I think many of you are familiar with the Power Platform, but let’s go over it quickly.
The Microsoft Power Platform now consists of 4 products:
- Power BI: Make informed, confident business decisions by putting data-driven insights into everyone’s hands.
- Power Apps: Turn ideas into organizational solutions by enabling everyone to build custom apps that solve business challenges.
- Power Automate: Boost business productivity to get more done by giving everyone the ability to automate organizational processes.
- Power Virtual Agents: Easily build chatbots to engage conversationally with your customers and employees—no coding required.
In a previous blog post on getting some interactivity in your presentation, I already talked about the integration of Microsoft Forms, Power Automate and Power BI, you can read about that here:
- A Form, a Flow and a Power BI Streaming Dataset Walk into A Bar – Part 1
- A Form, a Flow and a Power BI Streaming Dataset Walk into a Bar… – Part 2
In this new 2-part series I would like to show an example of how Power Apps, Power Automate and Power BI can work better together!
Let’s start with the final goal in mind. Let’s say for example, I want to have an interactive quiz during a presentation or workshop. An attendee will answer a question and be awarded points for the (partially) correct answer. I want to have a form/an app where I can enter the name of the attendee and the score after having received an answer.
Ideally I also want to show the results on the same screen so I don’t have to switch between entering a score and showing the result.
As you might have guessed, I will accomplish this by using 3 of the Power Platform products:
- I create a Power App, with 2 textboxes and a button to save the data
- With a press of the button, a flow (Power Automate) will kick off to send this data to a Power BI streaming dataset
- This dataset will then immediately (and automatically, so without user interaction) be refreshed and shown in a dashboard in Power BI, where the Power App is also embedded as a visual
So the good thing is: there’s no switching between screens, or refreshing a page involved.
- On the left is the Power App visual for Power BI
- On the right is a column chart showing the names and the scores entered in the app
With this goal in mind, let’s have a look in detail at how we can achieve this!
Create a Power BI streaming dataset
The streaming dataset, of type push, has to be created before selecting the workspace in Power Automate, because otherwise the streaming dataset won’t show up. In PowerBI.com you can create a dataset in any workspace, also in My Workspace. You do that by clicking on the +-sign in the home screen of your workspace.
Make sure you turn on the switch for Historic data analysis when creating the dataset. That way Power BI will store the data that’s sent through this data stream, and you’ll be able to do reporting and analysis on the collected data stream. This switch can also be used to clear the dataset.
The Date field is optional, but it could come in handy later, when I want to filter out my test values in the report for example.
Create an instant Power Automate flow
Because we create a Power App with a button to save the data, and thus to manually trigger the flow, we need to create an instant flow over in Power Automate.h
In Part 2 I will explain how to create the Power App, with a button to save the data to the streaming dataset. Last, I will also link the App to the Power BI Report and embed it in a Dashboard.
About the Author:
My name is Nicky van Vroenhoven. I have been involved in BI from around 2010 and I’m currently a technical BI Consultant at Van Lanschot Kempen.
van Vroenhoven, N. (2020). Better Together: Part 1 – Use The Power Platform to Create a Scoring App with a Live Dashboard. Available at: https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Power-Platform-Integrations/Better-Together-Part-1-Use-The-Power-Platform-to-Create-a/m-p/1054558 [Accessed: 7th March 2021].
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