Start in Power BI with Analyze in Excel
With Analyze in Excel, you can bring Power BI datasets into Excel, and then view and interact with them using PivotTables, charts, slicers, and other Excel features. Need some background before you get started? See the Prerequisites section of Connect Excel to Power BI datasets before you get started.
Connect to Power BI data with Analyze in Excel
In the Power BI service, to the workspace that contains the dataset or report you want to analyze in Excel and use any of these options:
Select More options (...) next to the dataset or report name and select Analyze in Excel.
Open the report and select Export > Analyze in Excel.
Select a dataset. In the Dataset details pane, select Analyze in Excel in the menu bar.
Remember that if you select Analyze in Excel for a report, it is the report's underlying dataset that is brought into Excel.
The Power BI service generates an Excel workbook that contains an OLAP connection to the Power BI dataset, and automatically saves this Excel workbook to your OneDrive for Business. You can now open the Excel workbook by clicking Open in Excel for the web and the workbook opens in a new browser tab.
If you don't have OneDrive for Business in your environment, clicking Analyze in Excel will download the Excel workbook to your computer's local Downloads folder.
The workbook file name matches the dataset (or report, or other data source) from which it was derived. So if the report was called Sales Analysis, then the file name would be Sales Analysis.xlsx.
When you open the workbook in Excel for the web, you may have to enable the Power BI query by clicking Yes so you can start building your PivotTable reports.
You can also open the workbook file in Excel Desktop by clicking Open in Desktop App in the Excel for the web ribbon.
The first time you open the file in Excel Desktop Enable Editing, depending on your Protected view.
You may also have to Enable Content, depending on your Trusted document settings.
When using Analyze in Excel, any sensitivity label that's applied to a Power BI dataset is automatically applied to the Excel file. If the sensitivity label on the dataset later changes to be more restrictive, when you refresh the data in Excel, the label applied to the Excel file updates automatically. If the dataset changes to become less restrictive, no label inheritance or update occurs.
If you manually set sensitivity labels in Excel, they aren’t automatically overwritten by the dataset's sensitivity label. Instead, a policy tip appears with a recommendation to upgrade the label.
For more information, see how to apply sensitivity labels in Power BI.
Save and share your new workbook
You can Save the Excel workbook you create with the Power BI dataset, just like any other workbook. However, you can't publish or import the workbook back into Power BI. You can only publish or import workbooks into Power BI that have data in tables, or that have a data model. Because the new workbook just has a connection to the dataset in Power BI, publishing or importing it into Power BI would be going in circles!
Once your workbook is saved, you can share it with other Power BI users in your organization.
When a user opens the workbook that you’ve shared your workbook with them, they see your PivotTables and data as they were when you last saved the workbook. That data may not be the latest version. To get the latest data, users must use the Refresh button on the Data ribbon. And since the workbook connects to a dataset in Power BI, the first time users try to refresh the workbook, they must sign in to Power BI and install the Excel updates.
Refresh for external connections isn't supported in Excel Online. Since users need to refresh the dataset, we recommend that they open the workbook in the desktop version of Excel.
Administrators for Power BI tenants can use the Power BI admin portal to disable the use of Analyze in Excel with on-premises datasets housed in Analysis Services (AS) databases. When that option is disabled, Analyze in Excel is disabled for AS databases, but continues to be available for other datasets.
Considerations and limitations
- Some organizations may have Group Policy rules that prevent installing the required updates to Excel. If you can't install the updates, check with your administrator.
- Row-level security (RLS) is supported for Analyze in Excel. RLS is enforced at the data-model level, and is always applied to all users accessing data in the report. Read more about row-level security.
- There may be times when using Analyze in Excel that you get an unexpected result, or the feature doesn't work as you expected. See Troubleshoot Analyze in Excel for solutions to common issues.
- Only Power BI datasets that use Import mode will preserve hierarchies in Analyze in Excel workbooks. Power BI datasets built on DirectQuery or composite models will not have their hierarchies retained when using Analyze in Excel.
- Analyze in Excel doesn't support specifying a locale by modifying the connection string after a workbook has been generated.
- You may see an error message if the data is larger than 2 GB. In that case, either reduce the amount of data, for example by applying filters, or use the XMLA endpoint. Learn more about the XMLA endpoint.
- Guest users can't analyze Power BI data in Excel for datasets sent from a tenant different from the one hosting the datasets.
- Analyzing Power BI data in Excel is a Power BI service feature. You can't analyze Power BI data in Excel from Power BI Report Server or Power BI Embedded.
- Analyze in Excel might not work as expected if field parameters are used in the underlying Power BI dataset.
See the Prerequisites section of Connect Excel to Power BI datasets for other requirements when connecting to Power BI data in Excel.
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