I’ve been working on a Power BI file in Power BI Desktop and it’s gotten a fair amount of data in it. Each time I published the file to the Power BI Service, the time to complete the publishing was getting larger and larger. When it got past 20 minutes to publish, I started looking for ways to speed this up.
One of the data sources that Power BI can consume is another .pbix file that already exists in the Power BI Service. So, I separated my reports and data into 2 different .pbix files and referenced data the data model as a source from the reports .pbix file.
Publishing each .pbix file follows the same flow as any publish and the way to find the data model takes 2 steps. The first is to choose Get Data and Power BI Service:
Next you will see a dialog box showing workspaces in your service. Pick the workspace and correct source file and you’re done.