The good news is that there are workarounds to this challenge. We are going to reconstruct the above use case and demonstrate how to pull in images from a local database, and then use custom columns in Power Query to reformat the source data in a way we can render graphically.
Note: This same custom column technique can also be used to display images imported using a local folder as a data source. If you have Power BI Desktop installed, you can work through along with this post by downloading the .pbix file with this link.
In our sample database we have a couple of tables containing images stored in a binary format, as well as a few columns of metadata for the images. The images being used here are a JPEG file type, but this technique can also be used for PNG files. We imported the data into Power BI and loaded two tables of images: Examples 1 and 2. For the first example we used three small images in the table, as shown below.
There’s a 32K size limit that Zach mentions, which can be a bit painful to work within.