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Power BI Blog: Power BI Report Builder – Part 1 (Importing Data)

12 March 2020

Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series. This week, Jonathan Liau takes a look at how to import data into the Microsoft Power BI Report Builder.

The purpose of the Report Builder is to create a printer friendly version of your report in Power BI. Let’s take a look at how to use it. It is important to mention at this point that you will need a free Power BI account to use this tool. I’d like to note that there is quite a lot to cover when familiarising ourselves with the Power BI Report builder, so we will only get so far in this blog.

This is a separate piece of software that will work in tandem with Power BI. It can be downloaded directly from the Microsoft website here:, or from the Power BI online service:

After downloading and installing the software I will be greeted with the following splash page, similar to the one in Power BI:

Click on the ‘Blank Report’ option as we have to link our dataset first before we can use the any of the wizards.

To add a data source, we look at the top left-hand list and click on the ‘Data Source’ option. A small pop-up will appear and from here we pick ‘Add Power BI Dataset Connection…’.

Assuming that you have already uploaded your data to the Power BI service, this action also means that you must have a free Power BI service account. I will need to sign into my Microsoft account which links to the Power BI server, allowing me to choose the data set that I wish to import into the builder:

Now that I have established the data source, I have to create a dataset, which may seem a little confusing. Think of this as the equivalent to what is known as a Report in the Power BI service. To create a dataset, I right-click on the ‘DataSource1’ dataset and select the ‘Add Dataset…’ option, which prompts the ‘Dataset Properties’ dialog to appear:

Scroll down to select the ‘MyWorkspace_PowerBIfile’ data source and then select the ‘Query Designer’ option. This will prompt the ‘Query Designer’ dialog to appear, where all of my tables and measures are loaded.

Here, we may create a simple query that will return with the Total Sales by country (EnglishCountryRegionName) and product type (EnglishProductSubcategoryName), viz.

We can click on ‘Click to execute the query’ to see a preview:

Everything looks good so I can click OK to run the query.

The query will have been written for us in the greyed-out ‘Query:’ field. Click OK and our dataset will be loaded into the Power BI Report Builder:

That’s it for this week. Come back next week for more on the Power BI Report builder…

In the meantime, please remember we offer training in Power BI which you can find out more about here. If you wish to catch up on past articles, you can find all of our past Power BI blogs here.