How to Enter Data to a Power BI Table

As an alternative to importing an existing dataset, Power BI gives users the ability to enter data directly into a new table. It can then be typed in, or you can copy and paste from another data source. After entering the data, it becomes available in your semantic model to build reports and can be easily edited in the future to add or adjust previously entered data.

How to Enter Data in a Power BI Table

To enter data directly into a Microsoft Power BI dashboard or report, press the Enter Data button at the top of Power BI Desktop. A Create Table screen appears, allowing you to manually enter data, or paste data that was copied from a spreadsheet or other structured data source.

Step 1.) Click on the Home Tab of the Power BI Ribbon, and select Enter Data

Click Enter Data from the Home tab of the Power BI Toolbar

After pressing Enter Data the Create Table Screen will appear

The create table screen in Power BI lets developers enter data directly into Power BI without adding additional data sources to their model.

Step 2.) Manually Enter Data or Copy and Paste

In the Create Table screen, you can manually enter data and navigate around it like a csv file. You can name columns by clicking into them, and add rows or columns by navigating around with the arrow keys of your keyboard. Once data is entered, give your new table a name. The table name and fields will become available in Power BI to add to your report.

Removing columns or rows can be done by selecting the row or column with your mouse, and then right-click and select delete from the dropdown menu.

Navigate around the create table screen with the keyboard.  Right click on columns or rows to delete after selecting.

The data entered into a table is saved directly into the Power BI .pbix file. This means that every time you need to update the data after publishing the report, you will have to download it and re-publish it. It also means that you won’t have to worry about maintaining a connection to an external data source.

Power BI will automatically attempt to detect the data type of the data being entered into a new table. You can modify the data types or apply other data transformations to the newly entered data by right-clicking on the column name and selecting Edit Query to launch the Power Query editor.

How to Edit a New Table in Power BI

To edit a newly created table in Power BI, open the Power Query Editor and Change the Source. The Change Source settings button brings up the Create Table screen where you can modify the data. Access the Power Query Editor by right-clicking the new table in the data panel and selecting Edit Query.

Right click the name of the new table, and select Edit Query to launch the Power Query Editor

Right click a new manual table in Power BI and click Edit Query to launch the Power Query Editor

Change Source under Applied Steps and select the cog wheel to the right of Source to launch the Create Table screen.

Click the Cog Icon next to the data source in Power BI to modify an newly created manual table.

After selecting the settings wheel next to Source, the data entry screen will appear where you initially entered the data. Make the desired changes and close the data editor screen. Once complete Close and Load the data to save changes.

Conclusion

Entering data directly int Power BI can be a big-time saver. It’s best suited for small tables and quick indexes. For more extensive datasets we recommend creating a dataset in Microsoft Excel and copying and pasting it into Power BI to avoid the potential for data entry errors.

For data that updates frequently or needs to be shared with others we recommend importing the data instead of manually entering it. Data entered manually can be time consuming to maintain if it changes in the future.

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