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Paulx99 Member

Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Hi all


Does anybody know (as per the post below) when 'export data to CSV' was actually implemented in PBI Desktop ? I currently have PBI Desktop (Mar 2016) installed, but can't see it in there - I would have expected to see an 'Export' option, with a 'CSV' sub option in the File menu. Possibly, given the date of the response below from Admin (29 Mar 2016), it may be coming in the Apr 2016 update ??


The above said, I'm struggling to undersatnd why an export to CSV option has been put ahead of an export to Excel option (and why there were no data export options at all, before the issue was raised !!) No file loads better into Excel than an Excel (.xlsx) file. In addition, there can sometimes be structural issues with CSV files. Given Excel and Power BI are both MS products, I would have thought it would be obvious and straightforward to provide an 'Export to Excel' option in the File menu in PBI Desktop.




How can we improve Power BI?

Export PowerBI Desktop to CSV/Excel

Please provide the ability to export PowerBI desktop reports to csv/excel, some users need the data from time to time

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Anonymous shared this idea  ·  September 04, 2015  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Delete…  ·  Admin →
completed  ·  Lance DelanoAdminLance Delano (Admin, Microsoft Power BI) responded  ·  March 29, 2016

We’ve implemented export data to CSV. You can open a CSV file in Excel — Excel is often the default program to open CSV files. We hope this handles this feature request. If it does not, please open a new idea.

Super User
Super User

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

The export to CSV is there, you click the ellipses (...) on a visual and choose "Export". The only option you have for export is CSV. For anything beyond that, you'll have to post a new Idea.

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Sean Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Export Data.png


@Paulx99 look in the top right corner of a visualization (...) - defaults to data.csv - as @Greg_Deckler said you can rename but not change file format


EDIT:  By the way after you open the data.csv and make any change (just make a column wider) and then try to save you'll see this

CSV Data File.png

And as soon as you hit NO - it will default to xlsx.

Paulx99 Member

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Hi Sean


Appreciate your reply, but we might be talking at cross purposes here. I'm not interested in exporting the data from a visualisation in the Report screen to either CSV or Excel. What I want to be able to do is to export data from the Data screen to Excel. That's why I was looking for a File -> Export -> Excel option in the File menu. But there is no such option and there is no CSV option there either.





Paulx99 Member

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Please refer to my reply to Sean. What I want to be able to do is export data from the Data screen in PBI Desktop, NOT data from the Report screen in PBI Desktop. Exporting data from the Report screen to either CSV or Execl is of no interest to me.

Sean Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

@Paulx99 I wrote about this on 8/23/15


Ctrl-A is to Select All - So I can Copy and Paste in Excel


I agree with you we should be able to do this


"Also please enable Ctrl+A (Select ALL) in the Data View - currently it works only in the Query Editor.

This way we could Select ALL Data in the Data View where it would include the Calculated Columns."

Paulx99 Member

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Hey Sean


I'm fully aware that a CTRL-A (Select All) will let me copy and paste from the data screen (albeit in Query Editor) into Excel. That is however, not not going to 'cut the mustrad' for me ! What end's up being pasted into Excel is messy to say the least and requires reformatting. For a tool as sophisticated as PBI Desktop, it's almost embarrassing that this is currently the only way to 'export' data from the Data View in PBI Desktop to Excel.


As I said in my original post on this issue last night, I find it incredible that there is no Export option in the File menu in PBI Desktop to export data from the Data View to Excel (.xlsx). It should be a two way street - if we can import Excel data into PBI Desktop, we should be able to export PBI Desktop data back to Excel.


Glad you agree with me on this one !





Sean Super Contributor
Super Contributor

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Yes I agree 100%!


We need a 1-click Export the Data View grid to Excel


Would be nice if the calculated columns are included as well but don't know if that would be feasible

(maybe only as values not formulas)


EDIT: We have to give credit to the PBI team though they have been working hard improving and adding new features all the time


Here's a link to one of my ideas... If anyone likes it please vote

Paulx99 Member

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Your idea of a '1-click Export the Data View grid to Excel is a good one and that would do the job. I would definately want calculated columns to be a part of any export to Excel.


As for the Power BI team, there is no doubt that what has been achieved with this product to date is truly amazing and I agree - full credit to them for that. 


That said, the deeper I'm getting into this product (PBI Desktop), the more I'm I'm noticing that from a data analytics point of view it appears to be lacking somewhat. For example, in a couple of DA (data analytics) products I've used, there is an Export command, where you can export any data view (including one that contains both physical and calculated fields) to Excel (xlsx or xls), any type of delimited file, Access, Text, or XML - there are many others as well.


If PBI Desktop is just meant to be a BI product, I can sort of see why something like the exporting of a data view in PBI Desktop would not be a top priority. If on the other hand, Power BI Desktop is meant to be both a BI and DA product, that's exactly why I'm scratching my head wondering why I can't export the Data view to Excel (including calculated fields) ! The top destination for DA outputs (exceptions) from DA software is Excel.


Most BI products I've seen are very strong on visualisations, but not so strong on data analytics capabilities, while most DA products I've seen are obviously very strong on data analytics capabilities, but not so strong on visualisations. What I've seen so far with PBI Desktop would appear to confirm this, (for me anyway).


PS: I will vote for your idea !

jhaatue1 Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Exporting data from Power BI to Excel

Looks like export to CSV is not available in BI any more. Can someone tell me why it was dropped.

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