What is Power Query (PQ)?
Since 2010 Microsoft is on Fast Track to introduce various new features to worlds most favorite software
And these features are just not incremental but are truly transforming Excel. Some of the major updates includes:
- Power Pivot
- Power Query
- Power View
- Power Map
To start with these features were add-in to existing Excel but starting Excel 2016 onwards these features are inbuilt and no longer feature as add-ins.
Microsoft also released a separate software – “Power-BI” which includes all of the above features. This is stand alone software from Excel and has all of the feature built in.
In this post I will briefly explain some relevant questions only for POWER QUERY e.g.:
- What is really a Power Query?
- How does it help regular excel user?
- How much time it will require me to learn this new software?
- Does it really worth spending my time learning this feature?
…and many more.
So let’s get started…
As an Excel user when you wanted to fetch data from multiple sources e.g. Text file, Excel File, Access Files, Web, Database, etc. predominantly user would have opted for either or all of above software. And understanding & using these software’s had steep learning curve.
But now no more with Power Query.
Power Query was introduced to ease following task for users:
In simple terms it helps in extracting / collecting data from various sources. Then transforming / automating the data cleansing required before performing the actual analysis on the data. Finally loading the data in Excel or Power Pivot for further analysis. It can also perform few analysis using its own features itself rather using any excel formulas or power pivot or any other features.
The prominent features of Power Query are:
- It’s FREE…no cost needs to incurred to purchase this.
- Most of the features are available inside PQ ribbon itself. Thus reducing the learning significantly compared to other software’s.
- It can extract data from multiple source which till now could not be done using Excel.
- It automates various repetitive task without using VBA.
- It records and generates its code automatically & sequentially. It can used as a log of things performed on source data till final output.
- All the query steps are stored within same excel file where it is created.
To download Power Query for Excel 2010 / 2013 click here.
Now let’s have a look at Power Query in action in below 10 minute video to understand briefly how it looks and works in Excel:
p.s.: Power Query Training course is launched by me on Udemy.com
Use special discount coupon – PQYT80 while enrolling into the course.