• April 12, 2024

Excel Power Query: A Comprehensive Guide

Common data problems are straightforward to solve using Power Query. It normally takes a lot of valuable time to do repeated manual procedures like filtering, merging columns, and cut and paste. Performing such operations is made a great deal easier by the Power Query tool.

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In addition, compared to other BI tools, Power Query is quite user-friendly. The UI of Power Query is easy to use. Many users will find it pleasant because the UI is fairly similar to that of Excel.

What is a Power Query?

One tool for preparing and manipulating data is called Power Query. With Power Query, you may use a graphical user interface to get data from sources and a Power Query Editor to conduct transformations. Microsoft Excel’s Power Query is a business intelligence tool that allows you to input data from several sources, clean it up, convert it, and then reshape it to suit your requirements. This allows you to create a query just once and then utilize it again by just refreshing.

As its name implies, Excel 2010 and later’s most potent data automation tool is Power Query. A user may import data into Excel from other sources using Power Query, including text files, CSV files, the Web, and Excel workbooks, to name a few. After that, the data may be cleansed and ready for our needs.

Several helpful capabilities, such adding data and building associations between various data sets, are built into Power Query. The term for this process is data set merging. The application also allows us to aggregate and summarize data. It is unquestionably a really helpful tool.

How Can Power Query Be Enabled?

Excel 2010 and 2013 come with a free add-in called Power Query, which you can get from Microsoft’s website.

When you click the Download button, a dialog window with the option to select the best download for your operating system opens. After that, your machine will download Power Query.

Beginning with Excel 2016, it is a built-in feature that can be found under the Data Tab’s Get & Transforms Data Section.

The Power Query’s Four Stages

Users may extract, transform, and load (ETL) data into Excel or Power BI from a variety of sources using Power Query. Power Query consists of four phases:

1. Establish contact

Users connect to the data source or sources of data from which they wish to extract data during this phase. Numerous data sources, like as files, databases, and webpages, are supported by Power Query. During this step, users may also supply any necessary authorization or authentication details.

2. Convert

Users may utilize a variety of data transformation tools to clean, restructure, and alter the data to suit their unique needs once it has been put into Power Query. Eliminating duplicates, filtering, combining, separating columns, and pivoting data are examples of common data transformation jobs.

3. Mix

Users of Power Query may also utilize a variety of strategies to aggregate data from several sources. Using a shared key, users can join, add, or merge tables. This stage is useful for combining data from several sources into a cohesive, single picture.

4. Fill up

Users finally specify where to load the changed data during the Load step. They may establish a link to the data source so that the data is automatically updated if the source data changes, or they can load the data into an Excel spreadsheet or a Power BI report.

A Query List: What Is It?

A group or collection of queries in a database or data management system is called a query list. It is an assemblage of pre-written questions that have been stored and arranged for convenience of use. A set of query statements or commands that obtain, filter, sort, or otherwise work with data from one or more tables or data sources are commonly found in a query list. Query lists give users an easy method to organize and store complicated or often used queries so they can be swiftly executed without having to rebuild them or make changes each time. They improve the reusability, consistency, and efficiency of data analysis and querying procedures.

Preview of Data:

The term “Data Preview” in Power Query describes how the imported data appears visually inside the Power Query Editor window. It gives customers a brief overview of the structure and contents of the dataset by enabling them to examine a sample of the data prior to doing any changes. Users may evaluate the quality and appropriateness of the data for additional analysis or manipulation by seeing the first few rows of the imported data in the Data Preview area, along with the column headings.

Practical Actions

The series of operations or modifications that have been made to the imported data are known as the “Applied Steps” in Power Query. A particular operation, like as filtering, sorting, renaming columns, or combining queries, is represented by each step. These changes are listed in the order that they were applied in the Applied Steps section of the Power Query Editor. Individual phases in the data preparation process can be reviewed, changed, or eliminated by users to improve it and provide the desired results. Users may easily follow and replicate data modifications because to the transparency and reproducibility offered by Applied Steps.

Formula Bar

Users may inspect and modify the formulae linked to each step or transformation in Power Query by going to the Formula Bar area of the Power Query Editor. Users may manually enter or edit the underlying M language code that defines the data transformations since it offers a text-based representation of the implemented transforms. Making use of all the features available in the M language, the Formula Bar provides a more sophisticated and accurate method of manipulating data. It is especially helpful for intricate or customized modifications that the graphical user interface is unable to accomplish on its own.