6 Ways to Use Excel with Power BI
Both Excel and Power BI belong to the Microsoft tech stack, which makes integrating them easier.
While some businesses want to transition from spreadsheets to Power BI, others want to leverage them both. Let's see how both tools are used together.
To help you integrate Excel with Power BI, we asked IT experts and small business owners this question for their best insights. From visualising larger data sets to integrating Excel with eCommerce Platforms, there are several tips that may help you use Excel in combination with Power BI.
Here are six ways to use Excel with Power BI:
Visualise Data in a Powerful Way
Visualise Data in a Powerful Way
You can use Excel in combination with Power BI to quickly and easily create powerful data visualisations. Power BI provides a suite of tools that allow you to connect to data sources, transform and shape your data, and then create stunning visualisations that can be easily shared with others. Excel provides an easy-to-use interface for working with data, so combining the two tools allows you to get the best of both worlds.
Natalia Brzezinska, PhotoAiD
Clean Your Data in Excel
You can use Excel to clean and prepare your data before importing it into Power BI. Excel can also be used to create calculated columns and measures that can be used in Power BI visualisations.
Matthew Ramirez, Paraphrase
Store data in Power BI, analyse in Excel
I prefer to input complete data sets into Power BI and then import smaller sets into Excel as needed for access to their additional widgets. I’ve found that Excel and Power BI can be effortlessly integrated; since data sets are easily imported from one program into the other, sometimes Excel and Power BI almost feel like using two different parts of the same program. The two programs in tandem make for a source of rich data insight. You don’t often see such compatibility between two analysis programs–and it’s especially helpful in data-heavy exchanges, where any inadvertent changes can disrupt whole studies.
John Jacob, Hoist
Import a Spreadsheet Containing Multiple Tables
I will add another sheet to the Excel file called Country Sheet, which has two tables and import it into Power BI. If your sheet only contains one table, importing the sheet has the same effect as importing a table. However, if your sheet contains multiple tables, the imported data in Power BI will be a composite of all the tables in the sheet. What does this imply? I'll go to the Country Sheet and click Load. The imported result in Power BI is as follows: Power BI will take all the data in a sheet and combine it into a single table. That is how the blank Column3 came to be, but it is possible that this is not the desired outcome. In this case, selecting a table rather than a sheet in the Navigator will provide more accurate results.
Axel Hernborg, Tripplo.com
Use Excel for Small Data Sets and Power BI for Macro Analyses
While Power BI is the go-to program for large-scale analyses, Excel offers great flexibility for smaller scales of data. The variety of widgets in Excel allows for a multi-faceted approach–as long as you’re working with smaller groups of data. At a certain point, once my data sets or extrapolations grow too large, I import the data into Power BI, as it’s the only way to process those large sets in any meaningful way.
Dan Bladen, Kadence
Integrate Excel With eCommerce Platforms
We use an integration that connects Excel to our eCommerce platform. The integration syncs data between the two systems, saving us a ton of time in duplicated manual data entry. It also ensures that there are no data inconsistencies, which can be a real nightmare for your business.
Michael Green, Winona