Getting Data into Power BI from Different Sources looks at connecting to data sources on-premise, in the Azure cloud, and Power platform data sources. The course is focused on how various data sources can impact your data model's performance, rather than looking at every single source that Power BI accommodates, as there are literally dozens and dozens of them. Apart from typical database and file data sources we look at Dataverse, a power platform repository and data flow an online ETL service.

Learning Objectives

  • How to connect to a database and file data source on-premises and in the Azure cloud
  • How to change the location of a data source without reimporting the data
  • Look at the pros and cons of each Power BI data storage mode
  • User Power Platform's Dataverse product as a data source
  • How to and why you would use a Data Flow as a data source
  • Setting up and connecting to an XMLA endpoint

Intended Audience

  • This course is intended for anyone who wants to get data into Power BI


  • An understanding of Power BI desktop and power BI online
  • A Power BI premium account for XMLA endpoint, one of the more specialized data connection topics



We'll start by importing data from two common sources; a relational database, SQL Server, and an Excel workbook, so a file-based source. Data sources change over time in terms of their location and format. Whether your data storage moves from file to database or from on-premise to Cloud, you need to easily change the data sources' location without having to rebuild the import process. We will look at changing a data source's location settings and how to make those settings dynamic using parameters.

Power BI offers various storage modes from imported to direct query and live connections. We'll look at the pros and cons of each storage mode and the limitations that could impact your data model's performance.

Dataverse is Power Platform's data repository that brings together many and varied businesses' data sources into one location. As Dataverse is part of the same product stable as Power Bi, it deserves a special mention.

Data flow is an online data transformation and ETL service that enables you to separate the data model from the reporting function. Separating these two functions allow data modelers to do what they do best and makes sure report writers are using the correct version of source data.

We end the course by looking at XMLA endpoints that enable the use of Power Bi datasets by non-Power Bi client applications. Let's head on over to the computer and pull some data into Power Bi.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Hallam is a software architect with over 20 years experience across a wide range of industries. He began his software career as a  Delphi/Interbase disciple but changed his allegiance to Microsoft with its deep and broad ecosystem. While Hallam has designed and crafted custom software utilizing web, mobile and desktop technologies, good quality reliable data is the key to a successful solution. The challenge of quickly turning data into useful information for digestion by humans and machines has led Hallam to specialize in database design and process automation. Showing customers how leverage new technology to change and improve their business processes is one of the key drivers keeping Hallam coming back to the keyboard.