The most useful features of Excel’s Power Query are the ability to connect easily to different types of data sources and then manipulate the data.
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The benefits of working with a dataset in Power Query are that you can:
- create a connection without having to import the whole datatable (save time loading a large dataset),
- work with a subset of the data,
- build multiple data queries step by step,
- repeat the data query on different datasets,
- combine data sets from several files or data sources into one data table,
- maintain the raw data file untouched,
- refresh data queries via the data connection when the data source is updated.
Note: Power Query is known as ‘Get & Transform’ in Excel 2016.
Step 1: Connect to an Excel workbook using Power Query — start from Get Data | From File | From Workbook
Method (shown in video above) — Step 1: connect to data using Power Query
- From the ‘Get data‘ section of the ribbon, click on Get Data | From File | From Workbook.
- In the ‘Import Data‘ window, browse to the Excel workbook (.xlsx) file that contains the data to connect to.
- Select the file and click ‘Import‘.
- A Navigator window opens which lists the worksheets and tables contained in the workbook.
- Select the worksheet or table to import.
- From the ‘Load‘ dropdown button, select ‘Load to…‘.
- The ‘Import data’ dialog box opens, and select ‘Only Create Connection‘.
Step 2: Add an index to a data table with Power Query
Method (shown in video above) — Step 2: add an index to a data table using Power Query
- When a Power Query connection is made to a dataset, as in Step 1 above, the query will appear in the ‘Queries & Connections‘ pane on the right-hand side of the Excel window.
- You can build a second query based on this first query, by right-clicking the query block, and selecting ‘Reference‘.
- A new ‘Power Query Editor‘ window opens.
- To add an index, click on the ‘Add Column‘ tab in the window, and click on the ‘Index Column‘ dropdown.
- To add an Index starting at 1 for the first record, select the option ‘From 1‘.
- To move the new Index column to become the first column in the data table, right-click on the column header, and select Move | To beginning. Other options are ‘Left‘, ‘Right‘, ‘To End‘.
- You can rename this query by over-writing the ‘Name’ field in the Properties section of the editor window.
- To save the query, from the ‘Home tab‘, select ‘Close & Load To…‘, and you have the choice of whether to save this query as another ‘connection only’ query, or to load the data table to a worksheet in the workbook.