3 Ways For Exporting Data From Power BI: A Complete Guide

on BI Tool, Business Analytics, Data Analytics, Data Visualization, Power BI, Power BI Dashboards, Spreadsheet Application • March 23rd, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Exporting Data From Power BI- Featured Image

A colleague recently asked you to hand him the latest sales dataset so that he can import it to his Excel workbook and analyze trends. This has left you wondering how to transfer your tables or visuals from the Power BI dashboard to Microsoft Excel. 

Worry not. This guide shows you three different ways for exporting data from Power BI, in as simple as 4 steps. The steps are short, without tricks (since we couldn’t find any), and without any disappointment, because they are sure to work. Help your colleague get the data he wants by reading this exporting data from Power BI article. 

Table of Contents

What is Power BI?

Power BI Business Intelligence: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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The Gartner Magic Quadrant Report has rewarded Microsoft Power BI as the leader in the Business Intelligence industry for 14 consecutive years. Clearly, that explains a lot about Power BI.

Power BI is a Microsoft Business Intelligence suite to analyze data and share insights. It features capabilities such as:

  • Dataset filtration,  
  • Visual-based data discovery, 
  • Interactive dashboards, 
  • Augmented Analytics,
  • Natural Language Q & A Question Box,
  • Exporting data from Power BI to other applications,
  • Office 365 App Launcher, and many more.

Microsoft Power BI runs on desktop and mobile, on the cloud, which means your teams can collate, manage, and analyze data from anywhere. Power BI allows you to upload data from multiple sources like Excel, CSV, SQL Server, MySQL database, PDF, Access, XML, JSON, and a plethora more. 

Microsoft Power BI collects, analyzes, and transforms your data into actionable insights. These insights are frequently provided using aesthetically appealing and simple-to-understand charts and graphs, which enables faster decision-making in your organization. When combined with Azure Cloud, Power BI can accelerate big data preparation and analysis and reduce your time to decision planning tremendously.

For more information on Power BI, do check out Understanding Microsoft Power BI: A Comprehensive Guide. If you would like to learn about the different types of visuals to include in your next Power BI report, you can refer to this guide – Ultimate Guide on Power BI Visuals: 20+ Types to Use in 2022. 

Business Benefits of Using Power BI

  • Interactive & Easy-to-Use Interface: Nothing can be more beneficial than a simple-to-use interface with a drag and drop functionality that lets you create data visualizations using a few clicks. Microsoft Power BI enables everyone at every level of your organization to make confident decisions using up-to-the-minute analytics.
  • Multiple Dataset Sources: Using Power BI, you can import data from a plethora of data sources, with support for both structured and unstructured data.
  • Industry-leading AI: Microsoft’s strong base in artificial intelligence enables Power BI users to prepare data, build machine learning models, and find insights quickly from both structured and unstructured data.
  • Exceptional Excel Integration: Using exporting data from Power BI option, your users can easily collect, analyze, publish, and share Excel business data. Excel queries, data models, and reports can be readily connected to Power BI Dashboards by anybody who is acquainted with Office 365.
  • Real-time Stream Analytics: Power BI fetches real-time data insights into your data visualizations to keep your teams up-to-date and ready to make the right decisions. 
  • Turn Insights to Action: Using Microsoft Power Platform, your teams can deliver actions quickly by combining Power BI with Power Apps and Power Automate. Using Microsoft’s strong integration, your users can easily build business applications and automate workflows.

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3 Ways For Exporting Data From Power BI

Exporting data from Power BI lets you create data backups for your Power BI dashboard tiles or report visuals. This can be useful for cases when you want to:

  • Transfer your data from one application to another. For example-Power BI to Microsoft Excel, Power BI to Google Sheets, or Power BI to CRMs like Salesforce.
  • Create backups/copies of data in the event of a primary data loss.
  • Gain offline access for data review or manipulation.
  • Check insights and provide them to your data scientists team in their systems for a more granular view.
  • Organize large amounts of data or perhaps import them to online applications like Cortana Analytics.

In this tutorial, we’ll cover three different parts of exporting data from Power BI. Have a look at these in the upcoming sections below. 

Who Can Export Data?

Power BI restricts all available data exporting data from Power BI options to administrators and report designers. If you are a normal user, you may not have all the permissions to export all dashboard tiles or report visuals. Some of this data is restricted, hidden, or kept confidential by your Power BI moderators in the purview of keeping organizational data secure.

As a user, you can check if you have the editing and exporting privileges for a Power BI table or visual. If you can see and export the Power BI visual, it means you do have the permissions. In case you don’t, you can contact your Power BI dashboard owner by viewing their contact under your report title.

Contact Power BI Dashboard Administrator: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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Your Power BI Data Is Protected When Exported

Power BI takes your data security with utmost concern and provides moderators with options to use Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels. These sensitivity labels can be configured with protection settings, and Power BI applies these settings when you or your users perform exporting data from Power BI to Excel operation. Using this, only authorized users will be able to open your protected files.

Additionally, Power BI administrators can also use Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps to monitor user access, check user activity, perform a real-time risk analysis, and set label-specific controls. This provides a refined control on how data is to be monitored and who is supposed to make changes.

Method 1: Exporting Data From Power BI Dashboard

Power BI Dashboards are where your visuals live. Once you have/get all the data permissions, you can export your dashboard visuals or tables into a .csv file. Follow the steps below for exporting data from Power BI:

Step 1: Open your Power BI dashboard and select the visual you would like to export.

Step 2: Visit tile settings from the upper right corner (ellipsis). 

Step 3: Tap onto the Export to .csv option to export your visual. 

Export to CSV Option: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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If the tile was pinned from a report with a sensitivity label, this warning will appear. Before determining whether to export your material, think about how sensitive it is.

Sensitivity Labels: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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If you’ve filtered the visualization, then the .csv export will be filtered as well. With this done, you can now perform Power BI export table to Excel or export visual to Excel operation with ease. Just open your downloaded .csv file in your Excel workbook by visiting the Data tab and then clicking on Get Data > From File > From Text/CSV.

Method 2: Exporting Data From Power BI Reports

Power BI reports are an extensive collection of pages that contain your visuals. To export data from your report visual, Power BI provides you with two options:

  • Export summarized data: This option allows you to export data that’s visible in your visual. Your data visualization may have plenty of rows and columns, but may not display all because of applied filters. Exporting summarized data only exports rows and columns that are being used to create your visual.
    If you apply filters to your visual, the data you export will be filtered as well. The export will be aggregated if your graphic contains aggregates (sum, average, and so forth).
  • Export underlying data: This option allows you to export data that’s visible in your visual and additional data from the dataset. If your visualization includes an aggregate, choosing Underlying data will remove it.

Below-mentioned are the steps to export your report visual using either of the two options as mentioned above:

Step 1: Open your Power BI report and select the visual you would like to export.

Step 2: Visit tile settings from the upper right corner (ellipsis). 

Step 3: Tap onto Export data option to export your visual.

Export Visual Option: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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Step 4: Choose your preferred mode of data export. 

Exporting Data Options: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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Method 3: Copy Table in Power BI Desktop

Probably the simplest way for exporting data from Power BI to Excel, this method is a no-brainer. Just be sure to have a Power BI desktop client installed on your system to use this feature.

Step 1: You will require access to your chosen Power BI table or visual. To do so, click on the data view option (table icon) on the left side panel of your screen. 

Data Table View Option: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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Upon clicking, you will be presented with a table with field options on the right side of your screen.

Step 2: Choose the table you would like to copy to your Excel sheet from the Fields pane. 

Step 3: Right-click on it, and select the option “Copy Table”. 

Copy Table Option: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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Step 4: Open a new sheet in your Excel workbook and paste the table by clicking on the Paste icon or pressing Ctrl + V.

Paste Data in Excel Sheet: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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And this completes your Power BI export to Excel operation. You can either choose to use Power BI export to Excel with formatting or without formatting, as per your need.

Considerations and Limitations For Exporting Data From Power BI

To prevent data mishaps, report designers and Power BI administrators can put stringent data-sharing protocols that may disable individuals, teams, or organizations to share their data freely and openly. 

As a Power BI user, if you are unable to obtain editing privileges for your data, or only able to export certain dashboard tiles or report visuals, it is time you consider talking to your Power BI moderator. Other times, there are reasons like user-set permissions, data contents, data type, visual type, how the designer named the fields, and many more due to which Power BI export table to Excel doesn’t work.

Make sure to have build permission for the underlying dataset before exporting data from Power BI visual. Moreover, there are a few more points to keep in mind before you export data:

  • Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service can export a maximum of 30,000 rows in a single .csv file. Ensure that your Power BI export table to excel operation satisfies the given limit. 
  • Power BI applications are capable of exporting a maximum of 150,000 rows to an.xlsx file. Depending on query limits and visual kinds, the real amount might be less than 150,000. 

Remember to count data intersections per row when exporting data from Power BI matrix. A Power BI export table to excel operation contains one data intersection for each row. Power BI matrices have more. You might sometimes see an error pop up like this:

Data Exceeds the Limit: Exporting Data From Power BI to Excel
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  • When performing Power BI matrix export using Data with current layout:
    • Row devoid matrices with columns and/or values will be exported as matrices having rows and/or values without columns. Matrices with a single row but no column will be exported as a table. 
    • Your visual format wouldn’t be preserved if the Show on rows toggle is set to ‘On’.
    • If the Row subtotals toggle in Power BI Desktop for a matrix visual is set to ‘Off,’ but your matrix visual contains expanded and collapsed portions, the exported data will include subtotals for rows. Use the “Expand | All” command from the visual’s context menu to get around this problem.
  • The option “Exporting data from Power BI using underlying data” doesn’t work when:
    • Your Power BI version is from before 2016.
    • Your model’s tables don’t have a unique key.
    • This feature has been deactivated by your administrator or report designer.
    • You activate Show items with no data option for your visualization.
  • The maximum amount of data that Power BI may export with DirectQuery is 16 MB of uncompressed data. It’s possible that you’ll wind up exporting fewer rows than the limit of 150,000. This is more than probable if there are:
    • Too many columns in your table. 
    • Types of data that are difficult to compress, or
    • Other variables at work.
  • Custom Power Bi visuals and R visuals can’t be exported.
  • Power BI only exports data for the first table if the visualization contains data from many other data tables and there is no active relationship for those tables in the data model.
  • By double-clicking the field (column) and typing a new name in Power BI, you may rename it. This is referred to as an alias in Power BI. It’s possible that a Power BI report can end up with duplicate field names, but Excel doesn’t allow duplicates. So, the field aliases return to their original field (column) names when Power BI exports the data to Excel.
  • When you are exporting data from Power BI to Excel in the .csv format, your Unicode characters don’t display correctly in the Excel workbook. You can circumvent this problem by importing data using the option Get external data > From text in Excel. 
  • All characters with a leading ‘ are dropped when performing Power BI export table to Excel operation using .csv format. 
  • If you apply a dynamic format string to a measure, the exported data won’t keep the formatting in Excel. Additionally, Excel does not keep visual-specific formatting.

Conclusion

This tutorial discussed Power BI visualization, its key benefits, and three different ways for exporting data from Power BI:

  • One, when you are exporting data from Power BI dashboard.
  • Two, when you are exporting data from Power BI reports.
  • Three, when you simply want to perform exporting data from Power BI operation using copy and paste data without any intricacies or hassles.

As a Power BI power user, you might be aware of its strong capabilities like Power BI ETL, Power BI Power Query, and Power BI DirectQuery; upgrading your Business Intelligence workflow can only come when you assemble the right systems to ingest, load, and analyze your data. Lucky for you, Hevo has done all the legwork, so you can set up, ingest and load data from plenty of data sources with little to no training.  

Hevo lets you migrate your data from your favorite applications to any Data Warehouse of your choice like Amazon Redshift, Snowflake, Google BigQuery, Firebolt, and more within minutes to be analyzed in BI tools.

Why not try Hevo and see action for yourself? Sign Up here for a 14-day free trial and experience the feature-rich Hevo suite first hand. You can also check out our pricing plans to choose the best-matched plan for your business needs. 

Tell us your opinions on reading three ways for exporting data from Power BI. If you have more ideas or Power BI features you would like us to cover, drop a comment below and let us know. 

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