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Salvador
Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Storing and using information from a dynamic data source using PBI desktop.

Hello,

 

This is something that I've worked in for a couple of months, and have been successfully using it for 3 months, and now would like to share with the community. If you want to know where this comes from, please visit this post.

 

 

Now I'm going to explain the whole process, as detailed as possible.

 

1) Connect Power BI to a data source.  

 

For this example, I’m going to connect to a web page that publishes information regarding IBEX 35

1.png2.png3.png

 

After that, we will create a column: Refreshment date = now ()

 

*For users that use regional settings different to English ones, I recommend to disable time intelligence, under Options, Data Load.

 

2) Prepare the system to use the script.

 

I use a Virtual Machine for this, but it can be done from any pc that meets the requirements.

 

First, you will need to install Power Shell’s Package Manager. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=51451
*
Edited: It seems this is not necessary in windows 10.

 

Second, run PowerShell as an admin, and follow these steps. (from https://stackoverflow.com/questions/29828756/the-term-install-module-is-not-recognized-as-the-name-o...)4.png

 

Third, download and install SQL_AS_AMO.msi and SQL_AS_ADOMD.msi from https://www.microsoft.com/download/details.aspx?id=52676

Now, you are ready to edit the script.

 

3) Edit the script.

 

You can download it from my onedriveInstructions are placed inside the script.

 

4) Use the task scheduler.

 

Since we don’t want to run the script manually every day (weekends included), let´s program that task!

Download this file first, then open the task scheduler.

Then, select where you want to store the task, and import it.5.png

 

 

I have it set to 10 PM every day, you can change it. Then go to actions, and update the file path to the PowerShell script.

After that, just to check everything is working fine, I’d run the task, just in case…

 

5) Add the stored information to the data model.

 

Now we can go back to power bi. At this point, I prefer to make a copy of the pbix file, with a different name, so that the one that is being used for the script is as simple as it can be.

First, get data from a folder, should be the folder with your table(s) name, inside the “daily” folder created on your desktop.

6.png

Then, click on Edit, Combine & Edit.

7.png

 

 

We check that everything is in order…8.png

 

 

Now we have two tables, one with the information from the dynamic feed, and one from the info that we have stored. Now we need to rename the (2) table, and the columns.9.png

 

 

I recommend doing it from the Query Editor.

10.png

 

 

6) Appending Queries

 

Now is time to put all the info together, and for that we will “Append Queries as new”.

From the query editor, Append queries as new.11.png

12.png

 

Now we have everything in one table, I recommend changing the appends name, and hiding the other two tables in the report view.13.png

 

 

 

After that, we will create a column: Data's Date = IF (ISBLANK (FinalData [Refreshment date]); now (); FinalData [Refreshment date])

That way, we will be able to know when that data was stored.

14.png

 

 

 

In my case, since I need to use the “live” data and the historical one, I use another column to separate it:

Historical Data = "Data from " & DATEDIFF (FinalData [Data's Date (Text)]; NOW (); DAY) & " Day(s) ago"15.png


In case you need to establish relationships between tables, by using this script to store historical data, you will no longer have unique ids to stablish relationships in some cases, what I do to solve that issue, is to add the date to the ids.

 

xxxID = table1[_xxxid_value] & FORMAT(Table1[Data's Date];"MM/DD/YYYY")

If you are using power bi desktop, you don’t need to do anything else, but if you want to publish it to pbi online, you will need to set up a data gateway.

 

 

I hope you’ve enjoyed this long guide, in case you have any doubts, questions, or would like to add something, please feel free to send me an email to salva.gm@outlook.es

 

I would also like to give my special thanks to Jorge Diaz, for his guidance and support whilst developing this, without him, this would have probably ended as a “happy idea”, and to Imke, from thebiccountant.com, for pointing us the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46 REPLIES 46
Anonymous
Not applicable

Fantastic -- Really nice solution!  Thanks for sharing!

ImkeF
Super User
Super User

Hi Salvador,

that's pretty awseome!

Thanks for taking the time for such a neat write-up of the steps - can't wait to try this out!

Cheers, Imke

Imke Feldmann (The BIccountant)

If you liked my solution, please give it a thumbs up. And if I did answer your question, please mark this post as a solution. Thanks!

How to integrate M-code into your solution -- How to get your questions answered quickly -- How to provide sample data -- Check out more PBI- learning resources here -- Performance Tipps for M-queries

Anonymous
Not applicable

Hi Team

 

What happened if you got massive amount of data, stored like 1g or more? Will this process apply the same or will it need some external data source to support it? Also when scheduling for time using power shell. the script will automatically run until it stop executing schedule job? I want to know as i need to implement it if it is possible, on my case i want to know if can retrieve all the reports between 1-3 months and onwards as CVS with data of per specific months. I am worried about the amount of data that this script will executing and performance it may likely to show and it might be slow. Please advice me and provide along support if this stragety can be applied to my situation.

cs_skit
Resolver IV
Resolver IV

this is GREAT thanks for sharing

 

Did this historic auditing stuff with SQLserver in the past but this is especially nice for all those strange datasources that PBI can access to quickly activate this. Have to be careful though how big your data is with this stuff (else Warehouse territory) but for smaller stuff or when carefully selecting this is great.

Salvador
Responsive Resident
Responsive Resident

Thanks ^^

 

In my case, had to do this to be able to properly track KPI's from Dynamics CRM, been using this for 6 tables, 107 days, 800mb of data stored, it takes a couple of minutes to refresh the data 😄

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