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Ability for applications to READ data from your Power BI account

Thanks to its open API that enables many applications to feed data into your Power BI account for quick visualization, Power BI is rapidly becoming an "integration point" for data that is summarized, and in many cases is frequently updated. That's the kind of data you typically want to share, visualize and analyze, to seek insights and take action.


At present, though, the API is "one way, write but not read" -- apps can create and update datasets in Power BI (with permission from the account owner), but apps cannot "find" existing datasets, or read from those datasets. I'm asking Power BI users whether they would like to enable apps to read data from their accounts (if they grant the app permission to do so).


For example, you might want to bring Power BI data back into Excel or Excel Online for further analysis.  Or you might want to feed the data into a variety of other apps that can be used for quantitative decision-making.  (These apps might generate new "result data", for example statistics, forecasts or projections, that you could feed back into your Power BI account.)  I think this would be great, so I'm asking: would you like to see this capability in Power BI?

Dan Fylstra, Frontline Systems,
Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Interesting question, I am trying understand the use case? For example is there a reason why one could not use another intermediary data store in this case? Instead of pushing data directly into power BI via its API, pushing data to a dedicated data store like Azure SQL or Blob storage which could not only be used for Power BI dashboards as an end point but then used by other analysis tools etc as required? Wouldn't using Power BI as an IO data store merely be re-inventing this functionality which is already available as say SQL, Table or Blob storage?



"The commonality between science and art is in trying to see profoundly - to develop strategies of seeing and showing." - Edward Tufte

+1 from me as well. I've actually gotten a request from customer on this very scenario where they want to process data in Power BI and then ingest it in a custom application. Currently the only workaround (that we can think of in this case) is delivering the dashboard in a web wrapper.

+1 This would be huge!  Being able to to use insights discovered from a user in Power BI, and then being able to update another application from those findings is what we are trying to figure out.  We've been looking into this seeing how it could be done so that we could get a quick turn around from insights to actionability fueled by Power BI.

Advocate V
Advocate V



It would be good to have an API for this, certainly, but for me the #1 need is the ability to query the data held in a data model in using MDX. This would allow Excel PivotTables and cube formulas to use data models in as if they were SSAS cubes, and it would also allow all of the other third party client tools that can generate MDX (including, yes, Tableau) to do the same thing. It would make storing your data in a lot more appealing to a lot more customers.



Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Yes! One vote from me Dan.

Jen Underwood
Principal Program Manager, BI

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