It’s been a while since I posted, and I have a lot of posts coming about Business Central and Power BI, but I wanted to put your attention first on some idea’s that I created.

Let’s have a look at these ideas:

If you did not already vote for them, then please do. And let me explain why.

I get a lot of questions from partners, customers, developers, users,… about the performance of Power BI reports built on top of Business Central. And to be honest, the perception out there is that it is not good, not good at all…

So let me explain a little more why these ideas are important to vote on.

Enable incremental refresh for Business Central in Power BI

Even after optimizing the queries, data model, report,… there’s still a performance issue refreshing the data. One reason is that, the Business Central connector in Power BI does not support incremental refresh. So every time you refresh, manually or scheduled, the whole data model is cleared and all data is re-imported in Power BI. Making it possible, out of the box, to implement incremental refresh on the Business Central connector, would make this better.

There’s a workaround you can implement, but it would be better to have this available out of the box, imho.

Add Business Central as a Data Source in DataFlows

On the other hand, every report that you refresh has its own dataset, and that dataset contains queries that might be aso used in other reports. But because you duplicate these datasets in every report, that means the same datasets, in different reports, need to be refreshed every time. How crazy is that???

This is sub-optimal 😉 What if you could create a dataset once and simply refresh it using a schedule and reuse it in all your reports?

Well, you can do that, that is exactly what Dataflows is all about. But… Dataflows currently does not have a connector for Business Central. And that is strange.

Why? Well, because Dataflows is Power Query online. And Power Query has a Business Central connector, so why not Dataflows? And that’s why I made an idea to have this connector also created in Dataflows. It already is available in Power Query, so why not also in Dataflows???

There is an ODATA connector in Dataflows, but the ODATA connector currently has a bug. It does not work when you use the Company web service to create multi company reports. I’ll explain that in another post.


When I posted these ideas on the bc ideas website, there was some traction and some votes, for which I’m really grateful. But when I looked ad the ideas again recently I noticed this reply from Microsoft:

So this means, how I understand it, that they do not understand the importance of these ideas and that they are not going to implement it, unless the ideas get more votes.

So, if you also feel these are important ideas, then vote, vote, vote!

It’s in the hands of the community now, so if you want something to happen, let yourself be heard and vote and comment on the ideas!

4 Thoughts on “Business Central and Power BI: What can you do to make it better?

  1. Great post thank you for sharing.

  2. dzechnas on April 13, 2021 at 14:27 said:

    Hi Steven,

    Can you post a session on how to create a bucket for GL Accounts Totaling? So that we can sum GL entries according to begin and end totals.

    Thank you very much.

  3. Tommy Petersen on December 13, 2022 at 12:53 said:

    I would very much like to know what the workaround for incremental refresh out of the box is

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