Billy Kee's brace helped Burton to a first win in three against a Rochdale side with one win in six league games.
Kee drilled a low free-kick in on the quarter-hour mark to put the Brewers ahead before teeing up Calvin Zola with a cute backheel to make it 2-0.
Peter Cavanagh's volley and Bobby Grant's opportunist finish from Nathan Stanton's error then pulled Dale level before Kee struck again minutes later.
This time Zola was provider, with Kee chesting his cross over from close in.
VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM
Burton boss Gary Rowett told BBC Radio Derby:
"We created lots and lots of chances. I said to the front two before the match that I thought they would win us the game if they were on song and I thought they were. Early on, they were a real handful and in the second half we created a lot of chances again.
"You know Rochdale are going to have a lot of the ball at times. It's like Accrington; you know they're going to do that because that's the way they play. But if you look at the chances created, I'm sure that we've created an awful lot of them today.
"I played them up there because on their day, they're an absolute goal threat. If we could have their day every game, then we would have won quite a few more games, but I thought both of them were terrific today."