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A sneak preview of the new Add Column From Examples data transformation

Headshot of article author Miguel Llopis

Have you ever had trouble figuring out what data transformations you needed to apply on your data in order to get out the desired output? Or, maybe, you knew what data transformations you wanted to apply, but did not quite know where to find them within the Query Editor UX, or had to specify them as a Custom Column formula?

Have you ever wished that you could tell Power BI Desktop what data you wanted as the output, and have us magically figure out the set of transformations for you?

If so… We’re glad to let you know that you will be able to do this very soon in Power BI Desktop… As soon as the April Update!

Check out the following video to see the new “Add Column From Examples” feature in action.



“Add Column From Examples” allows users to define new columns of data within the Query Editor by providing one or more sample values for the new column. Based on those values, Power BI Desktop will automatically detect the most suitable data transformation to extract and combine data from other columns in the table in order to achieve the desired output specified by the user.

This new and innovative approach for defining new columns in the Query Editor makes it easier for users in a couple of ways:

  1. In cases where users know the data result that they would like to get, but they don’t know what data transformation (or combination of them) should be applied.
  2. When users know what data transformations need to be applied, but they don’t know where they can be found within the Query Editor UI.
  3. Finally, this new feature also helps users in the case that they needed to specify the data transformations via a Custom Column expression in M, because one or more of those transformations are not exposed in the Query Editor UI.

Coming in the Power BI Desktop April Update, very soon. Stay tuned!