Business Intelligence Blogs

View blogs by industry experts on topics such as SSAS, SSIS, SSRS, Power BI, Performance Tuning, Azure, Big Data and much more! You can also sign up to post your own business intelligence blog.

«November 2015»

DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

In the latest Power BI Desktop a new Preview features was released that now allows you to connect using DirectQuery to either SQL Server or Azure SQL Databases.  DirectQuery is a really neat feature that allows you to point to the live version of the data source rather than importing the data into a data model in Power BI Desktop. 

Normally when you want to get an updated dataset in the Power BI Desktop you would have to manually click the refresh button (this can be automated in the Power BI Service), which would initiate a full reimport of your data.  This refresh could take a variable amount of time depending on how much data your have.  For instance, if you’re refreshing a very large table you may be waiting quite a while to see the newly added data. 

With DirectQuery data imports are not required because you’re always looking at a live version of the data.  Let me show you how it works!

Turning on the DirectQuery Preview

Now, because DirectQuery is still in Preview you must first activate the feature by navigating to File->Options and settings->Options->Preview Features then check DirectQuery for SQL Server and Azure SQL Database


Once you click OK you may be prompted to restart the Power BI Desktop to utilize the feature.

Using DirectQuery in Power BI Desktop

Next make a connection either to an On-Premises SQL Server or Azure SQL database.

Go to the Home ribbon and select Get Data then SQL Server.


Provide your Server and Database names then click OK. ***Do not use a SQL statement.  It is not currently supported with DirectQuery***


From the Navigator pane choose the table(s) you would like to use.  I’m just going to pick the DimProduct table for this example and then click Load.  You could select Edit and that would launch the Query Editor where you could manipulate the extract.  This would allow you to add any business rules needed to the data before visualizing it.


Next you will be prompted to select what you want to connect to the data. Again, Import means the data

Read more

The Big Data Blog Series

Over the last few years I’ve been speaking a lot on the subject of Big Data. I started by giving an intermediate session called “Show Me Whatcha’ Workin’ With”. This session was designed for people who had attended a one hour introductory session that showed you how to load data, to look at possible applications … Continue reading The Big Data Blog Series
Read more

January 2012 Speaking Events

  • 9 January 2012
  • Author: DevinKnight
  • Number of views: 1832

It has been a quiet past few months while my family has adjusted to having
two new additions (twins!), but I have slowly been working my way back into
several speaking events.  Having said that January is a busy month of events and
I thought I would share them in case you are interested in attending any of

Date: 01/12/2012

Group: South East Michigan SQL Server User Group

Topic: Creating Dashboards with PerformancePoint Services

This is a user group that I will be speaking virtually for but is based in
Detroit.  I’m really looking forward to this one for a couple reasons.  First,
the group is run by Joe Fleming (@MuadDBA) who is a great guy.  I’ve actually
spoke for the group several months ago while Brian Knight and I were in Detroit
for a SSAS Workshop.  The group is also run by Rick Brewis who is by far one of
the best MS Technology Specialist I’ve met.  The other reason I’m looking
forward to this event is because I really love the topic.  PerformancePoint is
such a fun tool and I love showing it off to people and see the “wow” in their
eyes as they imagine using it themselves.

Date: 01/19/2012

Group: Pragmatic Works Webinar

Topic: Extending Reporting Services with Custom Code

This webinar is free and is a
part of the webinar series that Pragmatic Works runs twice a week.  This session
is designed to give you a preview of one of topics that will be discussed in the
new Pragmatic Master SSRS 2008 class.  The class will be taught later in January
and is basically and Advanced Reporting Services class… but hey Master is better
for marketing.

Date: 01/30/2012 – 02/02/2012

Group: Pragmatic Works Training

Topic: Pragmatic Master SSRS 2008

This class is a 4 day class that is 3 hours a day. 
It is designed as “next step” from the traditional SSRS 2008 class that
Pragmatic Works offers.  This is considered an Advanced class so be prepared for
more difficult topics than traditional Reporting Services sessions.  Topics will
include .Net integration, reporting off a cube and scaling Reporting

Full list of speaking events past, present and future can be found on my

Rate this article:
No rating


Other posts by DevinKnight

Please login or register to post comments.