Central NJ Power BI User Group

Please login or click SIGN UP FOR FREE to create your PowerBIUG account to join this user group.
  • 1.  2020-02-19

    Gold Contributor
    Posted Feb 21, 2020 10:37 AM

    PUG Meeting Notes, 2/19/2020, 5pm-7pm

    Microsoft Store, Freehold Raceway Mall

    Participants: Jerome, JohnK, Khagesh

    Liaison: Lori Scotto, Microsoft Education Expert


    Topics: we concreted on three things:

    1 – connecting to data in PDF files, both via web link and locally stored.

    2 – connecting to data in SharePoint Online libraries and lists.

    3 – practicing with refreshing data in SharePoint Folders.

    4 – practicing with the PBI Shape Map visual and a New Jersey Counties json shape file.

    5 – Power Virtual Agent


    Meeting insights:

    1 – PDF files advantage: PBI separates individual tables in a PDF file and makes them available for selection(s) to load and transform in the Query Editor.  We worked with this file from the State of NJ web site: https://www.nj.gov/dcf/childdata/interagency/CIACC_Dashboard_AllCounty_1.20.pdf
    Here's the visual of what we brainstormed in a previous PUG meeting based a different PDF, https://tinyurl.com/agencycapcity -- This visual is being used by a group of agency executive directors in meetings with a state senator to advocate for increased funding to meet the demand for their services to families facing complex challenges.

    2 – SharePoint Library and List advantages: can update-refresh data from different computers or by different authorized accounts.  Behind the scenes, sometimes Power BI will respond with a message saying "Access Denied".  To resolve, we explored that the fix involves going into the File menu, Options & Settings, Data Source Settings, Global Permissions, Edit Permissions to reestablish credentials for accessing SharePoint.  We also looked at how using synchronized folders of a SharePoint Library makes it easy to capture extracted files locally so that they are sent to secure cloud storage.  Best to make sure your computer drive is encrypted if you are working with healthcare or other sensitive data.  The Power BI Service has options for flagging such data to help you keep track.

    3 – SharePoint Folder advantages: Power BI can work with data in local folders or SharePoint Folders.  This option is an advantage if you extract data that accrues on external platforms (e.g., daily activity notes, weekly surveys, monthly assessments, quarterly progress updates).  Power BI will aggregate data files with the same structure upon refresh.  This option is very useful for data as it accumulates over a budget year and across calendar years.

    4 – Shape maps or choropleth maps are thematic maps showing data magnitude via a relative color gradient – darker shade for larger values, e.g., population levels, sizes, incomes, etc.  Here's an example (click to page 3) https://tinyurl.com/njshape

    5 – Power Virtual Agent:  JohnK gave us a demonstration of a prototype Power Virtual Agent that he created for his work team.  Nice going, inspiring, and opens up new thinking for possibilities of connecting Power BI with Power VA!  To try PVA https://powervirtualagents.microsoft.com/en-us/ and to learn PVA https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-virtual-agents/

    Jerome Scriptunas
    Central NJ PUG