Power BI Data Sources

Supported Power BI Data Sources And How To Connect Them

Power BI is a powerful business analytics and visualization tool that can collect data from various sources and give you business insights by generating reports. With Power BI data sources, you can connect to different data sources like files, Azure groups, databases, and data sources from many more categories.

You can get connected to all of the categories of data sources in one click and get the reports ready to analyze them.

All the Power BI Data Sources

Power BI data sources

Power BI has built-in connectors that can be used to connect a variety of data sources with one click. Microsoft is continuously developing Power BI and adding many more features to it, but as of now, the data sources are classified into the following categories.

  • File
  • Database
  • Power Platform
  • Azure
  • Online Services
  • Other

You can also connect to one or more data sources to generate a Power BI report according to your business needs. The above categories support some of the popular and amazing data sources; we have listed them below.


Excel, XML, Text/CSV, JSON, PDF, Folder, SharePoint folder


SQL, IBM, SAP HANA, Access, MySQL, Google BigQuery, Actian (Beta), Oracle, Denodo, Dremio, Exasol, Snowflake, SQL Server Analysis Services database, and many more popular databases

Power Platform

Power BI datasets, Power BI dataflows, Power Platform dataflows (Beta), Microsoft Dataverse


Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse Analytics (SQL DW), Azure Analysis Services database, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Blob Storage, Azure Table Storage, Azure Cosmos DB, Azure Data Explorer (Kusto), Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen1, Azure HDInsight (HDFS), Azure HDInsight Spark, HDInsight Interactive Query, Azure Cost Management, Azure Databricks, Azure Time Series Insights (Beta)

Online Services

SharePoint, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Github (Beta), LinkedIn Sales Navigator (Beta), QuickBase, and many more


Web, Solver, Paxata, Python and R script, Active Directory, Solver, Blank Query, and much more

As you can see above, there is an option to connect to various popular databases without much effort. All the possible data sources of the business are covered by Power BI, which makes the data analysis work much more manageable.

Once the data is gathered, you can work on it with ETL functionality provided by Power BI.

How to Connect to the Data Source in Power BI Desktop?

It is easy to connect to Power BI data sources. All you need to do is click on the Get data option in the Home ribbon.

Get data in Power BI from the different sources  (Image source)  

Click on More if you don’t wish to use the common data sources. You can then select the data source you want. You may need to add link or account credentials, depending on which source you select.

Once Power BI connects to the data source, you can see it in the Navigator. From here, you can load the data in Power BI or transform it before use.

Data Updates in Power BI

If the data source is a local file or local database, you need to manually connect it to Power BI every time you need an updated report. However, suppose you store the data in the cloud, for example, on OneDrive or SharePoint. In that case, Power BI can connect to it directly and update your report according to the recent updates in the database.

This can help if you wish to have updated insights without doing it manually now and then. Power BI checks for updates in the database every one hour so that no update is missed.

Limitations of Power BI Data Sources

There are a few limitations when it comes to Power BI data sources. Well, the limitations are based on the proper size for data sets in Power BI Service and Power BI Desktop.

Dataset size limit

The Shared capacities in Power BI Service allow only 1 GB of datasets to be stored. If you want larger data sets, you need to go for Power BI Premium.

Column Limit

The datasets can have a maximum of 16,000 columns across all the tables that are present. Well, this limit is for datasets in Power BI Service as well as Power BI Desktop.

Limit on Query Results

The query can fail and give errors if it is returning one million rows from the data source. However, the underlying data can contain more rows than the limit.


Every business uses different data repositories, and therefore Power BI brings much convenience by supporting various categories of data sources. You can collect, analyze, and generate reports from different data sources at once with Power BI.

This powerful tool brings much more ease when it comes to loading datasets from different sources; all is done with few clicks unless it is a personally created database. The article explains Power BI data sources in detail and its limitations and process to connect to a data source.



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