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Improved Power BI Experience in Excel

Headshot of article author Ikechukwu Edeagu

We are excited to announce improvements to the Power BI experience in Excel that will help business users easily search data artifacts (including Power BI datasets and Power BI datamarts) and uncover better data insights all inside a spreadsheet environment. These improvements are rolling out to users in phases and will complete over the next few days. With these new changes to the Power BI experience in Excel, you can:

  • Easily search for data in a new user-friendly interface
  • Discover new data artifacts with a deep link to the Power BI Data hub where you can find recommended datasets and other trusted data in your organization
  • Derive additional insights from your data with direct links to Power BI reports from inside Excel

Power BI has become the central data repository for many organizations and now you can access all that data right inside Excel.

Better Search in User-Friendly Interface

The new Power BI UI in Excel is a significant improvement from the prior interface and now it is easier for you to discover the right Power BI data for your analysis in Excel. Also, we are now showing the names of the tables contained in a particular dataset so you can better understand your data.

You can easily search for data using any of the following parameters:

  • Dataset name
  • Dataset Owner
  • Workspace Name

Any search will return an exact (or near exact match) for the dataset(s) you are looking for. For example, if the dataset you are looking for is owned by system administrator and you search using that term, all datasets that you have access to that are owned by system administrator will be returned.

Searching for data in the Power BI dataset pane in Excel

The Refreshed field shows you the exact timestamp for the day and time when the data was last updated so you know you are working with the most up-to-date data.

Discover New Data Artifacts in the Power BI Data hub

In the Power BI datasets pane in Excel, you can now navigate to the Data hub in the Power BI service where you can view all Power BI datasets and other data artifacts you have access to. To navigate to the Power BI data hub from Excel, select the ellipsis (…) beside the search bar in the Power BI datasets pane and click Datahub in Power BI and a new browser window opens that takes you to the Power BI service.

Navigating to the Power BI Data hub from Excel

In the Power BI Data hub, you can discover recommended datasets based on the activity of people you work closely with and find datasets trusted in your organization. From any dataset in the Power BI Data hub, you can create new reports, download the PBIX file, or create an Analyze in Excel workbook in OneDrive to share with others.

Power BI Data hub main page

Derive Additional Insights from Power BI Reports

While you can connect directly to a Power BI dataset from Excel and build connected reports in the spreadsheet using PivotTables, you may desire to discover Power BI reports that use the same dataset either to get additional insights or validate your analysis in Excel. Under the Reports using this dataset item in the pane, you can now see the Power BI reports that use a particular dataset.

Direct link from Excel to Power BI report

Each of those reports are direct links to the Power BI service and clicking on any of the reports will open a new browser tab where you can view the report.

We have many more exciting improvements coming to the Power BI experience in Excel and want to learn more about how you are using Power BI and Excel together for your data needs. If you have any suggestions on improvements or new features you would like to see for Power BI and Excel, please submit an idea.