Power BI Blog: Power BI Connected Tables

Welcome back to
this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series.  This week, we consider new capabilities that
make it easier for users to add Power BI data to their Excel workbooks.


Microsoft has
announced new capabilities that make it easier for users to add Power BI data
to their Excel workbooks.  Earlier this
year, Microsoft introduced ‘Export with Live Connection’ for interactive
reports.  This made it easy for users to
create Connected Tables in Excel sheets.  Now, it has been updated, with the new
capabilities rolling out as we write.

The new ‘Insert
Table’ option is rolling out for the ‘Power BI Datasets’ pane in Excel.  It enables users to create a connected table
directly in Excel.  This streamlines the
workflow of adding data and is friendlier to more Excel users.  

You may use the Data
-> From Power Platform-> From Power BI (Microsoft) option to launch the ‘Power BI Datasets’ side pane
in Excel.

For each dataset,
you’ll see the new ‘Insert Table’ option.  This option is initially available in Excel for

The new ‘Create
Table’ dialog will open.  You can use the
Data pane to select the fields you want to add to your Excel workbook.

You may use the ‘Build’
pane to reorder, remove fields and change the aggregation for fields.

You may use the ‘Filters’
pane to do basic filtering for rows in your table.

When you’re ready,
press ‘Insert Table’ to add a Connected Table to your Excel sheet.

At this point, a
Connected Table is inserted into your worksheet.  You may refresh the data to get the latest
data.  Any data security like Row Level
Security, Permissions and Sensitivity Labels will be enforced as well.

Just like with
other Connected Table experiences, the workbook contains a Connection that you
can review and modify through Data Ribbon -> Queries and Connections -> Queries and Connections pane -> Connections Tab -> right-click ->
.  You may even change the query if you’d like
using the ‘Command Text’ on the ‘Definition’ tab.

Microsoft is also
starting to roll out a new ‘Export with live connection (.xlsx)’ option for the
OneLake Data Hub experiences.  When you
navigate to a dataset in Power BI, you can use the Tables side pane to pick a

This will be added
to the Export menu.  This will create a
connected Excel workbook that shows a Connected Table as above, or with the ‘Export
to Excel’ capability when viewing an interactive report.

Whilst this is
great for creating new queries, especially for those who don’t know how to
write DAX, there are several limitations to be aware of:

  • the ‘Insert
    Table’ option is rolling out to Excel for Windows users incrementally.  It won’t be available immediately in Excel for
    the web
  • the ‘Export
    with Live connection (.xlsx)’ option is rolling out for Power BI users in the
    Data Hub
  •  the column
    names in Excel can’t be changed.  If you
    refresh, the query will reset the column names to the original ones
  • you can’t
    edit the query in the user interface (UI).  If you’d like to make changes, it’s best to
    just create a new query with the settings you want.

As stated above, if
you don’t see these capabilities immediately, just give it some time since the
roll-out will take several weeks to complete fully.


In the meantime, please remember we offer training in Power BI which you can find out more about here.  If you wish to catch up on past articles, you can find all of our past Power BI blogs here.  


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