Connecting PowerBI Dashboards to Data Sources

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

I had the opportunity to work with the preview for PowerBI Dashboards and if you thought you liked PowerBI before, you're really going to like it now.  The new interface is immediately available over HTML5, as well as through an iPad app.  You'll notice that in configuring the PowerBI environment you can easily attach to your own data sources.  You can sign-up here.  Here is an example dashboard from our System Center data: Initial Page   For example, an initial data source I used was an on-premise analysis services tabular model, such as that used with System Center.  To do this:
  • Install the "Analysis Services Connector Preview" on your SQL server
  • Create your tabular model
  • Configure the analysis services instance you want to connect to
  • Configure the credentials you'd like to connect with
  • The instance will now show up in PowerBI as follows
PowerBI SM Analysis 2
  • You can then design the report right within the interface by selecting the data source
  Another data source which was very easy to setup was my connection to CRM online.  Not only did it provide a great out-of-box experience, but it was easy to get the data into PowerBI.  You do the following:
  • Select CRM from the drop-down list
  • Enter the oData path of your CRM instance
CRM Connection
  • Select oAuth2 for your credentials and accept the pop-up
  • If you want to auto-refresh the datasource, go here
Auto Refresh
  • And leverage the out-of-box report, or create your own
Out of Box CRM Dashboard   At this point you can connect PowerBI to online data sources, on-premise data sources, and spreadsheets.  The opportunities and ubiquity of the platform are extensive and we're seeing companies using it for wide varieties of analytics.  Enjoy!   Nathan Lasnoski

Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer