Direct Lake mode provides a new way to analyze very large data volumes in Power BI with low latency and great performance. It loads data from a data lake straight into the Power BI engine, ready for analysis without having to import or duplicate data into a Power BI dataset.
Prior to Direct Lake mode, DirectQuery mode was the only option to analyze large data volumes. With Direct Query Mode, the Power BI engine queries the data at source which avoids having to copy the data but can be slow. In contrast to DirectQuery mode, Import mode is very fast but faces limits on the size of the dataset as it operates on an in-memory copy of the data. Import mode may also introduce latency concerns and requires refresh operations on the cached copy of the data.