Friday 12 January 2024

Explain the collect function in Power BI? Power BI interview questions and answers 370

 Explain the collect function in Power BI?

In Power BI, the Collect function is a function within the Power Query M language, used primarily for data transformation and cleaning. It's not a DAX function used for calculations within data models.

Here's a breakdown of its key features within Power Query:


  • Gathers multiple values into a single list or table.

  • Creates new collections of data dynamically during transformations.

  • Often used with other Power Query functions to manipulate and shape data.


Code snippet



  • single_value_or_table_expression: Represents a value, a column, or a table that you want to add to the collection.


  1. Collecting a column:
    Code snippet
    = Collect(SourceTable[Column1])

  2. Collecting specific values:
    Code snippet
    = Collect("Value1", 2, "Value3")

Common Use Cases:

  • Data Aggregation: Gather values from different tables or columns into a single list for further analysis or manipulation.

  • Dynamic List Creation: Create lists of values based on conditional logic or calculations.

  • Data Preparation: Prepare data for specific visualizations or analyses that require lists or tables as input.

Key Points:

  • Power Query function: Distinct from DAX functions, which are used for calculations within data models.

  • List or table creation: Generates a new list or table containing the collected values.

  • Used in transformations: Primarily employed within Power Query Editor for data shaping and cleaning.

Additional Notes:

  • Performance: Consider performance implications when collecting large datasets.

  • Alternatives: Explore other Power Query functions like Table.Combine or List.Combine for specific use cases.

By understanding the Collect function, you can effectively manipulate and transform data within Power Query to prepare it for analysis and visualization in Power BI. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions about Power Query or specific data transformation scenarios!

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