Using PDF files as a data source in Power BI

Microsoft has made significant upgrades to Power BI during the course of 2019 thus far. The number of improvements are too numerous to cover, however, we would like to focus on a few key improvements. One of these improvements is the ability via Get Data, to use an underlying PDF file as a data source. Many organizations these days use cloud line of business applications where they are unable to connect to the back end or run a gateway connector. Their main source of data may be a PDF file that they receive daily or weekly. In Power BI, you can now connect directly to that PDF file and create reports/visualization to represent the underlying data.

There is some configuring you have to do once you connect to the source file. It isn’t as seamless as a CSV file, however, the functionality works well. Being able to produce visualizations against otherwise static PDF data is a value add for most organizations.