How can we improve Power BI?

Ability to connect Excel to Power BI Data Model and create Pivot/Charts

Just the way we are able to upload a Power Pivot Model to SharePoint and then connect an Excel workbook to the model hosted on SharePoint (See ...
...In a similar manner we should be able to connect Excel to a Data Model hosted on

Bonus Points: If users can also connect to a Power BI Desktop file (.pbix) using Excel. This would perhaps more for testing or ad-hoc use. Similar to how when building an SSAS Tabular Model in Visual Studio, you can click "Analyze in Excel" to open an Excel window connected to the model you are working on.

As an Excel user, I would love to use the cutting edge Data Modeling capabilities in Power BI Desktop (bi-directional relationships and new functionality rolled out each month).

However, while the new Power BI offers great visualization options, Excel gridheads like me, just NEED to be able to create Excel Pivots off of the Power BI Data Model.

If this could be enabled for Power BI, that would be very useful.
- Either by connecting to a Power BI Model (.pbix) hosted on
(This would be similar to how I can create Excel Pivots connected to a PowerPivot Model uploaded to SharePoint)
- By connecting Excel directly to a .pbix file (like on your C: Drive)

Without this functionality Power BI feels like a **One Way Journey**. Once I go from Excel/PowerPivot to Power BI Desktop, the only visualization options are those on Power BI.

I may be looking at it from the wrong lens (still warming up to SaaS model of BI), but in my mind the "Data Model" should be agnostic of the visualization layer/tool. After building my data model, I should be able to connect any viz tool of my choice (pretty much). And that model already is in place for Power Pivot - by hostin your model on SharePoint or on SSAS Tabular server you can pretty much use the viz tool of your choice - Excel Charts/Pivots, Power View (within Excel or SharePoint), SSRS and other Microsoft and Non-Microsoft Viz tools.

Whereas with Power BI, I feel like I would be locked in to the visualization experience on The whole visuals project ( is great but not for everybody. Plus, if I am using a specific viz tool, I want to be able to continue using that. For many users that tool is Excel :-)

949 votes
Sign in
Sign in with: facebook google
Signed in as (Sign out)

We’ll send you updates on this idea

Avi Singh shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →


Sign in
Sign in with: facebook google
Signed in as (Sign out)
  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi, we use analysis services, cubes and power bi without office 365. What we would like to be able to do (which almost seems possible) is to create a report on excel, upload that to power bi and still have the data refresh and connected to the cube (in effect just display the excel report in power bi)

  • Jose Chinchilla commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Will, it seems like the Analyze in Excel ODC option connects to a different cube as it is only showing one row per work item (corresponding to the latest revision of the work item). If you create a report in PowerBI you get several rows for each work item (each row corresponding to a different work item revision).

  • Philippe Le Corre commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Sorry but it's only a very limited feature so far : the PBI model does not export to Excel (ie in an PowerPivot model) so it cannot be mixed in Excel with an external souce, and data connexion is not working for values (it only allows lines & column display ... which is very limited)
    Is it planned to be improved soon ?

  • Kaarel Kivistik commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi. It still won't let me refresh Pivot Table report that has a live connection to OLAP Multidimensional Cube in Power BI. It says, that the refresh is not supported. Power BI reports are working fine with the same live conncetion.

  • Frederico commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is far to be usefull. After we download the ODC file, we cannot analyse in Excel because of the Error "The field that you are moving cannot be placed in that PivotTable area", that is said by Microsoft as "Error By Design".
    We cannot use the aggregations in Excel, as it's only allowed to be put on Rows and Columns. If there is a workaround, please let me know.

  • Arturo Sanchez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Is it possible to connect without downloading the connection to your PC? Just the way you used to connect to a Power Pivot (Data > Other Sources > Analysis Services > URL of your data set).

  • [Deleted User] commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's easy for Microsoft to suppor to excel connect to local files *.pbix. --Change the value of the listenOnlyOnLocal property of msmdsrv.exe to "false".It all depends on whether Microsoft would

  • Sanjai Thakur commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Hi Will,

    I tried Analyze in Excel with SSAS On-Premises and it is not working. I am getting error Unsupported Dataset.

    Thank you

  • tom.grosett commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How about being able to mix and match pivot tables and other powerbi visuals in the same report or dashboard?

  • Mauricio P commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    when i try to add some field to values in the pivot table

    a message appears: the field you are moving cannot be placed in that area of the report"

    i verified and is a numeric field everithing is all right i dont know why

    please help

    this feature is really usefull

  • Esteban commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for this!
    I think this a mayor improve, at least for the company that I work.
    This feature really transforms Power BI from a dashboard report tool to a SSAS Cube on cloud.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thanks for adding this much needed feature. It would be great if we could publish the resulting Excel report to One Drive so that we can surface it in Power BI as an interactive (i.e. slicers/filters) Excel report. Currently when I try this the refresh does not work. Given that this is fully web based I would have thought this was possible without any connectors?

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just "legalize" connection to .pbix file without DAX studio. Do we need extra topic?

  • Sam commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Please allow users to connect to the PBIX file stored on a local drive or shared folder - Just allowing users to connect to Power has limited uses

← Previous 1 3 4

Feedback and Knowledge Base

Ready to get started?

Try new features of Power BI today by signing up and learn more about our powerful suite of apps.