What is a Power Query?

Power Query is a data manipulation tool that’s frequently used for business intelligence and data analysis. Microsoft Power Query is compatible with Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel.

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Error-free, well-organized data that comes from a single source of truth is essential for producing high-quality analyses. While many analysts spend hours integrating data, doing lookups, and altering it, Power Query makes it possible to automate all of these tasks with straightforward, repeatable procedures.

One of the most revolutionary tools for any analyst dealing with Excel data is Power Query. It will not only save hours of work for analysts, but it will also lead to fewer human mistakes and improve data sourcing from a single source of truth.

Best Uses and Advantages of Power Query

1. Data transformation

Data transformation is Power Query’s primary goal. This entails altering the arrangement, eliminating mistakes, and overall improving the data’s suitability for analysis.

Typical data transformations carried out by Power Query consist of:

Turn or Unturn

Dividing and Combining Columns

Data Filtering

Making unique columns

Removal of header, blank, and error rows

Altering the kinds of data

Reduce the values.

Excel users will be quite familiar with this sort of data, since they are aware of the amount of labor required to re-format data to meet their analytical requirements.

The file has unnecessary rows at the top, columns with empty values, values that need to be filled in, and dates that need to be unpivoted.

2. Steps that are repeated

If the example above isn’t sufficient, Power Query additionally keeps track of every action that was done to modify the data. This implies that model inputs may be refreshed quickly in the event that reports are updated or modifications are made, negating the need to start the entire process over.

3. Merging many tables

We may integrate numerous connected tables of data with Power Query. Lookup formulas would be used by Excel users to accomplish the same objective. With so many formulae included, their models would grow progressively slower and be restricted to one million rows.

Rather of using formulae, Power Query efficiently combines the tables using matching columns, and it can accomplish this for the full dataset in a matter of seconds.

4. Merging many files

Data from several related files may be effortlessly combined using Power Query.

5. Establishment of a link with key data sources

With the numerous connections that Power Query offers, you may extract data from local files, cloud storage, web pages, and SQL databases. Analysts may make sure they are all operating from the same version of the truth by making constant reference to core data sources.

Customizing queries to source data from each type of data source is simple when you use the Get Data menu.

Who Needs to Utilize Power Query?

1. Excel-using analysts

By using Power Query, anyone working with Excel will significantly increase their capacity to work with and alter data. Analysts may now automate inputs and concentrate on their job rather than manually updating models once a week or once a month.

2. Business intelligence-focused analysts

One of the most important steps in the business intelligence process is transforming data for projects (see below). For this reason, any Excel-based analyst who is interested in business intelligence should start with Power Query. It is very simple to use, leverages the well-known Excel environment, and offers capabilities that can be transferred to Power BI.

3. Anyone handling data

If your main BI tool isn’t Excel or Power BI, Power Query is ideal for experimenting with data or swiftly merging files for different projects. Use a spreadsheet to load the results and rapidly prototype a business intelligence project using clean data.

Where Is Power Query Available?

Microsoft Power Query is compatible with Microsoft Power BI and Microsoft Excel.

Excel Power Query

Excel 2016 onwards offers Power Query natively. You might need to download Excel as an add-in if you have an older version of the program.

In more recent iterations, Power Query is available through Excel’s Data tab and has many buttons under the Get & Transform Data area.

Power Query in Power BI

The industry-leading dashboarding tool from Microsoft, Power BI, enables users to input and process data, build data models, and produce interactive dashboards.

The same Power Query technology is used by Power BI to carry out the necessary data transformations. The Home tab’s Data and Queries sections provide access to it.