You might already be using Power BI to create your dashboards and reports, but have you tried to create a real-time dashboard before? Typically, you need to set up a refresh schedule. What if you want to see your dashboard update live, as soon as fresh data comes in? This is where you can use a streaming dataset in Power BI, to view and act on your data in real-time.

Here are some examples of times you could consider using a real-time dashboard:

  • IoT devices: sensors, machinery. Anything with a constant flow of data you would like to view accurate information on. This is a great option for being able to detect anomalies in equipment.
  • Collecting survey responses and viewing feedback immediately
  • Viewing weblogs
  • Inventory Management: monitoring stock levels

Streaming datasets can be created from Power BI Service. When heading over to Power BI Service to create your streaming dataset, you have 3 types to choose from.

The API option is the most accessible for anyone to get started with. Using the API option creates a “Push Dataset”, i.e. the Power BI API takes your data and pushes it into a dataset for you. You can use tools such as Power Automate or PowerShell to add rows into your table. When this happens, your dashboard tiles update automatically with the new data. The benefit of using a push dataset is that data is getting stored in a database in Power BI Service. You can do historical analysis- go back in any point in time and see what occurred. In addition, you also get the full report building features too, like all the visuals and creation of measures.

Azure Stream and PubNub require you to have access to these services and are ideal for IoT use cases. They allow you to rapidly output your data stream to Power BI. If you are currently using Azure Stream Analytics (e.g. such as for monitoring sensors), you can link it up your jobs to Power BI so that you can visualise current levels and trends as they come through in Azure Stream.

Reach out to Barhead if you’re interested in seeing how we can assist you with Power BI and real-time streaming. If you’re looking to upskill your teams on Power BI or the rest of the Power Platform, we can also run training in-house for you.

About the Author: Rishona Elijah

Rishona Elijah is one of our Power Platform Trainers at Barhead Solutions and part of our Evangelism team. She runs regular training and events and is passionate about empowering business users to realise the potential offered by Microsoft Solutions. Her focus is on showcasing how you can leverage the Power Platform to transform your business.