Power BI

Power BI

Using Power BI and R

Tutorial here: Run R scripts in Power BI Desktop

The only twist that I want to add is an idea on how to enable users without admin access to run R code. This can be achieved by storing a portable r installation on a mountable file storage.


Download the necessary R installation in order to be able to execute R code.

Please note that running RStudio in the cloud gets really slow. I would only use the basic R installation and its GUI to install necessary packages.


Head over to Azure

  1. Create Storage Account
  2. Create File Storage
  3. Configure name, size and get connection string


Now you can mount the file storage.

Power BI

  1. Open the option and select the R installation folder

Note: that there is no pasting option and you have manually select the folder.

Columns vs Measures

Calculated columns (and tables) are:

  • Evaluated for each row in your table, immediately after you hit ‘Enter’ to complete the formula
  • Saved back into the model so take up space

Calculated Measures are:

  • Evaluated when you use it in a visual, when the visual is rendered
  • Not saved anywhere (well, actually there’s a cache in the report layer but it’s not part of the file when you hit Save)

Generally, measures are more useful, but the trade-offs are the performance hit (report runtime vs. pre-processed), storage space, and the type of expressions you can use. For example calculated columns are often used when you want to filter on the result rather than just as a calculated result.