Keeping the "Direct" in Power BI DirectQuery

When gathering requirements for your new model and reports, you've probably heard it before.. "We want to get real-time results from our source", or "We don't want to store data in Power BI, because it's already in the cloud". Maybe the stakeholders don't want to wait for that model refresh that will take way too long in their opinion. Who knows, plenty of arguments have been raised before, some with more sense than others. Having worked through my fair share of troubleshooting scenarios, I noticed some recurring themes when DirectQuery was at play.

Using a DirectQuery connectivity mode in Power BI allows you to achieve great results, if executed correctly. With less room for error and interpretation, a DirectQuery approach requires the different cogs in the chain to work well together, to ensure a smooth process.

During this session, we'll discuss some of the common patterns that make opting for a DirectQuery approach a valid scenario. Then, we'll make sure we cover the best practices around optimizing the data source, data model, and reports, so we can keep our query performance at an optimal level. Then, we'll discuss how advanced modelling techniques like Hybrid Tables, Composite Models, Aggregation Tables, and Auto Aggregations can make this scenario a bit more robust.

Last but not least, we'll also discuss the practical usage details you have to educate your end users on, as a report in DirectQuery will be more prone to reduced performance by end user interactions.

Benni De Jagere

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Zoersel, Belgium

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