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Preparing Source Data in Power BI

Paul Turley continues a series on doing Power BI the right way:

Your options for transforming data at the source depend on the capabilities of the data source. In general, a query running closer to a data source will be more efficient than one that must cache a set of data and manipulate it downstream. If you are importing text files or Excel files, then your only choice is to import an entire file and then throw away what you don’t need – which is fine for small-ish data sets. On the right side of the previous diagram, some data morphing can be performed in DAX using calculated columns or calculated tables. In rare cases, there may be good reasons but if you can perform row-level calculations in a view or in Power Query, you will be better off to keep all that query logic in the same layer of the solution.

Read on for some good advice, as well as information on query folding, filters, incremental refresh, and much more.