How to point existing reports to a new dataset in Power BI (even from AAS)

One question that comes up regularly is how to point an existing report to a new dataset.

There are quite a few reasons why you might need this. You might want to disconnect report editing from dataset editing and have a separate PBIX for both. Or your company decided to move from AAS to Power BI. They could have decided to go on prem AS to AAS or Power BI.

The way to re-point the report is straightforward, all you need is to make sure the fields have the same name and have access to the report in Power BI desktop. What we are going to use is copy – paste visual as came out in 2018. This will work for most reports, but I can imagine it won’t work with heavy bookmark like reports and such. I never tested those.

I am using a report from a local PBIX file that I want to point to a dataset in Power BI. The report is not that complicated but here it goes:

I want to point this report to a dataset in Power BI (this can also be an AAS model). I create a new PBIX file that I connect to the dataset in Power BI:

I select my “new sales demo” dataset in my workspace:

Now the field list looks the same, but instead I am connected live to the dataset:

Now to copy over the visuals I go back to the original report. Here I press CTRL+A to select all visuals and then CTRL+C to copy them all:

In the new Power BI desktop file that connects to the live dataset I do CTRL+V to paste in the visuals.

Now you notice a few things. First, I used custom visuals that are not yet loaded in my Power BI desktop file. When I do load them, they start showing up:

Second, it picked up the new default theme. You either need to export the theme from the source file and reuse that or pick the theme you chose before.

After picking the good old “Classic” theme the report looks identical, but it now points to a different dataset:

Neat trick that might save you some time 🙂

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