: From here, you can choose an app from an online service where you typically have an account and credentials to log in. For instance, one can use an app that connects to Mailchimp by logging into their Mailchimp account.

The right-hand side is reserved for creating brand new content. There are further two sections here: ‘Files’ and ‘Databases

  • Files: From here, one can bring in the data stored in a CSV file or Microsoft Excel or can also create data models in the Power BI desktop and bring those into the Power BI service. If you want to get data out of a file that isn’t a CSV or Microsoft Excel or Power BI desktop, then the first and foremost task is to get that data in one of those supported formats. But thankfully, you’ll mostly find the data either in Excel or in a CSV file.
  • Databases: The Power BI desktop can be used to connect to online databases like Azure SQL database. There are multiple On-premises databases that can also be connected, but a gateway should be provided by the IT department or the database administrator of your organisation.

Below these two sections, you will also find more ways to create your content.

Samples’ are provided by Microsoft. On the other hand, ‘Partner Showcase’ is provided by its partners. Lastly, you can work on the existing datasets by selecting the ‘Published Dataset’ section.

In this manner, one can work with any of the above-mentioned choices and choose a suitable data source as per their requirements. After getting the data and selecting a data source, Power BI creates a data set.

Hope you found this blog helpful. This is not the end here, we will meet again in the upcoming article, till then make yourself familiar with the data sources using this article. Stay tuned for the upcoming Part-3.

If you have any suggestions, feel free to share them with me!

Happy learning till then!

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Hemshree Madaan

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Analytics Vidhya

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