"Power BI Service" as a data source in "Get & Transform"
It would be awesome if "Power BI Service" is added as a data source under "Get Data" in "Get & Transform Data" in Excel. Though the source availability is already there with "Power BI Publisher Add-in" but it is buggy and hard to deploy on large number of laptops/desktops. Also, it is practically very difficult to educate down the line users about re-enabling this add-in via COM Add-ins in case it disappears from the ribbon which is very frequent in case of this add-in. We have been struggling with this for a long period of time now.
Considering "Power BI Service" as a data source is already available inside Power BI Desktop, this should not be a big challenge for developers to bring the same inside "Get & Transform Data" in Excel.
If Power BI Service as a data source comes to Excel, it will lead to the following incredible benefits:
1. There will not be any need for Publisher Add-in for users who just want to access the dataset sitting in Power BI Service via Excel.
2. Simplification of landscape leading to further affirmation of "Excel and Power BI are better together" tagline which is frequently used by Microsoft.
3. No need to train users on installing publisher add-in in 1000s of laptops and desktops.
4. Nil technical support and maintenance because add-in itself is not required.
5. An incentive for big organizations to move to Excel 2016 due to Power BI Service integration within excel without any need to deploy add-in which is so buggy.
6. Win-win situation for both Microsoft and the clients, as Microsoft will get sales boost in terms of upgrade of Office and clients will save cost on deployment of Publisher add-in, related technical support and user training on installing and using Power BI Publisher.
This is such a low hanging fruit for Microsoft that it should be given priority.
Thanks for logging this issue. I agree this would be quite useful, especially as Power BI is emerging as a hub for business data.
This request is slightly different than what PBI Desktop does. PBI Desktop essentially provides a Live Connect essentially deferring the model to the service and limiting the experience to visualizations so it’s not importing data into the report. So there’re two possible outcomes you could be looking for:
1. Allow users to import data into Excel as query tables, just like one can from an external store like SQL Server or Oracle. This provides fine grained data retrieval.
2. Create a new PivotTable that summarizes data on PBI service.
The PBI Publisher addin performs #2. Is that what you’re looking for? Or would you rather have #1 if you had to choose?
Others coming new to this suggestion, please be sure to add your votes and provide your feedback to help us prioritize this higher.
Lead Program Manager
Olivier Travers commented
This would be really useful, as Power BI's Analyze in Excel implementation via odc feels clunky. Also a related idea is to support Dataflows as a source in Excel:
What really matters esp. for more advanced users and would be great to improve, is the full end-to-end UX integration between Excel and Power BI.
Excel should be directly connected to the Power BI Desktop experience for managing the data model and calculations i.e. instead of having to maintain a duplicate Power Pivot model.
I haven't experienced that "many bugs" with Power BI Publisher for Excel.
But it would definitely be good to make sure it just works (reliably) and as easy and fast to access as possible. Surfacing it via Get & Transform would also be good in terms of UX consistency.
Deepak Agrawal commented
Thanks for responding to the idea. The very fact that Power BI Publisher for Excel has many bugs and PBI Desktop already has "PBI Service Data model" connector, I came up with this idea that Excel should have PBI Data Model connector. So, I meant only a native connector to PBI Dataset to explore and test the same through Pivot table connection.
We have been using Power BI for a long time now and I want to state this very clearly that 99% of the users are only interested in drill-down analysis with Pivot Table and nothing else. We have tried all sorts of training in Power BI but Excel overpowers everything else. Therefore, not having native connectivity with a PBI Dataset and with so many bugs in PBI Publisher it becomes so critical for any organization. Hence, my idea.
Thanks again for listening to us!