Dynamics 365 Saturday session: Interactive data visualization with Microsoft Power BI

Last Saturday on 3 February the first Microsoft Dynamics 365 Saturday was held at KMPG HQ in Amstelveen..
It was the first time for me that I was speaker on an official Microsoft event, so me and my colleague Johan van den Brink were very excited.
Once again, I want to thank all of our sponsors for making this great event available!

6 februari 2018 by

As you can see we are enjoying speaking…

We were showing a lot of demo’s this day, which included a few custom visuals in Power BI, a scenario for Powerapps and the configuration of the Data Export Service.
We will cover all demo’s in this blogpost as promised last Saturday, starting with the survey demo.
We have uploaded some video’s below with a short explanation if needed.

We asked our public to fill out a small survey with 4 questions. We received 36 answers! Below is a screenshot with the answers to our questions:
survey results
The word cloud shows how often a certain Dynamics 365 or CRM version is used by the attendees. Interestingly still many Dynamics CRM 2013 / 2016 are used. At the right you can see that almost half of the attendees have used PowerBI for more than one year and half of them have used PowerBI in CRM already. There is still room for improvement in using the Data Export Service! You will find more about it further down this post. The next youtube video explains how the Survey was created using:

Since the first week of January it is now possible to user the PowerApps custom visual from within the Power BI online Service. Now this means a lot if you are talking
about taking actions from your insights gained from the Power BI reports. You can make a connection from your Power BI report to Dynamics 365 entities, and change your data in
Dynamics 365 directly. Or you can make an app in Powerapps that allows you to send emails straight from your report.

For the first example we are going to show you I must thank SQLJason who provided a great example in this blog:

Customizing Data Alerts in Power BI using PowerApps

In the example below I have my data source online at onedrive for business. I then made a simple report in Power BI about sales with a few orderdates.
Now in the online service we have created a Salesalert if there was a sale yesterday for a specific Category in a store. In the video you see how you can dynamically change your
salesalerts for specific category’s thanks to the app made in Powerapps. In this example you can add a category for a User that has logged in the power bi service. The change made into the Powerapp will send it directly to the data source and change the category. Now if the data refreshes in Power BI (Service or in the video Desktop) then the Salesalert measure will change and the Alert will be send by mail to the specific user that has access to the new category! This wasn’t possible without Powerapps, so this will be a huge impact for all kinds of scenario’s. Cool right?

The other demo I did today was about the Data Export Service to export your data from your Dynamics 365 instance to an Azure SQL Database. This has many benefits if you compare this for example to Odata connection, which will perform very poor if you want to use more than just a few entities. In the video’s below you can see how to configure the Powershell script for the data export service and how to add an entity to your existing data export service. Now if your script isn’t working for you then you can also consult the following blogpost: https://nishantrana.me/2017/03/19/configuring-data-export-service-in-microsoft-dynamics-365/ which will also explain how to create the user which is needed for the UserId and password in the connection string.

For adding an entity to your data export profile and push it to your Azure SQL Database:

Now we also showed a couple of dashboards and a couple of custom visuals today. Below please find 2 dashboards for you 2 play with. Please allow some time for them to load if you are a quick scroller. These are for Field Service and Incidents dashboards.

After the session we got a lot of questions regarding the PowerApps demo and scenario like questions. Soon I will provide another blogpost where I will cover a scenario where you can actually send a subset of results in Power BI to SQL Server and from there send it to a new Field in Dynamics 365. With Powerapps many things will be possible, so exciting stuff will be happening for the next months 🙂

And last but not least: the slides!

Dynamics365Saturday-Interactive Data Visualisation with Power BI from Stefan Bekker

If you have any questions regarding any of the features or other BI stuff, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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