Excel Power Query & Power BI: Dynamic Cell Referencing
Power BI
Apr 5, 2024 12:12 AM

Excel Power Query & Power BI: Dynamic Cell Referencing

by HubSite 365 about David Benaim

Data AnalyticsPower BILearning Selection

Unlock Excel & Power BIs potential: Dynamic queries with user-driven parameters!

Key insights


  • Reference a cell in Power Query for Excel or a parameter for Power BI to enable user-driven value changes.
  • Parameters work well in Power BI but have limitations in Excel, prompting the use of cell values for user edits.
  • Filtering, data sourcing from a local computer, and conditional columns are explored to avoid hard-coded values.
  • Demonstrations include how to create a parameter from an Excel cell value and managing conditional columns.
  • Insights into managing parameters in both Power BI and Excel are provided, with step-by-step guidance.

Exploring Parameters in Power BI and Excel

Working with data in Power BI and Excel often requires dynamic input that adapts to user changes or preferences. This flexibility is crucial for creating reports or analysis that remain relevant over time. Power Query in Excel and parameters in Power BI are tools designed to achieve this goal. They enable users to interact with and influence the data without altering the fundamentals of the report or analysis. Particularly in Power BI, parameters are robust and offer seamless integration.

In Excel, however, the process is less straightforward due to the platform's structural differences. There, using a cell's value as a parameter provides a workaround, allowing users to adjust the data point which, in turn, affects the query outcome. The video tutorial delves into practical uses such as filtering data, sourcing from local files, and creating conditional columns, emphasizing the importance of avoiding hard-coded values that can render reports static and inflexible.

Furthermore, managing these parameters—in both setting them up and adjusting them according to user input—is a skill that enhances the dynamism and usefulness of reports generated in Power BI and Excel. The guide through the process of creating and managing parameters is not only a technical demonstration but also a conceptual one, showcasing the ability to craft interactive and user-responsive data analysis tools.



In a detailed exploration, David Benaim dives into the functional use of referencing a cell in data queries, particularly focusing on how this technique enhances operations in Power Query for Excel and Power BI. The tutorial begins by explaining the significance of parameters which enable user-driven value changes in queries. Highlighting the disparity, Benaim points out that while parameters offer robust support in Power BI, their counterpart in Excel is less intuitive, requiring users to manually edit cell values.

The video tutorial continues by illustrating practical examples where referencing a cell could be particularly beneficial. These include filtering datasets, accessing local data sources, and creating conditional columns. Each scenario presents a unique case for evading the rigidity of hard-coded values, thus making the data analysis process more flexible and user-friendly.

Benaim then meticulously walks viewers through the process of creating a parameter from an Excel cell value, a technique that offers a more dynamic approach to handling data in Power Query. This is followed by a discussion on constructing conditional columns, an essential feature for making queries more responsive to varied data inputs. Subsequently, the tutorial shifts focus to demonstrate how users can efficiently retrieve data from files or folders stored on their local computer.




People also ask

How do I pass a parameter from Excel to power query?

To pass a parameter from Excel to Power Query, you initially set up a parameter query, accessible for changes directly through Excel by navigating to Data > Get Data > Other Sources > Launch Power Query Editor. This method ensures a seamless integration between Excel data and Power Query.

How do you reference a cell in a power query in Excel?

It's important to utilize curly brackets when referencing cells in Power Query for Excel, especially for values such as unit price, enabling dynamic data manipulation within your queries.

How do you use a cell value as a parameter in power query?

To utilize a cell value as a parameter in Power Query, proceed to the Data tab and select Properties from the Queries & Connections group. In the subsequent Connection Properties dialog, navigate to the Definition tab and click Parameters. Within the Parameters dialog, choose the desired parameter to modify from the Parameter name list, streamlining the process of integrating Excel data with Power Query.

How do you reference a parameter in Power BI?

In Power BI Desktop, to reference a parameter, you should start by selecting Home > Transform data > Transform data to open the Power Query Editor. Following this, opt for New Parameters via the Manage Parameters option in the ribbon. Proceed to fill out the pertinent details about the parameter in the Manage Parameters window, thereby enhancing your Power BI model's flexibility and adaptability.



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