View Full Version : Which Data Import Method to Use in this Scenario ?

2016-01-20, 03:59 PM

I have got a few Excel Files in which I need to import the data from a few different queries from a database in SQL Server installed on my local machine. Then I intend to use this imported data inside Power Pivot Data Model.

I am not sure which particular data import method should be used, which will provide me the following flexibility -

1. Ability to change / modify the SOURCE data query which resides inside SQL Server. I will have to add or remove columns from that query based on the testing work that I am doing. The New Columns that I add to that SQL query in the future, should be able to get imported inside Excel.

2. Auto Refresh - I need to auto refresh the data that I will getting inside excel. Because the data is such that it will keep on getting modified everyday within the SQL Server Database and I need to have the LATEST Data inside Excel.

I have tried to import the data from within Power Pivot Data Model, but it does not import the latest data columns that I add within the SQL Server later on.

I am interested in using the Power Query based data import method, but I am not sure if that will help me in the above 2 requirements.

Please share any possible solutions for data import, which would satisfy the above conditions.

And if there are any links available about the BEST PRACTICES for creating such Excel and SQL Server type of Data Connections, then please share those links as well.

I am using the following software versions -
Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio version- 12.0.2000.8,
Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2016 x64
and Windows 7 x64

Thanks a lot for any help.

PS: Please do not suggest that method in which there is a risk for the Data Model to get broken because of changes in the SQL Server data source query. Because then I loose all the work that I have done within the Data Model and I have to recreate everything from start.

2016-04-28, 08:45 PM
Hi. It's been a while since I've been in an environment with SQL Server and Power Pivot, but I think you can go back to the method you first tried, importing the data from within Power Pivot. If you select the table in Power Pivot, then go into the Design tab and click Table Properties, you can just click Save and it will refresh with the new columns. I know this worked for stored procedures I changed, and I think it works for tables. Power Pivot seems to store some sort of cache of what you're querying and won't update without doing this.

This unfortunately isn't automatic, in that changes to your data structure aren't picked up until you "re-commit" the query, but if your structure isn't changing constantly, it won't be too bad while testing. Data will still refresh without having to do this step (except any new columns), so if data is the only thing changing, you're good to go.