Power BI publisher for Microsoft Excel

Power BI publisher is a COM Add-in for Microsoft Excel that integrates in the Microsoft Office Ribbon. You can easily pin snapshots of PivotTables, charts, cells, cell ranges, and more to a Power BI dashboard with just a few clicks from Excel workbook.

A little while ago I provided an overview of Microsoft Power BI (and its components) and how it can help you and any organization to visualize data, and draw informed decisions based on these insights.

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Power BI Publisher for Microsoft Excel

“Save snapshots of important PivotTables, Charts, cell ranges, and more from across all of your spreadsheets to a single location with Power BI publisher for Excel. Just download and install the add-in, and you’ll be pinning data from your workbook to your own Excel dashboard in seconds. Your new dashboard is easy to update and share, and comes with all of the features of the free Power BI service, such as combining multiple sheets on a single dashboard and connecting to live data from other web apps you use.”

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Ribbon Power BI Publisher

The Power BI Publisher COM Add-in is visible in the Microsoft Excel Ribbon, and has three main sections:

  1. Pin
  2. Power BI
  3. Settings

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  • Pin;
  • Pin Manager;

In the Pin section you can execute the pin command for selected cells, tables, charts or objects in your Excel workbook. In the pop-up window you can select to pin it to an existing Power BI dashboard or create a new Power BI dashboard, while the Pin Manager gives you an overview of all pinned items in the workbook.

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Power BI
  • Open Power BI
  • Connect to Data
  • Profile

You can open your Power BI workspace by clicking on the Open Power BI button (where I personally would expect also the option to open Power BI Desktop). Via the connect to data button you can connect to reports or data sets from within your Microsoft Excel workbook. So now you can connect both ways (from Power BI Desktop to an Excel sheet and visa versa). The profile button simply  has the credentials of your Power BI Workspace.

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  • Update
  • About

In the settings section you can trigger a Power BI Publisher update from the update button (is greyed out when you have the latest version installed). And about shows you the Power BI Publisher version you are running.

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Concluding thoughts and wrap-up

Power BI Publisher for Microsoft Excel is a must have COM Add-in if you work with data and Power BI.

While it was possible to connect to Microsoft Excel worksheets (as a data source) in Power BI, it wasn’t possible to publish Excel objects directly to your Power BI workspace. Power BI Publisher for Microsoft Excel fills that gap providing a two way route. If you prefer to do some analysis in Microsoft Excel, you can share it to a Power BI dashboard.

Also check out David Iseminger‘s blogpost “Power BI publisher for Excel” that includes a good set of screenshots and release notes.

What do you think of Power BI Publisher for Microsoft Excel ?


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