In this post, I created an Azure Function that stores data from our web application into Azure Table Storage. Today, I want to bring you a really powerful tool: Power BI, a data visualization tool that allows you to bring your data to life.
About Power BI
This is a great tool by Microsoft that allows us to create custom visualizations of our data from different data sources. Today, we are going to put the focus on Azure integration and how to bring to life our data stored in an Azure Table Storage. You can think Power BI as a tool to create awesome dashboards. In their words:
Power BI is a cloud-based business analytics service that gives you a single view of your most critical business data. Monitor the health of your business using a live dashboard, create rich interactive reports with Power BI Desktop and access your data on the go with native Power BI Mobile apps. It’s easy, fast, and free.
Connecting to the Data Source
The first step is to download the Power BI desktop application for free on their website. I won't give the details — you guys already know how to do it. Once we have the tool, we need to configure our Azure Table Storage to pull data. First, we connect using our storage account name and key to connect our data source.
Then we select our Azure Table Store to pull data from. In my case, I'll use the same I used when I create the Azure function.
We are almost there. We already have selected our Azure Table Storage and selected our table to pull data, so now, we need to define our visualization. In my table, I have stored the city name on each request, so by selecting this column (as I did in the image below), Power BI creates a map data visualization displaying each row as a dot on the map.
The next step is to save our report locally and the publish it to the Power BI web. And that's it! Every time a new row is added to our Azure Table Storage, Power BI is going to pull this new data and display it in our data visualization. As you can see, it's a really simple example, but believe me when I tell you that Power BI gives us much more flexibility to create awesome dashboards. Later, I'll create another post where I will use the Power BI SDK to integrate this report in our custom website.
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