Power BI Interview Questions and Answers for 2023

Power BI Interview Questions

Power BI is the most preferred business intelligence and data visualization tool designed by Microsoft. It helps businesses to analyze and visualize data from a set of sources, counting cloud-based and on-premises data sources. As the demand for Power BI experts continues to grow, employers as well as job seekers must be well-prepared for Power BI interviews. Many top giants today rely on MS Power BI to get better insights into the business.

In fact, Microsoft Power BI has made its place in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant as the highly used business intelligence tool as per peer ratings on Gartner. According to Gartner, Power BI is the top-most data visualization tool with more than 6 million users & 97 percent of Fortune 500 companies making use of it to democratize data insights.

With the surging demand for professionals with Power BI expertise, there will be a suite of job prospects available in this field. Hence, Microsoft Power BI training and certifications are the most demanding ones in order to land your dream job.

What is Microsoft Power BI?

MS Power BI is a suite of BI (Business Intelligence) Tools such as software applications, services, and data connectors.  Power BI turn intricate sources of data into visually immersive, clear, & interactive insights. Data might be input by reading straight from a webpage, database, or structured files such as spreadsheets, XML, CSV, and JSON.

Microsoft proffers three types of Power BI platforms:

  • Power BI Desktop (Desktop Application)
  • Power BI Mobile (for Android and iOS devices)
  • Power BI Service (Software as a Service i.e.SaaS)

Microsoft Power BI Market Snapshot

  • Microsoft Power BI is the premier BI software in 2021, commanding 36 percent of the market share. (according to TrustRadius 2021)
MArket Sheet of top BI


Microsoft Power BI Users by Topography

The top 3 geographies of Microsoft Power BI for business-intelligence-bi are the USA with 21438 (36.91%), India with 2913(5.02%), UK with 5053 (8.70%), and users respectively.

Microsoft Power BI Users by Topography


Also Read: Power BI Roadmap

Power BI Interview Questions and Answers

We have curated an up-to-date and newly created list of Power BI questions and answers, exclusively for you. Whether you are an experienced or a beginner user, these questions will put your Power BI skills to the test and help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and features.

1. What is Power BI, and what are its essential elements?

Power BI is an advanced business analytics & data visualization tool designed by Microsoft. Its key components are Power BI Service, Power BI Desktop, & Power BI Mobile.

2. How does Power BI manage data import from different sources?

Power BI offers multiple options to import data from manifold sources into its platform. These comprise:

  • DirectQuery: You can utilize this feature to establish a direct connection with your data source and view real-time data visualization. With this option, there’s no data collection in Power BI, and your data remains securely stored in the source system.
  • Import: By choosing this option, you can import a duplicate of your data into Power BI and store it within the Power BI service. This approach is ideal for smaller to medium-sized datasets that can be fully loaded into memory for optimal performance.
  • Power BI Dataflows: This is a self-service ETL (extract, transform, & load) tool that enables you to connect to a variety of sources and cleanse data before loading it into Power BI.

3. What sets Power BI apart from Excel?

Excel is primarily a spreadsheet program used for data manipulation and analysis. In contrast, Power BI is a suite of business intelligence tools created for data analysis and data visualization. Power BI is engineered to manage extensive data sets from multiple sources, while Excel is better suited to analyze smaller data sets.

4. Can you explain what Power Query is and how it operates within Power BI?

Power Query is an essential data transformation & cleansing tool integrated into Power BI. With this tool, you can easily import and transform data from various sources, such as databases, Excel files, and text files. Power Query works by establishing a set of repeatable steps that can be edited to convert the data into a desired format.

5. What is DAX in Power BI, and its role in this platform?

DAX is an acronym for Data Analysis Expressions, which is a formula language utilized in Power BI to perform calculations and aggregations. DAX formulas are used to create measures that perform calculations using data stored in tables or columns.

6. What is a data model, and why is it important in Power BI?

In Power BI, a data model is a way of structuring and organizing data. It is a critical aspect of Power BI as it facilitates the linking of multiple data sources and establishing relationships between them. All visualizations and reports in Power BI are built on top of the data model, making it a crucial foundation for data analysis.

7. What are some methods to ensure data security in Power BI reports & dashboards?

Securing data in Power BI is crucial to guarantee that sensitive data is protected and only accessed by authorized personnel. There are multiple ways to secure data in Power BI reports and dashboards, including:

  • RLS (Row-level security)
  • Data classification
  • Encryption of data
  • Data source authentication & authorization
  • Sharing & collaboration options
  • Compliance standards

8. How can you design a Power BI report following best practices?

Some best practices to design a Power BI report comprise using proper visuals for the data, avoiding clutter, using clear & concise language, and confirming that the report is simple to navigate.

9. What is the distinction between a dashboard and a report in Power BI?

Reports in Power BI are composed of a set of visualizations and data that can be filtered and analyzed in multiple ways. On the other hand, dashboards are a single-page view of essential metrics and data points. While dashboards aim to give a high-level overview of data, reports are intended for more detailed analysis.

10. How can you share a Power BI report with others?

Sharing a Power BI report can be achieved by publishing it to the Power BI Service, allowing viewers to access and interact with the report online. Another way to share a Power BI report with others is to export it to PowerPoint or PDF format. This allows the report to be shared outside of Power BI.

11. How can you set up automatic data refresh in Power BI?

To find the Schedule refresh screen:

  • Navigate to the datasets section in the left-hand navigation pane & select the desired dataset.
  • Select Refresh in the top menu, then Click on Schedule Refresh.
Schedule refresh

12. What is Power BI Embedded, & how is it used?

Power BI Embedded is a platform that enables developers to integrate Power BI reports and visualizations into their own custom applications. This lets users interact with the data directly in a custom application, without needing to navigate away from the application itself.

13. What are the various data types supported in Power BI & how do they impact the outcomes of a report?

Power BI supports multiple data types that can be utilized to define columns in a data model, counting:

  • Currency
  • Whole Number (Integer)
  • Date/Time
  • Decimal Number (Floating Point)
  • Percentage
  • Boolean
  • Text (String)

Each data type has a particular use case and can affect the outcomes of a report. For instance:

  • Currency – used for columns with currency values, for instance, sales amounts.
  • Whole Number (Integer) – used for columns with whole numbers such as units sold.
  • Date/Time – used for columns with time and date values, like the date of a sale.
  • Decimal Number (Floating Point) – used for columns with decimal values, for instance, sales amounts.
  • Percentage – used for columns with values signified as a percentage, for e.g. the percentage of sales.
  • Boolean – used for columns with binary values, like yes/no or true/false.
  • Text (String) – used for columns with text values, such as product descriptions or names.

It is essential to correctly define the data type for every single column in the data model to confirm that the outcomes of a report are meaningful and accurate.

14. What are content packs in Power BI?

Users can leverage content packs to share Power BI objects like reports datasets, , and dashboards with individuals or groups.

15. How is Tableau different from Power BI?

Tableau is expensive in comparison with Power BI. With respect to data handling capacity, Tableau can handle unlimited data while Power BI slows down while managing huge amounts of data.

16. How many views are available in Power BI?

There are three distinct views in Power BI. Each of them serves a unique function.

  1. Data view: Data shaping can be carried out by users through the Query editor within this view.
  2. Report view: To include visual representations of data and incorporate more pages into the report.
  3. Relationship view: The Relationships view is used to manage the relationships between datasets.

17. What are the steps to import data from a SQL server into Power BI?

You can easily import data from SQL Server into Power BI by following these four simple steps.

  1. Open Power BI and click on “Get Data”.
  2. Choose “SQL Server” from the list of available data sources.
  3. Fill in the details of the SQL Server and the database that you want to connect to.
  4. Select “Import” or “DirectQuery” depending on your needs, and then click “Connect” to load the data into Power BI.

18. Can you explain where Power BI stores data?

Power BI primarily utilizes Azure Active Directory (AAD) to manage and store user identities, and handles data and metadata storage using Azure Blob Storage & Azure SQL Database.

They are stored as either dimensional tables or fact tables.

19. What is GetData in Power BI?

GetData is a feature in Power BI that provides data connectivity to several data sources such as files, databases, cloud services, and more. Some of the supported data sources are:

  • File: Text/CSV, Excel, XML, PDF, Folder, JSON, SharePoint, etc.
  • Azure: Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure SQL, Azure Data Lake, Azure Analysis Services, Azure Cosmos DB, etc.
  • Power BI: Power BI dataflows, Power BI datasets.
  • Online Services: Facebook, GitHub, Salesforce, Azure DevOps, Adobe Analytics, Google Analytics, Dynamics 365, etc.
  • Database: Oracle database, Access database, SQL Server database, IBM, SAP HANA database, MySQL, Impala, Teradata, Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, etc.
  • Others: Spark, R script, Python script, Web, Active Directory, Hadoop File (HDFS), OLE DB, ODBC, etc.

20. What are custom visuals in Power BI?

Custom visuals in Power BI are user-generated visualizations that can be imported as well as used in a report. Using Power BI visualizations, you can easily apply custom visualizations such as KPIs, charts, etc. from the vast collection of PowerBI’s custom visuals. It refrains the software developers to craft it from scratch using Javascript or JQuery SDK. Once the custom visual is set, it is thoroughly tested. And then packaged in .pbiviz file format and shared within the organization.

There are many types of visuals available in Power BI, including:

  • Cards
  • Charts
  • Tables
  • Maps
  • KPIs
  • Slicers
  • Custom

These visuals can be modified and combined to form more complex dashboards and reports.

21. What are the key benefits of Power BI?

Below are some of the key benefits of using Power BI:

  • Seamless integration with existing applications.
  • Personalized Dashboards and Interactive Reports
  • Access to Information in Real-time
  • Has artificial intelligence capabilities
  • Minimal technical support
  • No memory/ speed constraints
  • Publish reports securely

22. What is the programming language used in Power Query?

A new programming language called M-Code or M programming language is used in a power query.

23. What is the meaning of ‘M language’ in Power BI?

M language in PowerBI is a functional programming language used in Power Query. It is a case-sensitive and simple-to-use language. Just like other programming languages, it also provides a flexible and effective way to work with various data sources and formats.

24. What are the various joins in Power BI?

Power BI supports two primary types of joins:

  • Horizontal Joins: Horizontal Joins are used to attach data from multiple tables.
  • Vertical Joins: Vertical Joins are used to combine the data from various tables.

25. What is the pricing model for Power BI software?

Power BI comes primarily in three versions: Power BI Desktop, Power BI, and Power BI Pro.

Power BI Desktop and Power BI are free to use. While Power BI Pro comes with a price of $9.99 per user per month after a 60-day free trial. Whereas, Power BI Premium is accessible for $20 per user per month. 

Also Read: What is Microsoft Power BI & How to Build a Career with it?

The Power BI Microsoft Training and Certification

The Microsoft Power BI Training and certification is called “PL-300T00: Microsoft Power BI Data Analyst,” previously called “Exam DA-100: Analyzing Data with MS Power BI.” The exam lasts 90 mins, and it is available in various languages, such as Japanese, English, Arabic, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Indonesian, and German.

This certification evaluates your capability to accomplish the following technical tasks:

  • Preparing and arranging data
  • Modeling data
  • Visualizing & analyzing data
  • Create visualizations
  • Deploying & managing assets
  • Perform analytics 
  • Implement Power BI governance and security.

Is Power BI a Good Career Option?

Power BI is one of the most popular business intelligence tools that transformed the way businesses used to function. There is a great demand for Power BI skilled professionals in almost every vertical such as retail, software, healthcare, etc.

Not only data analyst, but you can apply for several job roles such as:

  1. Power BI Developer
  2. Power BI Project Manager
  3. SQL Server Power BI Developer
  4. Power BI Administrator
  5. Power BI Semantic Model Developer
  6. Power BI Consultant
  7. Power BI Manager

To know more, you can also check out Microsoft Power BI Training (fundamental to advanced level) offered by Microtek Learning.

Salary estimates of a Power BI Experts in the USA

  • As of Apr 25, 2023, the average annual package for an MS Power BI in the USA is $98,016 per year.  (ZipRecruiter)
  • MS Power BI Jobs by Salary ; Job Title: Data Analyst, Range: $49,000 – $87,000, Average:$65,671 (PayScale)
  • The salary range for a Power BI Analyst job is from $72,883 to $115,760 every year in the United States. (Salary.com)

[Note: these are just estimates and actual salaries may vary depending on several factors.]

Demand and Future Scope of Power BI

Power BI has seen a substantial surge in demand over the past few years and is projected to maintain its growth trajectory in the future. One of the crucial reasons for the rising demand for Power BI is the increasing volume of data being produced by businesses. With the rise of IoT and big data, businesses require to extract insights from huge and complex data sets. Power BI offers a user-friendly interface that enables users to connect to multiple data sources, perform data alterations, and create customized visualizations & reports.

Another major factor driving the demand for Power BI is its incorporation with other Microsoft tools, such as Azure and Excel. This lets users to easily import data from different sources and flawlessly work across various platforms. This particular tool is also likely to evolve with new functionalities and features that make it even more user-friendly and powerful.

In conclusion, having a better know-how of Power BI, and is crucial for anyone looking to pursue a career in data analysis or business intelligence. The Power BI Q&A listed above should provide a solid foundation for you to prepare for a Power BI interview in 2023.

You can easily take up MS Power BI training courses offered by Microtek Learning.

Earn a Power BI certification now and make your resume stand out.

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