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Super User III
Super User III

Export data model from Power BI Desktop to excel (Power Pivot)

Hi all,

 

If we start working on a model in Power Pivot/Excel, we can import it from Power BI Desktop and continue work there. 

Is the opposite possible at all? I mean if we have been working in Power BI Desktop and for some reason need to continue in Excel, can we export the data model, including calculated columns/tables, measure, tables plus whatever has been done in the query editor? 

If not all that, can we export parts of it?

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

4 REPLIES 4
Community Support
Community Support

@AlB,

 

You may take a look at this link.

Community Support Team _ Sam Zha
If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Hi @v-chuncz-msft

 

Thanks very much for your reply. I've had a look at the site suggested. Although interesting, the solution provided seems quite time-consuming and not extensive. Is there anything else you are aware of? I actually need this for people that are no IT experts so a more automatized option would certainly be more convenient.

 

Thanks  

Frequent Visitor

Hi all, I realize this post is over a year old but for anyone else who landed here recently, the short answer is this: as of the time of this writing, you can do a one-time conversion of an Excel-based Power Pivot data model (.xls_ file) to a Power BI Desktop model (.pbix file), but you cannot do the reverse. If you are unsure about your future portability needs, I'd suggest authoring your models in Excel Power Pivot first to give you the most options. One downside to doing this though, in my personal experience with using both applications, is that the Power BI Desktop interface is a little smoother in the authoring stage than Excel is. I find the Power Pivot window in Excel to be a little clunky by comparison, as well as very slow to respond to even small changes, like number formatting for example.

 

When you author a data model in Excel using Power Pivot, you can subsequently use Power BI Desktop to import the entire model (not just the underlying data) and make a brand new copy of it that is no longer dependent on the original source (i.e. the Excel file). More info here:

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/desktop-import-excel-workbooks

 

Conversely, when you author a data model in Power BI Desktop, you can use Excel to retrieve and display the data via the Power BI Publisher for Excel add-in (see link below), which will allow you to create new pivots and charts. But you cannot make changes to the model or add any new measures to it directly from Excel, which operates on Power BI datasets on a read-only basis. In order to make changes to the underlying model and/or add new measures, you will have to do it in Power BI first and then refresh the dependent Excel file. More info here:

https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/august-update-of-power-bi-publisher-for-excel/

 

I hope this was helpful... if so, hit the "kudos" button. Thanks

-Mike C.

Just the information I have been searching for Mike.  I have been looking at this from the refresh angle  in that queries in excel using a BI dataset only query to the most recent refresh (8 times a day max).  Whereas if the model itelf sits in excel then it will refresh to the live source.   So I need to pull the model back into excel piece by piece using copy paste and then probably create my models there first in future if I want things to refresh to live data.  Clunky because, as you say, it is not as easy to build there but necessary.

 

I wish someone had told me this when I started out!  But think positively - what a wonder opportuniity to revisit all the logic and maybe make improvements as I go.  If anyone in the know stops by this post - do we think Microsoft will be enabling a full model export in the other direction any time soon?

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