Streamlining Data Import: Using Power BI to Load CSV Files from SharePoint

how-to Feb 09, 2024
Streamlining Data Import: Using Power BI to Load CSV Files from SharePoint
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Hi, I'm Tom Blessing. I'm an expert at helping small to mid-sized companies adopt Power BI. I'm also a recovering investment banker, with deep experience applying technology to otherwise manual data problems. I have dual degrees in Finance and Technology Management from Indiana University.

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 If your data resides in CSV files stored on SharePoint, you can easily bring it into Power BI for analysis and reporting.

In this blog post, we'll explore the step-by-step process of loading CSV files from SharePoint into Power BI, enabling you to harness the full potential of your data.

The Value of SharePoint Integration

SharePoint, Microsoft's collaboration and document management platform, is commonly used to store and organize files, including CSV data files.

By integrating Power BI with SharePoint, you can directly access and analyze this data, ensuring that your reports and dashboards are always up-to-date.

Loading CSV Files from SharePoint into Power BI

Follow these steps to import CSV files from SharePoint into Power BI:

  • Prepare Your SharePoint CSV Files:

    • Ensure that your CSV files are stored in a SharePoint document library to which you have access.
    • Verify that the CSV files are well-structured and contain the data you want to analyze.
  • Open Power BI Desktop and click on "Get Data":

    • In Power BI Desktop, go to the "Home" tab on the ribbon.
    • Click on "Get Data" to initiate the data import process. 
  • Select "SharePoint Folder":

    • In the "Get Data" window, search for "SharePoint Folder" in the search box or select it from the list of available connectors.
    • Click "Connect" to proceed.

  • Enter the SharePoint Site URL:

    • In the "SharePoint Folder" dialog box, enter the URL of the SharePoint site where your CSV files are located. Only include the top level folder and don't include any subfolders.
    • Click "OK" to continue.
  • Navigate to the Document Library:

    • Power BI will display a preview of the files located in the SharePoint library you selected. 
    • You don't want to load the entire list of documents, so we need to manipulate it to get the file we want to load. Click 'Transform Data'. 
  • Select the CSV Files:

    • Now that you're in Power Query, Power BI will display the contents of the selected document library, including the CSV files.
    • Using the Keep Rows or Remove Rows feature, whittle down the list of documents until the CSV file you want to load is the only one displayed.

  • Combine Files: this step extracts the data from the CSV and loads it into your query. 
    • Click 'Combine Files' on the ribbon, then click 'Ok' in the dialog box that pops up.

  • Click 'Close and Apply'. 
  • Visualize Your Data:

    • After loading the data, you can create reports, dashboards, and visualizations in Power BI using the imported CSV data. But first, let's make sure the data we loaded came into the Power BI environment properly. Go to 'Table View' to view the data you loaded in its native form. 

Benefits of Loading CSV Files from SharePoint into Power BI

  1. Efficient Data Access: Directly importing data from SharePoint saves time and ensures data accuracy.

  2. Real-Time Analysis: Stay up-to-date with the latest data by scheduling automatic data refresh in the Power BI Service. (Optional)

  3. Data Transformation: The Power Query Editor provides powerful tools for cleaning and shaping your data before analysis.

  4. Consolidated Reporting: Combine data from multiple CSV files in one report to gain a comprehensive view of your data. (Optional)


Integrating Power BI with SharePoint allows you to seamlessly load CSV files from your SharePoint document libraries and use them for insightful data analysis and reporting.

By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can harness the power of your SharePoint-stored data to create compelling reports and dashboards that drive data-driven decision-making within your organization.


Read more:
Smash This Annoying Problem: Power BI Freezes When Publishing
Merge Columns From Two Tables in Power BI: Fast Way To Get It Done
Power BI - Power Query Difference: This Is What You Need To Know
How to View Power BI Data Sources: Easy Way to See Your Data Linkages
Here's How To Actually Merge Tables In Power BI

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