Privacy levels (Power Query)

Note: Power Query is known as Get & Transform in Excel 2016. Information provided here applies to both. To learn more, see Get & Transform in Excel 2016.

I want to

Configure a privacy level

Configure Fast Combine

In Power Query, privacy levels specify an isolation level that defines the degree that one data source will be isolated from other data sources. Although a restrictive isolation level blocks information from being exchanged between data sources, it may reduce functionality and impact performance.

The Fast Combine setting determines whether Power Query uses your Privacy Level settings while combining data. The Privacy Levels dialog box provides an informative message about the implications of selecting data source privacy levels. This includes a link to Power Query Online Help about Privacy Levels and Fast Combine.

Privacy Levels

Caution:  You should configure a data source containing highly sensitive or confidential data as Private.

Configure a privacy level

With privacy level settings, you can specify an isolation level that defines the degree that one data source must be isolated from other data sources.

Setting

Description

Example Data Sources

Private data source

A Private data source contains sensitive or confidential information, and the visibility of the data source may be restricted to authorized users. A private data source is completely isolated from other data sources.

Facebook data, a text file containing stock awards, or a workbook containing employee review information.

Organizational data source

An Organizational data source limits the visibility of a data source to a trusted group of people. An Organizational data source is isolated from all Public data sources, but is visible to other Organizational data sources.

A Microsoft Word document on an intranet SharePoint site with permissions enabled for a trusted group.

Public data source

A Public data source gives everyone visibility to the data contained in the data source. Only files, internet data sources or workbook data can be marked Public.

Free data from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, data from a Wikipedia page, or a local file containing data copied from a public web page

Configure privacy level settings

  1. When prompted with the Select Privacy Level For Data Sources dialog box, click Public, Organizational or Private according to the nature of the specific data source. For more information, see How to configure a privacy level.

  2. Click Save.

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Configure Fast Combine

Fast Combine is a workbook setting that is set to Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source by default, which means that Fast Combine is not enabled.

Setting

Description

Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source (on, and the default setting)

Privacy level settings are used to determine the level of isolation between data sources when combining data.

Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance (off)

Privacy levels are not considered when combining data, however; performance and functionality of the data may increase.

Security Note:  Enabling Fast Combine by selecting Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance in the Workbook Settings dialog could expose sensitive or confidential data to an unauthorized person. Do not enable Fast Combine unless you are confident that the data source does not contain sensitive or confidential data.

Configure Fast Combine

  1. In Excel 2016, select New Query > Query Options from the Data ribbon tab to display the Query Options dialog. In earlier versions of Excel, select Options from the Power Query ribbon tab. Or in Query Editor, select File > Options and settings > Query options to display the Query Options dialog. From the Query Options dialog, select Privacy in the left pane.

    1. When Combine data according to your Privacy Level settings for each source is selected, data will be combined according to your Privacy Levels setting. Merging data across Privacy isolation zones will result in some data buffering.

    2. When Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance is selected, the data will be combined ignoring your Privacy Levels which could reveal sensitive or confidential data to an unauthorized user. The setting may improve performance and functionality.

      Security Note:  Selecting Ignore the Privacy levels and potentially improve performance may improve performance; however, Power Query cannot ensure the privacy of data merged into the workbook.

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