Power Automate makes it easy to automate mundane, repetitive tasks. With its low-code, drag-and-drop interface, mundane tasks can be quickly automated. By simply recording the mouse clicks, keystrokes and copy-and-paste steps needed to perform repetitive manual tasks, you can save a lot of time. Now imagine enhancing your Power BI workbooks and reports with the same power of automation! Learn how to integrate Power Automate into Power BI for increased productivity.
During this on-demand webinar we cover:
- An overview of Power Automate
- Basic installation
- Connecting with Power BI
- Building a workbook using the Power Automate visual
From automating workflows to getting notifications, collecting data, generating email and much more, Power Automate is a grand addition to your Power Apps suite!
Trainer and Consultant
Patrick is one of our most popular instructors, regularly receiving high marks from students for his subject matter knowledge, clarity of communication and ability to infuse fun into classwork. Patrick has over 20 years of experience in data science, business intelligence and data analytics and is fluent across multiple BI platforms. He is a Tableau Certified Associate. He is an expert in Cognos, his product experience goes back to version 6. He has extensive experience in Power BI, Actuate, Hyperion and Business Objects. Patrick is certified in Java, Python, C++, Microsoft SQL.Read more
Welcome to another edition of our Senturus webinar.
We’re going to be focused on Power Automate with Power BI.
We’re branching out into those other power apps that are all part of the Power Apps suite.
We’ve got our GoToWebinar control panel.
Please feel free to use this to make this session more interactive.
We’ll answer your questions in real time.
The next question that everybody asks. Hey, how do I get a copy of this presentation? Well, I’m glad you asked.
It will be posted on the Senturus website, go to the Resources tab, and then to the Knowledge Center. There is also a link to it in the chat window.
Good to go with that logistical stuff, and again, we’re getting some more people coming in, so I want to give everybody a little bit of time to settle in. For those of you whose names are familiar to me, Hi. How are you, Ben?
You’re doing good.
It’s always good to see the same faces, and the same names makes me feel good.
What are we doing today?
Our agenda, real quick introduction, for those of you who do not know me, we will then do a Power Automate overview.
Now, I’m going to show you some different ways of integrating Power Automate into Power BI reports and ended Power BI apps and Power BI dashboards.
At the end, we’ll wrap up with a Senturus overview and some additional resources, because, of course, we going to get the marketing stuff in there, right?
We’ll finish it up with Q&A to that end, who is this strange person talking to you today?
That’s me, Patrick Powers, data scientists, consultant, trainer with Senturus
This marks my 25th year of data science, data analytics, data warehousing, whatever term desire you wish to give it this week.
I’ve been doing this both as a trainer in the real-world for 2.5 decades. I deliver classes on Power BI, Tableau, Cognos. Start in and broaden out into the rest of the Power Apps suite.
I’m certified in multiple programming languages, Java, C++, working on becoming a Python expert.
Also, I have database certifications, Tableau, Cognos certifications. I’m old, and I’ve been doing this a long time.
We’ve got a poll. I’m going to put it up here for about one minute.
And what we’d like to know is what tools are you currently using for automation, if any, at all.
So I’m going to go ahead and launch that.
Yep. I see that bottom answer so far taken the taking the lead, but look at the Power Automate is getting ahead.
About 68% of you voted getting a little closer there. See if I can get it up to at least 75%.
Yeah, I’ll come on, It’s 74%.
There we go, got to 76%. Alright.
And it looks like it looks like we are pretty much tied here. We made it to almost 90% voted. All right. There we go, I’m going to go ahead and close it.
So we’ve got 39% of you currently using Power Automate, and I would assume that you’re using it as itself.
You’re using it as the standalone product, versus within Power BI.
2% of you are doing if, then, situations.
We got about 9% with UI path, 23% doing other.
And I would wager that other is probably some home-grown code that somebody has written over the years, and then the majority, 45% of you, coming in with no automation at all.
So welcome to this. Hopefully, I’m going to open your eyes up to some of the things you can get out of automation, and why you’d want to consider it in the first place.
So let’s start with, what the heck is Power Automate?
So Power Automate is a standalone.
There are different versions, there’s a standalone desktop product and that is also pre-installed in Windows 11.
So any of you who are looking at are considering Windows 11, Power Automate is already built in, It’s already there.
You can also use the Office 365 version of Power Automate to do the kinds of things we’re going to be doing today.
You don’t actually have to have the desktop version installed.
You can do this with, with your 365 version.
What we would use it for is automating business processes, sending automatic reminders, moving data. Now, what I’m talking about, these types of things.
I’m talking about using it as a standalone tool, not necessarily within Power BI.
Some of these things can be done within Power BI.
But this is just the product itself. What kinds of things can you do with the product itself?
The nice part about Power Automate, it is a simple low code interface and one of the best parts is the support community that Microsoft has provided for this.
If you go out to Power Automate Microsoft.com.
I’m going to post this in the chat window for you all as well.
Here, you can get more in-depth information. You can also get some good case studies per industry.
And as I was just saying, We’ve got it for desktop, we’ve got it for mobile, we’ve got it for web, got it for Teams.
And there are some really great case studies.
How to use it for your particular business, how to use it in your environment.
Some great stuff going out there, and then, there’s this, the Power Automate templates, I’m going to come back to that, but, keep that in mind.
Here’s an example of the low code.
As you can see, its json, So, it really is a pretty straightforward, pretty easy language.
I would wager that a number of you already know json, if you are coming from any kind of a Cognos 11 background, you probably have learned json for visualizations for building themes and scanning.
Whether you use the GUI interface or whether you actually look at the code itself, it’s just json, pretty straightforward.
And with that, let’s talk about how we integrated it into Power BI.
Because that’s what we’re looking for here. Right?
Within Power BI, there is a visualization.
In your visualizations pane, you would see a little Power BI or Power Automate.
Oh, and I should also mention, those of you who are old like me, you may know this product under another name.
This was originally called Microsoft Flow.
So, this is the evolution of Flow.
I like Power Automate, better.
But we’ve got a visualization icon in this screen and we can use it for things like getting notifications, synchronizing files, collecting data, generating emails, generating Team’s messages, sending it out to Tasks, and using the APIs for some really cool business specific things. one of the examples I’m going to show you today has to do with weather.
When we add our veers, it’s telling us is the four things that you need to do.
Add any data fields if you need them.
Set up your flow, and that’s the important part.
Step two is the important part, OK?
Then, we apply it to our Power Automate button.
Then, we format our button to make it look good, Ramesh.
So you can indirectly use Power Automate for things like user input.
But the trigger itself will be a button, essentially, on the page.
But that button can read from data.
So if you’ve got data, fields, parameters, things like that can be populated, then that data can be passed to the trigger.
And then when you trigger it, it’ll send it off. And these triggers can be scheduled. They can be set up to run when needed.
So hopefully, Ramesh, that gives you some idea of what we’re talking about here.
One of the best things that I have found with Power Automate is you don’t need to re-invent the wheel.
Any of you who know me know that I am one of the laziest people on the face of the earth.
And if I don’t ever have to re-invent the wheel, not going to those templates that I showed you earlier, there are numerous templates available on the on the Power Automate site. And what you’re looking for is this little icon right here.
This little icon that indicates this is a Power BI template.
So if we go back to that page I just showed you a second ago.
And I say Power BI, there’s that icon.
And look at some of this.
Run sentiment analysis on Tweets and push results to a Power BI dataset.
Wow. How specific As that trigger a flow with a data driven alert, send an email, send a Teams message, update an Excel table.
So Ramesh my best answer for your question, which is, Can we use Power Automate for user input?
I would start here.
I would start here on the templates page. I would look to see if somebody’s already built a template.
And if that would fit your needs, be a good starting place.
And gang, I can scrawl on this whole time.
Look at all this, OK.
Come on, somebody, be impressed.
I know you’re all oohing and ahhing, you’re just not able to an eye out loud, but, this is pretty cool.
Got a lot of good templates.
You used to be able to get into the flow.microsoft.com, at microsoft.com.
You can now get it at the Power, Automate link I gave you earlier.
Well, thank you, Aaron. You’re my best friend, right, we already know that, and Monica, it is cool. And regression is cool.
They do keep adding templates more often, and that’s the beauty of this list and maybe you will design a Power Automate flow that you think other people will benefit from, and you’ll put it out on the community.
Maybe we’ll out there see one of yours out there in the future, Ramesh.
How do you monitor and troubleshoot?
Rita asking for the link. If you go to that link right there and then scroll down, you’ll find the templates on that homepage.
That’ll be right there. You just need to scroll down.
How do you monitor and troubleshoot these things?
Well, for troubleshooting.
You’ve got the Power Automate community also available on that same URL.
There is a great community out here.
There’s a set of forums. There’s galleries. You can submit ideas. There’s user groups.
So if you are having problems getting a flow to run, if you’re having trouble with something, start here.
Well, of course, you should start by calling or emailing your your favorite Senturus employee, because I know you all have our email addresses.
Email us first. We’ll help you.
We were born to do that, OK?
As far as a bigger picture, as I said earlier, we’re starting to venture more into this whole Power Apps situation. It’s no longer just Power BI, right?
And I think a lot of you, as you go down your Power BI journey, you’re probably finding that out that this is a bigger suite of things, that it is a bigger picture.
And for that, one thing you want to look at is the Microsoft Center of Excellence that is available for your Power BI and Power Apps environment. Yes. Before you even ask Rita, I will put this URL in there, too. I promise.
There is A Microsoft Center of Excellence Power BI dashboard.
So you can use this to monitor things like your flow, your entire Power BI environment. You see, it gives you this great dashboard, you can manage your team’s environment. You can manage all your apps. So this is a kind of thing, again, looking at the bigger picture.
And of course, you have Senturus.
We can help you out, We can help you get your Center of Excellence set up.
We can help you evaluate your environment.
And of course, we can help you build your flows and make sure that you’re good to go.
Adrianne I see that you put a question in there about connecting dataflow and data refreshes.
I don’t think that’s something I can answer in a couple of seconds here. So that might be one where you may want to reach out to us, and we could sit down with you and see the issue. And hopefully, work it through with you.
A lot of this is new for a lot of people, but more specific stuff, you’ll need a little help.
We all get by with a little help from our friends, right?
And you’ve got a friend, it’s Senturus. There’s your marketing stuff for the day.
2.20 demo time.
I’m back over in my VM world, which is theoretically working this time. Any of you came to my webinar last week. My VM had some issues and I had to rebuild it.
Yay, that was fun.
Nothing like rebuilding an entire VM.
So real quick, I’ve already gone ahead and pre-installed Power Automate.
Now I did not need to use it from here. I could use my 365 version as well. But I have gone ahead and I’ve installed it here. I am logged in as me.
But if I were going to build a flow outside, I was going to build a flow outside of Power BI.
I can do it right here using Power Automate, Desktop.
And here, we see all sorts of actions. We see all sorts of cool stuff. Again, more than just Power BI: variables, conditionals, loops and we’ve got things like sub flows and main flows, fancy.
Even if you are only initially planning to use it in Power BI, I still recommend checking out the Desktop version.
Because you might uncover things that you didn’t know you could automate, and you might be able to add something new.
So, here I am, I’m in Power BI.
I’m going to go ahead and I’m just going to add some data.
I don’t necessarily need data.
But I’m going to add some anyway, just so I’ve got it in here.
Nothing fancy, it’s just an Excel file with some tables, I’m going to add a visualization to my page.
I’ll leave some space up the top. You’ll see why in a second.
And I’m just going to add in Country.
I’m going to add in some sales.
And here I’ve got my sales by country.
Mo asked if this is the equivalent of Tableau Prep. Power Query Editor is the equivalent of Tableau Prep.
Power Automate is solely an automation tool, It’s not a data cleanser. It’s not going to help you in that respect, but that’s why you have Power Query Editor.
So, let’s say I’ve got this visualization, and I want to notify my teams group when I see an anomaly on this report.
I want to be able to go, oh, no, German numbers, don’t look good. Let me notify the Germany team.
I’m going to add a power automate button.
There we go. Make sure nothing selected first, big dummy. There we go.
I’m going to add this button.
And, there’s what I was showing you before, is that it shows us initially the four steps. And what we want to do is, we want to click the More icon.
And we want to edit this.
Here’s where we get into our flow.
This is our flow. And this is where we build our flow. Now, you see, I’ve already built a few.
These are flows that I’ve built.
And I’m going to go ahead, and I’m going to delete this one, because I want to build it again from scratch.
And I’m going to say, Gosh, I wonder if there’s a template.
Oh, look, there is a template.
Send a Teams message from Power BI noticed the first thing that does, it checks to make sure that I’m logged in, that I have the right credentials to build this flow, all right?
And if I wasn’t, I could login. I could use a different account. But in this case, it’s verified. I’m logged in. I’m good to go.
And now I have to specify the steps. So, this is the initial step. My initial step is on button click.
So do this on button click.
And the next step is post a message as the flow but to a user.
When I click in that box, check this out.
I can add an email address or I can actually add in individual, user, dynamic content. So I could send this to myself basically. OK, I might want to send this to myself as a reminder.
I could use my dynamic email address to send that to me.
And in the message, I could say, review latest German numbers.
And add a subject, New sales numbers posted. Once again, I can add dynamic content so I can time-stamp that.
There are some advanced options in this case, if I want a summary, if I want this shown in the activity feed, I can. I could send this to an end to the question came in from Debbie. Can I send this to a team or a channel? You bet!
Look at that. I have the entire training team.
So not only can I send it to myself, but I could send it to a channel.
I can also add more steps, if I wanted it to also send an email if I wanted it to update something, if I wanted it to post a task.
Now we’re going to do some of those individually, so I’m not going to add those steps here.
So I’m just going to save that.
Then it’ll take me back to my previous screen.
Or I can directly, so I can either go back to my list or I can directly save and apply this flow to my button. So if I hit Save and Apply.
I have successfully applied that flow to my button.
So let’s go back to my report.
Notice that my button now changes.
So now I can make my button smaller.
And I can format my button, because nobody wants to see something that says Run Flow, Send Teams, Message.
All right, and I can change the Fill.
I can make it all fancy.
Look at me. I’m fancy.
I can change the facts.
I can change the title lot of fancy shadow to it.
Oh, look at that.
And maybe I’ll move it over here to the right tada.
There it is.
So, who wants to see it in action?
I know we sold you an entire seat, but you only need the edge.
Remember, I’m in Desktop.
So that means I have to control click to execute this. If I published it out to the service, it would just be a single click, but in here, it’s a control click.
So when I control click it, triggering.
Let’s edit it.
Let’s make sure it’s gone to the right person.
So, I’m going to take that, send the teams, I’m going to edit it, Let’s make sure it’s going to me.
Save and apply.
Trigger that flow.
There we go.
So I may not have been picking out my name dynamically correctly. Could just be my login.
Ta da, new sales numbers posted with my date time-stamp.
Not sure why the one did not go out to the test group, it should have.
So that’s interesting, I made sure, maybe it could be just simply be that’s not active inside Teams.
So Carrie had a question: Can it be automatically downloaded and sent an email?
I haven’t seen a template that does that.
Doesn’t mean it’s not possible. I know you can send things. You may you may have better luck doing that with a paginated report versus a standard visualization.
Because a paginated report would create more of that physical object, that could be downloaded incentives an attachment.
But you know what, Carrie, let’s take a look through the templates and see if there is one.
Why the heck not?
Add a new one.
So now I can send an email.
No match found, Really?
One second, let me, I’m going to start a new flow this time.
OK, those are the only ones that’s given me for some reason.
I started a new one from a flow. I’m adding a new step.
I can send an e-mail with options, I can get an email, delete an email, reply to email, send an email, get an attachment.
Export it to a file, and then send that file.
So you can export, there is an action export as a PDF, as a PowerPoint, or a PNG.
How I get that to go as an attachment?
That gives Carrie a starting place, OK.
How we can actually do this to use it to update and excel file.
That sounds kind of nifty, doesn’t it? Updating an Excel file.
So, I’ve got a file on SharePoint.
What I want to do is update it when I have new data.
I’m going to update an Excel table from Power BI.
Chris, it has been, thank you for that. It has been Monday.
So here it’s making sure that I am connected to my Excel as well.
So real quick, here, I have this forecast.XML file out on my SharePoint.
And I want to update a row of data in it based on what I see on the report.
And once again, because I’m starting from the template, it really is a fill in the blank.
Go into Documents. I’m going to specify the table, I’m going to specify the key column. I’m going to update the key value based on the row I want to update.
I’m going to update 971 with a new number. I know what you’re going to ask.
Yes, this can be generated from a data piece of data on the page.
I can click on that piece of data to trigger it and pass that value dynamically.
So, I’m going to go ahead and save that.
I’m doing some manual stuff here, mostly so you can see the process. I have no data on here, I have no visualizations, but I’m still able to trigger that flow.
And when I trigger that flow. On May 19th at 2.38 PM, it’s succeeded.
So let’s prove it.
There’s my new value.
I updated that Excel file from clicking a single button.
And again, these things can be automated, even more. I could have had the prototype code been picked up from this, I could have the value picked up from this.
All I really needed to specify was, what column is the key, and what column are you updating.
I’ve got another one for you.
Oh, look, I can improve my flow. What’s process insights?
Now, this is something that’s currently in preview.
And, what this is going to do is, it’s going to analyze our run as a process map.
To analyze this as a process map, hopefully, it won’t take too long.
And this is why we don’t use. We don’t use preview features in demos right.
See if I can let that stay in the background.
Joseph’s question was, Where does this Excel file have to be? Does it have to be in OneDrive or SharePoint? Yes.
Because it is calling out it, we’re not able to update Donna’s local desktop unfortunately.
Well, that would be really cool.
But it’s going to be able to reach it. It’s going to be able to get to it on a network.
And of course, Microsoft wants you to use everything inside one application, right?
Does that answer that Joseph, for you?
Let’s add another one.
Now I’ve got one out here that I already built, and I’m going to show it to you, I’m going to use one of the APIs to get today’s forecast.
I want to get today’s forecast.
What, why would I use something like that?
Figure out where the back is on us.
Let’s walk through building that one together and see what it’s actually doing. So I’m going to start a new flow.
And add a new step, and first off, look at all these different connectors, there are be impressed.
So Carrie, going back to your question. There is a PDF connector.
And Adriane, who unfortunately left, there are dataflow connectors.
But look at this huge list of connectors that are available.
Adriane, I was just showing all the different connectors, and that this, there would hopefully, I would hope that there’s one in here that would work for what you’re trying to do as far as a dataflow.
I don’t know again, but I have, this is where I would start looking if I was building up from scratch, is trying to figure out from this list if there was one that would meet the needs. Right.
But one that’s up here up the top MSN weather.
This API, the MS weather, API.
I can use this to get things like the current weather.
Or I could get the forecast tomorrow.
At least 1 or 2 of you probably has a business situation, where weather plays a role, whether it’s shipping, trucking, or manufacturing.
Would it be nice if you got tomorrow’s weather and knew that you might need to move a truck or you might need to change your layout or call a crew off?
That’s the kind of automation that you probably aren’t thinking about right now, but they can be put in here.
So if I had a visualization that showed me weather and tomorrow’s forecast was right.
All right, so I can get the forecast for tomorrow and then, based on that, what do you want me to do?
I could do until I could terminate, I could switch. Yes, John. Exactly if you’ve got a snow storm coming your way. Perfect see, So for sales calls for trucking, for shipping, for customers coming in.
I’ve got one that’s gets the forecast for today.
Here’s my condition.
If they is equal to true, send an email notification.
Now, I did get forecast for today, and I just chose to use one of the built-in day night functions.
There are a lot of things you can call in that API.
So, if I want the current location, the current log, the units, If I want day night, if I want, what the current pressure is, the conditions, the dew point, these are all parts of that MS weather API.
These are all variables that you can use and call.
So I can use the caption of weather conditions such as rainy, sunny snow. Hey is there a 90% chance of precipitation?
Precipitation, call those.
If it’s equal to true, send an email notification.
If not, don’t do anything.
I apply it to my button.
This shows me the weather, it’s going to snow tomorrow.
Send that message.
Send that message and now it’s gone ahead, and it is sent an email to the email address that I specified, and now it should have been mine.
Inside of this part of the condition, I’ve specified who it should go to, saying it’s daytime, yes.
It’s good to go.
I’m just waiting for the email to come through, because, of course, sweep time.
But it would send it out there now, along those same lines, the last one I want to show you right now, officially.
There is one.
Or you can add tasks.
So I can create a task from Power BI.
I want you to add a task to somebody’s outlook.
I see you put a long question in there, Adrian.
So, you looked at Power Automation very deliberately responsible for making datasets available, so your process is start from X tunnel.
That is definitely a different way than I am approaching it here I am approaching it as making it more interactive and coming from within this environment.
I’ve got a task and I want this task to go to a specific person I want it to go to a specific folder.
I want it to get pushed out. What folder is go into. And when I save and apply that.
When it’s triggered I just created a task in my Outlook.
Think about how much time that would save and the paper trail you’ve created, I’d ever saw that task.
I send it from in here. Here you go.
Now, one last thing before I completely wrap up, I do want to show you one of the things in the flows.
Let’s start one from the Instant Cloud Flow, new step, and I am going to go to the Power BI ones.
I can basically use Power BI to call Power BI.
Update a goal, a check can refresh a dataset. Export to a file, so I can use Power BI flows to connect to Power BI flows.
And this is what I was thinking that few years, Adrian was adding rows to a dataset, but that’s not quite what you’re looking for.
There are Power BI flows for Power BI. And if you were to use this list, if you scroll down far enough, there it is. There’s also other power automate. There’s Power Apps. We got Power Apps for admin.
We’ve got standard Power Apps.
Overall summary. Plan this out. Talk to your users. See what they might have that they want you to automate.
There may be things you never thought of.
Then you’re going to want to install the Power Automate app on the appropriate user’s desktops. Make sure they have access to it in 365.
And then start building.
I honestly believe that this is a fun one because you’re going to come up with things you never thought.
So, the question: is there a connector to open a URL?
I’m just going to search for URL and see what comes back.
So I’ve got a OneDrive. I’ve got a short URL.
All of these reference URL, I don’t know the details of what they’re able to do for a URL, but these all reference the ability to read a URL.
So you can start there.
And Stanley, hopefully, that will get you what you need.
As some of you know, Senturus has hundreds of free resources on our website. We’ve been committed to sharing this information for over 20 years.
I’ve done a lot of these Power BI webinars: the gateway, Python and R that are on our website.
Hey. You can have see these in our Knowledge Center. You can watch them on our YouTube channel. We’ve got a lot of stuff on there.
And just a quick follow up, Ramesh. You can open up a URL, a dataset com definition and modelling. Perfect. Thank you very much, Ramesh, Stanley. There’s your answer.
Alright, so we’ve got our reviews, are tech tips, our insider stuff. We’ve got all sorts of stuff out there, upcoming events, and we will be participating in a virtual conference, the Zero Gravity Conference by Incorta next week, May 26th from 8 AM to 2 PM. Stop by our virtual booth ay hi to us.
We’re then doing some stuff with Cognos cleanup. We’re going to confidently assess and budget a Cognos cleanup or migration that’s in June.
And then if you haven’t had enough of my voice, Aeron, on June 23rd, I’m going to be doing a webinar talking about modeling and this is going to be product non-specific.
We’re going to be talking just solely about why you have to have a good model regardless of the tool? And what does that mean? What is a good model?
I’d love to see all on June 23rd.
And as Scott just put in the chat window. We are absolutely always happy to follow up, serve some folks Adrianne, Aaron, even your question that I haven’t had a chance to fully look at yet. Scott, just put a link in there where you we can follow up with you.
We’ve been doing this for a long time.
We concentrate on BI modernizations and migrations across the stack, full spectrum of services from training and all the products, power BI, Cargoes, Tableau, proprietary software for bimodal BI and migrations. And we can help if you have a hybrid environment.
You got half Cognos, half Power BI and as Car talk would say, half Tableau, so you know, we can help you.
We’re big enough to handle your needs and small enough to provide personal attention.
And, lastly, we’ve got some open positions.
We’re looking for a managing consultant and senior Microsoft VI consultant.
You can find the jobs on our career page, and you can send your resume off to jobs that said Senturus.com.
That takes us to the Q and A. Question form Aaron, you’re starting with goals and Power BI. It looks like anyone updating has to have a Power BI Pro license.
That honestly, that does not surprise me. I would say there are probably some out there that would require Premium license as well. I don’t know, Scott might be able to help you better with that licensing situation, I do know there are some that do require a Premium license, and even more than just the Pro license.
Thank you for attending.Read more