Querying Data From Multiple Data Sources

by | Power BI

As I mentioned in the previous tutorial, you need to bring in your raw data first before you can do anything else in the Query Editor. I’ll teach you the different ways you can get your data from multiple data sources.

I also want to remind you that there are two ways to load your data in Power BI. First is by using Get Data, and the second one is using Edit Queries. When you click on Edit Queries, you get to launch the Query Editor.

Getting Raw Data From Multiple Data Sources

To start, click Get Data from the Home ribbon.

From here, you can bring in multiple data sources using common files like Excel, Text/CSV, XML, JSON, and more.

Among these options, Excel is the most common data source.

The next thing that I want to discuss is the Power Platform. The Power Platform is a combination of powerful applications like Power Apps, Power BI, and Power Automate.

If you select Power Platform, you can select either Power BI Dataflows or Common Data Service. These features are a bit complicated and I will discuss this in another module.

In addition to that, you can also select Azure or Online Services to load your raw data into Power BI. As I have mentioned, there are a lot of ways you can query your data sources. You can select more than one at a time.

With Power BI, you are not restricted to just one way of sourcing your data.

Once you click Other, you’ll see the Blank Query option.

Using Blank Query allows you to build your own query in the Query Editor. This way, you can source your data from multiple sources even in the same model.

This just shows how great Power BI is by letting you access multiple sources for your data. It makes everything efficient inside Power BI and optimizes your process.

Querying Data From SQL Database

In Power BI, you can also find a whole range of databases where you can query your data from. The available databases include SQL Server, Access, Oracle, IBM, SAP, Amazon, and more. 

From these options, SQL is one of the best ways to source data for most users in Power BI. You can access it when you choose to click New Source.

Once you select SQL Server from here, you’ll see the SQL Server database pop-up box. In this box, you can enter the server name and the database from which you want to source your data from.

Additionally, you also need to update which data connectivity mode you prefer. You can select either Import or Direct Query.

Before I proceed with another data source, I want to discuss the difference between Import and Direct Query. When you select Import, your raw data will be physically moved into Power BI. This is the standard option most of the time. If you want to have full access and flexibility with your data, Import can give you more options.

But when you have massive amounts of data, it can take so much time to load it into Power BI. In this scenario, you use Direct Query. This option will help you bypass the physical movement of data into Power BI and let you go through your raw data directly. If you run a calculation or update a visual, you’ll directly go and query your database.

Another way to load your data in Power BI is to get it from the web. When you select Web, you just need to enter the URL of your data source.

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As you can see, there are a lot of ways you can query your data from multiple data sources. You don’t really need to stick to one; you can try various ways to explore the vast potential of Power BI.

It is important that the data you’re going to use is optimized. The key advantage of using the Query Editor is the opportunity to polish your data before finally loading it inside Power BI.

I hope the next time you start working in Power BI, you’ll remember these different ways to get your data. Remember, you can use multiple data sources at the same time and in the same model.


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