Power BI and Azure Blob Storage
Connecting Azure Blob Storage with Power BI
Azure Blob Storage. Why?
A while ago in one of the projects in which I was involved, one of the customer’s requirements was to have a safe, simple and flexible way to connect to a series of heterogeneous origins and be updated as they tried various files coming from different systems (CRM, ERP, Social Networks). The formats were diverse: from Excel, CSV, Plain Text files.
It was presented as a good option Azure Blob Storage
Generated in a Storage Azure Portal account:
In the same portal we will have options such as storage containers such as Blob, Files, Tables, Queues. It is important to note that we will need in #Power BI, the name of the Storage Account , and the Access Key that we see in the same previous screen.
Storage management: I strongly recommend to download Azure Storage Explorer , program that enables viewers to handle our repository as a Windows Explorer screen (in a really simple way):
Well, now, to our subject: #Power BI . Once we open Power BI Desktop, as with other data sources will use Get Data option, select the menu Azure – and then Azure Blob Storage .
We will request the Account Name from Azure, and the corresponding Access Key for security reasons:
In this sense we will list all files contained in our Blob Storage and we can choose which we will take in the import process in #Power BI :
As we can see, in every line we will see all the files in our repository, and at the first column we will click on the option Binary to open the file, and view the columns of it, format it , perform a data cleansing and transform information before completing the import process.
Different tools that we can use to transform information: Split Columns (to separate different fields in columns with certain delimiters), Using First Rows as Headers, Delete Blank Rows, Remove Duplicates among others.
I found in Azure Blob Storage a simple and fast way to have a file repository against which we can connect to generate our dataset and from there create our reports using #Power BI