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

Performance Point Timeline

  • 27 June 2010
  • Author: MarkGStacey
  • Number of views: 5548



Business Scorecard Manager Released

Nice-ish tool, pure scorecarding


Microsoft buys Proclarity, one of the premier BI analysis tools for SSAS


Performance Point is released.

The product is a horrible mishmash of 3 products.

Proclarity, unchanged, with it's own installer.


PerformancePoint Planning. Very much a version one, this product is MS's first and last attempt to actually attack true (financial) performance management


PerformancePoint Monitoring: BSM, plus new analytic charts and grids sourced from Proclarity. As a V2, a nice product. Some technical limitations especially when coming to Sharepoint integration though.

The product "set" carries a $30 000 plus $195 per user price tag, and uptake is VERY limited.


April 2009

Proclarity and PPS Planning are canned. Free licences to these and PPS Monitoring (which is NOT canned) are rolled into MOSS Enterprise licences.


May 2010
Sharepoint 2010 is released. One of the Enterprise features is Performance Point Services, which is a VASTLY improved Performance Point Monitoring. Great product, except that it's (other immensely useful) Time Intelligence calendars ONLY work with calendar dates. (A shortcoming I'm addressing with new development now)

Categories: Blogs
Rate this article:
No rating


Other posts by MarkGStacey

Please login or register to post comments.