Sneak Peek at the book: A PASS BI Webinar

Earlier this week I presented a sneak peek at my book at a PASS BI webinar. You can download the deck here, and watch this video if you missed it.

During the session, I couldn’t answer all questions. Here are the questions and my answers. Feel free to comment below if you have more questions.

Question: Can we say that power query is a good alternative for SSIS? What are the major differences between the tools?

Answer: Power Query was designed for self-service ETL. It is the best tool to provide complementary ETL capabilities to meet new business needs and achieve agility in the development cycles of your BI solutions. Eventually, the best place to do ETL is at the source, so the ongoing transition from Power Query ETL to SSIS ETL makes sense in centralized BI scenarios.  For Corporate ETL that requires massive data movement, phased transformations, and efficient refresh times, Power Query is not ideal (but is going in the right direction to be used in a bigger ETL context with the new Power BI Dataflows. Read more about dataflows here).

Comparing between SSIS and Power Query is not an easy challenge. The tools are completely different. Power Query was designed to address self-service BI challenges. It is currently used by millions of Excel and Power BI users, and is unique in its ability to address any data challenge (as you can see in my book). I think that the future of the Power Query is brighter, given its momentum and adoption by multiple Microsoft products.

Question: How soon will GIT support directly from PBI Desktop be available? Are you aware if there is work on adding VS Live Connect support to PBI Desktop?

Answer: No, I am not aware of it. This is a question for Microsoft 🙂

Question: How important is Power Query to the future of Microsoft’s BI product strategy?

Answer: In my own opinion – Very important, as you can see from the adoption of this technology by more Microsoft products beyond Excel and Power BI.

Question: Can one Access a SSRS report as a data source?

Answer: Not directly. But you can export the SSRS to Excel or PDF and then import the tables into Power Query. Typically, if you have access to SSRS, you would probably be able to gain access to the data sources of the SSRS. So, trying to use SSRS as an intermediary data source is not a good approach.

Question: Will the 40% discount code apply to printed book?

Answer: Yes. You may still go today to and apply the code DATA to get it.

Question: Can we capture data changing in Power Query?

Answer: You can use Power Query to compare between different versions of the same data. Here is the technique to compare between two tables. You can also buy the full solution here.

Question: Would you consider expanding the same format from today to a LinkedIn Learning Course?

Answer:  Not at this stage. The book encapsulates much more knowledge than you can achieve in an online training. And I don’t really like to hear myself in a recording 🙂

Question: Thank you so much Raviv. Any tips and tricks related to Data Imported from Active Directory?

Answer: I don’t use this connector often, beyond in the context of creating user tables as part of the implementation of dynamic row level security in Power BI. If you have a specific scenario in mind, please contact me at, or share in the comments below. Perhaps I can blog about it in the future.


  1. Robert Campbell Cline Reply

    How you wrote such an amazing book in such a short time is incredible! Glad to see you following up with Errata and extra materials in your blog. This technology is a game changer and your book is a big assist in learning the skills required to use it. Thank you Gil.

    • Gil Raviv Post authorReply

      Thank you Robert. It took me a year. And felt like eternity 🙂

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