Get data from Excel

Likely, you've used Microsoft Excel to create or view reports or to build pie charts or other visuals. Getting your Excel data into Power BI is a straightforward process.

In this unit, you will bring Excel workbooks into Power BI.

This page covers, "Import data from Excel".




To follow along with the example in this video, download the sample Excel workbook here.

This unit explains how you can import an Excel workbook file that contains a simple table from a local drive into Power BI. You'll then learn how to begin exploring that table's data in Power BI by creating a report.


Up until now, we've been importing data through Power BI Desktop. This unit page is done from the Power BI service.

Make sure that your data is formatted as a table

For Power BI to import data from your workbook, that data needs to be formatted as a table. In Excel, you can highlight a range of cells, and then on the Insert tab of the Excel ribbon, select Table.

Screenshot of the Insert > Table buttons.

Make sure that each column has a good name; it will make it easier for you to find the data that you want when creating your reports in Power BI.

Import from a local drive

Wherever you keep your files, Power BI makes importing them simple. In Power BI, you can go to Get Data > Files > Local File to select the Excel file that you want.

Three screenshots showing the Get Data, Get, and the Local file buttons.

After the file has been imported into Power BI, you can begin creating reports.

Your files don't have to be on a local drive. If you save your files on OneDrive or SharePoint Team Site, that's even better.

Create reports

After your workbook's data has been imported, a dataset is created in Power BI and it will appear under Datasets.

Screenshot of the My Workspace, Datasets window.

Now, you can begin exploring your data by creating reports and dashboards. Select the Open menu icon next to the dataset and then select Explore. A new blank report canvas appears. On the right-hand side, under Fields, are your tables and columns. Select the fields for which you want to create a new visualization on the canvas.

Screenshot of the Fields pane and the Report view canvas.

You can change the type of visualization and apply filters and other properties under Visualizations.

If you use any of Excel's advanced BI features like Power Query, Power Pivot, or Power View, you can import that data into Power BI, too.

For more information, see Get data from Excel workbook files.