Top 5 Essential Power BI Data Types

Power BI is a self-service data analytics and visualization tool. Power BI is now pre-integrated in office 365 product suit. Power BI integrates well with all Microsoft products. In this article, we discussed the top 5 Essential Power BI Data Types & its uses.

A data type is necessary whenever you are dealing with the data. Any data that is loaded needs a data type so that it helps the compiler to understand how the data entered is to be used. Power BI is no exception. It also has a particular set of data types. Here, the data type is defined for a particular column.

There are broadly 5 Power BI Data Types

Power BI consists of mainly 5 Data Types as follows

  1. Number Data Type
  2. Date/Time Pass Data Type
  3. Text Data Type
  4. True/False Data Type
  5. Blank/Null Data Type

Power BI has the following types of data types according to its categorization. It has mainly five types of categories under which the Power BI Data Types are classified as follows:

1. Number Data Type

  • Decimal Number
  • Fixed Decimal Number
  • Whole Number

2. Date/Time Pass Data Type

  • Date/Time
  • Date
  • Time
  • Date/Time/Timezone
  • Duration

3. Text Data Type

  • Text

4. True/False Data Type

  • True
  • False

5. Blanks/Null Data Type

  • Blank

With all these Power BI Data Types, you must learn the different Power BI Sources & Services.

Power BI Data Types – Number Data type

Data type related to numbers falls under this category. Power BI has mainly three types of number data types – Decimal number, Fixed decimal number, and Whole number. Let us have a look one by one.

Decimal Number Data type

A decimal number data type is an eight-byte or 64-bit floating-point number.  A Decimal number is the most common type of data type. It is designed for a floating-point or in other words for decimal numbers or fractional numbers but it can handle whole numbers too. It can have both positive and negative values. It has the capacity to handle 15 digits long number and within this, the decimal separator can be anywhere.

It can handle positive values from 2.23E-308, 1.79E + 308 inclusive. It can handle negative values from -1.79E + 308, -2.23E, -308, 0 inclusive.

Fixed Decimal Number Data type

As the name suggests it has a fixed place for the decimal separator. A decimal separator has to be placed allowing 4 digits to its right. Unlike Decimal data type it allows 19 digits long number. A Fixed Decimal number is used where the rounding off will introduce errors.

The largest value of number it can handle is positive 922,337,203,685,477.5807 and negative 922,337,203,685,477.5807

Whole Number

As the name suggests, it is a pure whole number. It does not have any fractional value or any values after the decimal number towards the right. It is a 64 bit or eight-byte integer value. It allows 19 digits long number. It allows the largest possible number of values. As it does not have any decimal value you can possess total control on rounding off. It can have both positive and negative numbers. The range of whole numbers lies between -2^63+1 to 2^63+2.

Due to JavaScript limitations, you can actually work on 2^53-1 numbers only.

Power BI Data Types – Date/Time Data types

The values of the data related to date or time fall under this category of data types. There is a total of five data types that fall under this category and they are – Date/Time, Date, Time, Date/Time/Timezone, and Duration.


The Date is a simple date value. It does not have any fractional value.


Time represents just the time. It does not have any digits to the left of the decimal place


As the name suggests it supports both the date and time values. Both the values are stored in decimal numbers for the ease of conversion. The time portion for a date is actually stored as the multiples of fractions of 3.33 ms and date is stored between 1900 to 9999.


As the name suggests, it represents the length of time. It is converted into decimal value when loaded into models.


In this data type the Timezone is not converted according to the user’s Timezone, it depends on the value you have entered for it. The Date/Time will be the same when loaded into the model.

Power BI Data Types – True/False Data types

This comes under the Boolean data types. In Boolean data types, it has only one value either true or false. No else value can be stored under this data type.

Power BI Data Types – Blank/Null Data type

A Blank or null value is not value. It does not represent even zero or any garbage value. It is just a blank value. A Blank value is created by using a BLANK function. The value is checked by the ISBLANK logical function.

Power BI Data Types – Text Data type

Text is nothing but a Unicode character data of string. It can be anything like numbers, text, date, string or anything. The maximum length of a string is 536,870,912 bytes.


Thus, we discussed all the data types in Power BI. It contains mainly five categories of data types and under that, there are different types of data types and date/time data types.

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