Power Query is a tool in Excel that allows you to import data from a wide variety of sources, and manipulate that data to meet your needs. For example, you can:

  1. Import a CSV file on your computer
  2. Import a table from a web page
  3. Import data from an online database

In addition to importing data to Excel, Power Query is designed to "transform" data. You can easily do things like remove columns or rows, rename and reorder columns, split columns, add new columns, fix date problems, join tables, and much more.

The beauty of Power Query is that each step is defined separately in a query. When you "refresh" the data, all steps will be automatically repeated in exactly the same order.

You can find Power Query tools on the Data tab of the ribbon:

Power Query tools on the Data tab of the ribbon

Key benefits

Power Query has a vast set of features that are updated frequently. In a nutshell, here are a few key benefits:

  • Import data of all kinds directly into Excel with a modern and robust tool.
  • Refresh data directly in the Excel workbook. No need to navigate back to a website and download data manually.
  • Define specific steps to retrieve, clean, and reshape data. These steps will be repeated, in order, each time data is refreshed.
  • Drop data into an Excel Table to analyze with formulas, pivot tables, and charts.

Power Query Examples

These articles have sample workbooks with simple queries already set up: