Power BI is a brilliant business intelligence tool from Microsoft. Previously part of Excel, Power BI now has its own application, which can be installed as Power BI Desktop or accessed online or on your mobile. One of the best things about Power BI is that fact that there is a free version – meaning that anyone can benefit from Power BI!
The free version brings a number of great features and if you find your organisation is using Power BI regularly then you can always upgrade to Power BI Pro or try a 60-day free trial.
Download Power BI here: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/
There are a number of different ways to connect your data to Power BI. Some can take a little bit more work to connect with, while others take only a few clicks. Luckily, if you are using Microsoft applications then connecting to these fall into the latter category.
After signing up for Power BI (if you haven’t already) the first thing you will want to do is get some data. Without data, Power BI is nothing.
To do this, simply click the ‘Get Data’ button. On the desktop version this is along the top bar and on the online app this is down the left column as a pop out. Once selected, you have a number of options for data importing or data connection.
- Use contact packs that your organisation have created and published (Power BI Pro only)
- Use content packs that Microsoft have published for common online services
- Import files (Excel, csv and Power BI desktop)
- Connect to live databases (such as Azure SQL)
Content packs are the easiest way to connect to data as they have ready-made connections. This is how we will connect Microsoft Dynamics CRM to Power BI. Once you complete the below you will see how simple it is to do and the great results – so have a look at the other pre-built service packs to see what else you can connect to.
How to connect CRM
Prerequisites: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2016 or later and Power BI. Note that this does not work with on-premise CRM instances. If you want to do this then read the article here.
To start, you click the ‘Get Data’ button in Power BI and then click ‘Get’ under Services.
Select either Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sales Manager or Microsoft Dynamics CRM Service Manager (depending if you want to view Sales data or Service data – or do one after the other to get both).
Next insert the URL for your CRM instance. To find, this go into your CRM and copy the URL, like below:
Select ‘oAuth2’ for your authentication method and click sign in. You should already be logged into CRM so you shouldn’t need to login but if not, you may need to provide/confirm your credentials.
Once finished, you will see a pre-populated dashboard. You can continue to use this if it provides the data you need but if not, you can edit the dashboards or create your own. That's it!
Once you've done this you can even embed Power BI tiles directly within CRM.
We recommend just having a play around – drilling into different dashboards and trying to edit or create your own tiles. There are lots of great resources out there for Power BI to help you get started. A few we would recommend include:
We hope you enjoy Power BI!