Generally, when you load a table from any data source, Power BI automatically detects the data type of a column. However, there may be some situations where Power BI might get them wrong.
For example, it may consider amounts, values, or even dates as the text. In these situations, you can use Power BI change data types of a column option. Let me show you how to Change Data Types of a Column in Power BI with an example.
How to Change Data Types of a Column in Power BI
To demonstrate this Change Data Types of a Column, we are going to use the excel table that we imported in Enter Data article.
To change data types of any column, please click the Edit Queries option under the Home tab.
Clicking Edit Queries option opens a new window called Power Query Editor.
From the screenshot below, you can see Yearly Income, Sales, and HireDate columns loaded as the text.
There are a couple of ways to change data types of columns
First Approach to Change Data Types of a Column in Power BI
Please select the Column for which you want to change the data type. Next, click on the left corner of the column header (currently it represent ABC text)
Clicking in that position opens a drop-down list of supported data types. Please select the data type that suits your data. Here, we are selecting the Whole number.
Changing the data type of a column opens the following pop up window. Click on the Replace Current button.
Now you can see the Yearly Income header is displaying 123 (whole number) not ABC (text)
Second Approach to Change Data Types of a Column in Power BI
Please select the Column name that you want to alter the data type, and click on the Data Type button under the Home tab
It shows you the drop-down list of available data types. For the demo purpose, we are selecting a Fixed Decimal Number.
This time we will select the Add New Step. It means this change column type add as a new step under the Applied Steps.
As you can see from the screenshot below, it changed the data type of the Sales column and added a new step under the Applied Steps.
Third Approach to Change Data Types of a Column in Power BI
Please select the column that you want to change the data type, and right-click on it will open the context menu. Select the Change Type and then the data type from the list. For now, we are selecting the Whole Number.
Don’t forget to hit the Close & Apply option under the Home tab to apply these changes.