Power Query: More Haste Less Steps Part 1
20 April 2022
Welcome to our Power Query blog. This week, I look a query with too many steps.
I have created a Dates query:
I have deliberately gone the long way round to create this query! Ignoring the first three  steps, it has taken me twelve  steps to achieve my goal.
The first task was to create a Month Name column with a short month name. This takes up six  steps. First, I duplicate the Date Column, creating a ‘Duplicated Column’ step:
Then I use the Date transformation on the Transform tab to convert the new column to hold the ‘Name of Month’, creating an ‘Extracted Month Name’ step.
Next, I used ‘Split Column’ on the Transform tab to split the column ‘By Positions’, creating a ‘Split Column by Position’ step:
This automatically generated a ‘Changed Type1’ step. I then had to delete the unwanted column, creating a ‘Removed Column’ step and rename the one I wanted to keep to ‘month’, creating a ‘Renamed Column1’ step:
I then took another five  steps to create a ‘Quarter’ column. I duplicated the Date column again (Duplicated Column1) and used the Date transformation again, this time to get the Quarter, creating a ‘Calculated Quarter’ step.
I then decided I wanted to have a ‘Q’ in front of it, so I converted the column to data type text using the dropdown from the data type icon, creating a ‘Changed Type2’ step:
I then added a ‘Custom Column’ from the Home tab to add the ‘Q’ (‘Added Custom’):
Then I deleted the Date – Copy column which held the original quarter value (‘Removed Column1’) and decided to rename the month column to ‘Month Name’ (‘Renamed Column2’).
Next time I’ll have a look at how this number of steps may be reduced whilst still using the User Interface (UI). How many steps do you think I will need?
Come back next time for more ways to use Power Query!