What is Power Query and what is it for?

Power BI

Power Query is an Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) tool that helps Power BI and Excel users connect with data, transform its formatting as needed, and load the data for future use, typically in Power BI, Excel , CSV files, etc

Power Query is a data preparation and transformation engine. It includes a graphical interface to obtain data from different sources and an Editor (Power Query Editor) to apply the transformations.

When to use Power Query?

Power Query is especially useful when:

Large amounts of data are processed (Excel is limited to a million queues)

Importing data from different sources (Excel, CSV, SharePoint, SQl, Salesforce)
You need to manipulate, clean, and merge multiple tables, files, or even folders.
Power Query contains a graphical interface to get the data from your data sources and a Power Query Editor to apply transformations. Because the Power Query engine is available in many products and services, the destination point where data will be saved depends on where Power Query is used.

Why is it convenient to use Power Query?

According to a Kaggle ML and Data Science study of nearly 16,000 professionals, the online community of data scientists and machine learning professionals , data scientists, analysts or software engineers spend about 40% of their time collecting , preparing and cleaning the data so you can use it in your analyses . This is a huge amount of time, which Power Query dramatically reduces with its capabilities. Users who have tried it report reducing tasks that used to take three hours to just three minutes.

Everyone who uses Excel 2010 or later has access to Power Query, as it is a tool built by Microsoft for Excel. This same tool is in Power BI, so you only need to learn it once to use it in both applications. If you have Excel 2016 or higher, you’ll find the Power Query tools in the Data tab on the top ribbon of the on-screen menu, within the “Get and transform” group of tools.

If you’re on 2010 or 2013, you can download the free Power Query Add-In, which will then have its own tab on the ribbon. The tool is not available in Excel 2007 or earlier versions.

In Power BI Desktop, the Power Query tools are on the Home tab of the ribbon. In the aforementioned survey, many are Data Scientists who work with very careful data, and many of us do tasks on the fly in which we surely spend much more time preparing the data. In fact, other studies such as the one by Crowdflower suggest that close to 80% of analysts get lost in data collection and cleaning. It may be an exaggeration, but 40% of the time is already saying a lot, and saving a considerable part of this time will have a spectacular improvement in productivity.

ServiceNow Power BI integration helps track personalized metrics, KPI, overall team performance in real-time by scheduling refreshes, and also visualize team contribution to the overall result.

Power Query is capable of automating traditional data ingestion and cleansing. Until now, many of us have automated tasks using the Excel VBA programming language, but Power Query does not require any programming knowledge . Most of its tools are available in the graphical interface via the point-and-click method. Thus, we can easily reduce tasks that took hours to just a few seconds. Power Query outperforms VBA in speed, and has proven to be a bit more stable when it comes to un-pivoting data sets. Not only that, but it also doesn’t require you to learn any code, which is a big plus.

Power Query can take raw data from a huge range of sources, including tables from Excel sheets, from other Excel, text or CSV files, even multiple files in a folder or PDF data tables, also Json data sources and XML and databases including SQL , Microsoft Access, Analysis Services or even proprietary systems with ODBC or OLE DB connectors. The list is extensive, since we can also mention Azure Services and the web, or cloud systems such as SharePoint, Exchange, Salesforce or Dynamics 365 . The list expands considerably if we use Power Query in Power BI.

From one or more of these sources, we can cleanse and transform messy data into perfectly tabulated data, using the intuitive user interface at the click of a button, leaving us much more time available for the intelligent part of analysis and visualization. .

Power BI Desktop vs. Excel

Power BI is used to publish and share reports and visualizations interactively and in web format. The advantages are clear:

  • Power BI is very easy to use, interactive and intuitive.
  • Power BI can work with a greater volume of information, without the limitations of the number of rows and charts of Excel
  • Allows easy sharing of reports
  • Power Bi ‘svisualization capabilities are far superior to Excel’s

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About Kushal Enugula

I’m a Digital marketing enthusiast with more than 6 years of experience in SEO. I’ve worked with various industries and helped them in achieving top ranking for their focused keywords. The proven results are through quality back-linking and on page factors.

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