SharePoint and Business Intelligence Data

August 4, 2016

Lucky for me one of my dogs is a member of TechTarget. I was able to read “Three Ways to Import Power BI Data into SharePoint.” The headline caught my attention because I had just checked out the wild and crazy assertions Recommind made for importing Encase data into its patented Autonomy IDOL like system. The trick is to pay extra for the connector.

Well, no need to spend more money with SharePoint because it can import data from Microsoft’s own business intelligence systems and even urls. Now before you jump up and down about importing data from urls, keep in mind that urls often present some darned exciting information to users. Importing directly can be a thrilling experience. Make sure you have taken a deep breath and have plenty of space for the exceptions and, of course, the data.

The write up presents two methods which strike me as a bit more straightforward. One can import business intelligence data from Excel. There you do. A SharePoint installation can use Excel data. I am not eager to fiddle with the results of the import because some text, programmatic instructions, and the Fancy Dan formatting can produce interesting results. But, hey, the write up says it works. Set aside some extra time to twiddle the resulting information.

The third approach is more interesting. The use case involves importing “raw data.” Here’s the really clever trick, gentle reader:

The report data can be saved as a comma-separated values file. Now, simply upload the CSV file to a SharePoint list within your team site.

I am not sure my understanding of “raw data” corresponds to information in a report, but what do I know? Not much.

What’s remarkable is that SharePoint, after all these years of hyperbole, does not provide seamless data interchange among Microsoft’s own products. Never fear. When the import does not produce information usable in SharePoint, just call a Gold Certified consultant. That’s a user friendly way to deal with a really unusual task like sharing information with SharePoint.

Ah, Microsoft. Ask Cortana for help in locating an expert who can do the sharing thing.

Stephen E Arnold, August 4, 2016


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