Analyze data in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 by using Power BI

In this article you'll learn how to use Power BI Desktop to analyze and visualize data that is stored in a storage account that has a hierarchical namespace (Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2).


Before you begin this tutorial, you must have the following prerequisites:

  • An Azure subscription. See Get Azure free trial.
  • A storage account that has a hierarchical namespace. Follow these instructions to create one. This article assumes that you've created a storage account named myadlsg2.
  • You are granted one of the following roles for the storage account: Blob Data Reader, Blob Data Contributor, or Blob Data Owner.
  • A sample data file named Drivers.txt located in your storage account. You can download this sample from Azure Data Lake Git Repository, and then upload that file to your storage account.
  • Power BI Desktop. You can download this from the Microsoft Download Center.

Create a report in Power BI Desktop

  1. Launch Power BI Desktop on your computer.

  2. From the Home tab of the Ribbon, select Get Data, and then select More.

  3. In the Get Data dialog box, select Azure > Azure Data Lake Store Gen2, and then select Connect.

    Get data page.

  4. In the Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 dialog box, you can provide the URL to your Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 account, filesystem, or subfolder using the container endpoint format. URLs for Data Lake Storage Gen2 have the following pattern:


    You can also select whether you want to use the file system view or the Common Data Model folder view.

    Select OK to continue.


  5. If this is the first time you're using this URL address, you'll be asked to select the authentication method.

    If you select the Organizational account method, select Sign in to sign into your storage account. You'll be redirected to your organization's sign in page. Follow the prompts to sign into the account. After you've successfully signed in, select Connect.

    If you select the Account key method, enter your account key and then select Connect.

    Sign in page.

  6. The next dialog box shows all files under the URL you provided in step 4 above, including the file that you uploaded to your storage account. Verify the information, and then select Load.

    File systems.

  7. After the data has been successfully loaded into Power BI, you'll see the following fields in the Fields tab.

    Fields tab.

    However, to visualize and analyze the data, you might prefer the data to be available using the following fields.


    In the next steps, you'll update the query to convert the imported data to the desired format.

  8. From the Home tab on the ribbon, select Edit Queries.

    Select edit queries.

  9. In the Query Editor, under the Content column, select Binary. The file will automatically be detected as CSV and you should see an output as shown below. Your data is now available in a format that you can use to create visualizations.


  10. From the Home tab on the ribbon, select Close & Apply.

    Close and apply.

  11. Once the query is updated, the Fields tab will show the new fields available for visualization.

    New fields.

  12. Now you can create a pie chart to represent the drivers in each city for a given country. To do so, make the following selections.

    From the Visualizations tab, select the symbol for a pie chart.

    Select pie chart symbol in Visualizations.

    In this example, the columns you're going to use are Column 4 (name of the city) and Column 7 (name of the country). Drag these columns from the Fields tab to the Visualizations tab as shown below.

    Drag fields.

    The pie chart should now resemble the one shown below.

    Pie chart.

  13. By selecting a specific country from the page level filters, you can now see the number of drivers in each city of the selected country. For example, under the Visualizations tab, under Page level filters, select Brazil.

    Page filters.

  14. The pie chart is automatically updated to display the drivers in the cities of Brazil.


  15. From the File menu, select Save to save the visualization as a Power BI Desktop file.

Publish report to Power BI service

After you've created the visualizations in Power BI Desktop, you can share it with others by publishing it to the Power BI service. For instructions on how to do that, see Publish from Power BI Desktop.


Currently, in Power Query Online, the Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 connector only supports paths with container, and not subfolder or file. For example, https://<accountname><container> will work, while https://<accountname><container>/<filename> or https://<accountname><container>/<subfolder> will fail.

Microsoft doesn't support dataflow or dataset refresh using OAuth2 authentication when the Azure Data Lake Storage Gen 2 (ADLS) account is in a different tenant. This limitation only applies to ADLS when the authentication method is OAuth2, that is, when you attempt to connect to a cross-tenant ADLS using an Azure AD account. In this case, we recommend that you use a different authentication method that is not OAuth2/AAD, such as the Key authentication method.