Press "Enter" to skip to content

Running R Scripts In Power BI

Mark Vaillancourt shows how to run an R script inside Power BI Desktop:

All of the options I will show require you to have R installed on your machine. I am using R version 3.4.3 I got here as well as R Studio (an IDE: Integrated Scripting Environment) version 1.1.383 I obtained here. You can also use Microsoft R Open, which you can get here. All are free. I am choosing base R and R Studio because I want to play with/show the use of non-Microsoft tools in conjunction with Microsoft tools. I am using 2.53.4954.481 64-bit (December 2017) of Power BI Desktop. Note that things could look/behave differently in other version of Power BI Desktop.

For this post, I am using a well-known dataset known as the Iris dataset, which you can read about here. I downloaded the zip file from here to obtain a csv file of the data set for one of my examples. The Iris dataset is also included in the “datasets” package in R Studio, which I will use as well.

Note: A key R concept to understand is that of a data frame, which is essentially just data in a tabular format. In a data frame, the “columns” are actually called “variables.”

Once you have R and an R IDE installed, Power BI Desktop will detect them. You can see this in the Power BI Desktop Options.

Mark shows you step by step using some snazzy SnagIt imagery.