Using Power BI to Analyze Your Dynamics AX Data
 

Using Power BI to Analyze Your Dynamics AX Data

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Everyone has used Pivot Tables within Excel at one point in time to create simple reports against Dynamics AX, and some of you may have also used Power Pivot to create more elaborate dashboards and ...

Everyone has used Pivot Tables within Excel at one point in time to create simple reports against Dynamics AX, and some of you may have also used Power Pivot to create more elaborate dashboards and charts. Recently Microsoft extended out the query and reporting capabilities within Excel with the Power BI suite. In addition to extending the Power Pivot capabilities, they also added three more tools called Power Query, Power View & Power Map, and that means that you have a whole new set of reporting options. In this presentation we will show you how you can use all of the Power BI tools to analyze your Dynamics AX data.

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Using Power BI to Analyze Your Dynamics AX Data Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Murray Fife Microsoft MVP, Dynamics AX © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 2. PREFACE WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS BLUEPRINT All the examples shown in this blueprint were done with the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 virtual machine image that was downloaded from the Microsoft CustomerSource or PartnerSource site. If you don't have your own installation of Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012, you can also use the images found on the Microsoft Learning Download Center. The following list of software from the virtual image was leveraged within this blueprint: • Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 (both R1 and R2) • Microsoft SharePoint • Microsoft Excel Even though all the preceding software was used during the development and testing of the recipes in this book, they may also work on earlier versions of the software with minor tweaks and adjustments, and should also work on later versions without any changes. ERRATA Although we have taken every care to ensure the accuracy of our content, mistakes do happen. If you find a mistake in one of our books—maybe a mistake in the text or the code—we would be grateful if you would report this to us. By doing so, you can save other readers from frustration and help us improve subsequent versions of this book. If you find any errata, please report them by emailing murray@murrayfife.me. PIRACY Piracy of copyright material on the Internet is an ongoing problem across all media. If you come across any illegal copies of our works, in any form, on the Internet, please provide us with the location address or website name immediately so that we can pursue a remedy. Please contact us at murray@murrayfife.me with a link to the suspected pirated material. We appreciate your help in protecting our authors, and our ability to bring you valuable content. QUESTIONS You can contact us at murray@murrayfife.me if you are having a problem with any aspect of the book, and we will do our best to address it. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 3. Introduction Everyone has used Pivot Tables within Excel at one point in time to create simple reports against Dynamics AX, and some of you may have also used Power Pivot to create more elaborate dashboards and charts. Recently Microsoft extended out the query and reporting capabilities within Excel with the Power BI suite. In addition to extending the Power Pivot capabilities, they also added three more tools called Power Query, Power View & Power Map, and that means that you have a whole new set of reporting options. In this presentation we will show you how you can use all of the Power BI tools to analyze your Dynamics AX data. The following topics that are included in this blueprint: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data Using PowerMap to Build Even Better Map Visualizations Using different Visualizations within PowerMap Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Flattening Maps Adding Labels to the Maps Using PowerQuery to Integrate External Data† †This content is available in the Kindle and Book version © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 4. MAPPING YOUR DATA WITHIN EXCEL THROUGH POWERVIEW One of the easiest ways to map your Dynamics AX data is through PowerView directly from within Excel. PowerView will automatically recognize geographic columns as mappable data elements, and will translate them to the map view. In this example we will show how you can use PowerView to show your Dynamics AX data within a Map view. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 5. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView First we need to get some data from Dynamics AX that we can map. You can export the information directly form Dynamics AX, or query the data from Excel using the Dynamics AX Add-In. To do the latter, open up Excel, and from the Dynamics AX ribbon bar, click on the Add Data button and select the Add Tables option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 6. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Search for the LogisticsPostalAddress table, and select the table. When you have done that, click on the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView When you are returned to Excel, add the Street, City, State and Zip/postal code fields to the worksheet by dragging them over from the field chooser on the left into the worksheet table. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 8. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Click on the Fields button in the Dynamics AX ribbon bar to return to query mode. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 9. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Then click on the Refresh button in the Dynamics AX ribbon bar to query all of the data from Dynamics AX. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 10. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Now that you have Dynamics AX data to visualize, click on the Power View button within the Reports group of the Insert ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 11. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView This will convert all of the queried data into a data source and open up a new worksheet with the PowerView designer. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 12. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView Remove all of the default fields except for the City and the Location ID from the worksheet, and then click on the Map button in the Switch Visualizations group of the Design ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 13. Mapping your data within Excel through PowerView This will convert the view to a map view and all of your address records will be mapped based on the City. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 14. USING POWERQUERY TO CLEAN UP YOUR DATA Another of the PowerBI tools is PowerQuery. This is an incredibly useful tool, because it allows you to query and massage data directly within Excel. This is especially useful if you only want to report off some of the data, or if you want to pre-filter the data. In this example we will show how you can use PowerQuery to massage the data for reporting. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 15. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data To convert the table into a query Select the base data that we just queried from Dynamics AX, and then click on the From Table button within the Excel Data group of the Power Query ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 16. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data This will open up a query editor window with your data from the original spreadsheet. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 17. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data If you right-mouse-click on any of the columns that you don’t necessarily want, you can select the Remove option to remove them from the query. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 18. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data If you select the drop down to the right of any of the columns, then a filter window will appear allowing you to select the values that you want to include within your query. If you click on the Text Filter item, then you can add additional filter criteria. Select the Equals option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 19. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data This will open up a filter detail panel and you can select from the list of valid values. In this example we will select the USA country code and click on the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 20. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data Now our results will be filtered to just the USA addresses. If there are blanks in the records as there are in our example within the State column, you can select the filter option, and then just exclude any records with blanks. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 21. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data Once we have massaged the data, we can click on the Done button in the bottom right corner. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 22. Using PowerQuery to Clean up Your Data This will move the query results down to the Excel as a new worksheet. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 23. USING POWERMAP TO BUILD EVEN BETTER MAP VISUALIZATIONS Although the PowerView map functions are nice, PowerMap is a much better way to visualize information geographically. In this example we will show how to use PowerMap to visualize the geographic data. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 24. Using PowerMap To Build Even Better Map Visualizations Select the filtered query that you built in the last section, and then click on the Map option within the PowerMap group of the Insert ribbon bar. Then select the Launch PowerMap option to open up PowerMap. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 25. Using PowerMap To Build Even Better Map Visualizations When the PowerMap Editor is displayed, it should have already scanned your columns and then associated them with the different geography levels – i.e. City, State, Zip Code etc. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 26. Using PowerMap To Build Even Better Map Visualizations You can change the mapping level by changing the selection in the Geography and Map Level panel on the right of the view. When you have done that, click the Next button to start editing your map visualization. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 27. Using PowerMap To Build Even Better Map Visualizations If you drag the Location ID (or any of the measurable elements in the query) into the Height field on the designer on the right, then your data will start reflecting the impact of the variable. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 28. USING DIFFERENT VISUALIZATIONS WITHIN POWERMAP You don’t have to look at the map data just as columns, you can also use PowerMap to show the data as bubble plots, heat maps, and also as regions by changing the map type. In this example we will show the different types of maps that you can use within PowerMap. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 29. Using different Visualizations within PowerMap If you change the Type of the map to Bubble then you will see the different values within the map as bubbles, proportionate to the value of the data point. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 30. Using different Visualizations within PowerMap If you change the Type of the map to HeatMap then you will see the different values within the map as hot and cold color ranges to the value of the data point. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 31. Using different Visualizations within PowerMap If you change the Type of the map to Region then you will see the entire region – i.e. state, zip code shaded in a color value that reflects the value of the data point. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 32. USING POWERQUERY TO MERGE DATASETS Up until now we have just been looking at the data from one data table within Dynamics AX. If you want to merge multiple tables together, then you don’t have to resort to using SQL statements, or building complicated queries, you can use PowerQuery to merge the data for you. In this example we will show how you can use PowerQuery to combine multiple sets of data into one dataset for reporting. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 33. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets For this example we will need to add in some more tables into the workbook so that we can link the postal addresses with the customer accounts. So start off by clicking on the Add Data button in the Dynamics AX ribbon bar, and selecting the Add Tables option. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 34. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets When the table selection dialog is displayed, add the CustTable and the DirPartyLocation tables to the selected tables, and click the OK button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 35. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets When you return to Excel, click on the Fields button in the Dynamics AX ribbon bar to exit design mode. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 36. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Then click on the Refresh button in the Dynamics AX Ribbon bar to refresh the data in the table queries. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 37. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Select the CustTable table and then click on the From Table button within the Excel Data group of the Power Query ribbon bar to turn it into a query. Then click the Done button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 38. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Also select the DirPartyLocation table and then click on the From Table button within the Excel Data group of the Power Query ribbon bar to turn it into a query. Then click the Done button. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 39. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets To merge the DirPartyLocation and CustTable queries, select the DirPartyLocation query table within the workbook, and then click on the Merge button within the Combine group of the Query ribbon bar. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 40. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets When the Merge dialog box is displayed, select the CustTable query as the child table and then select the two columns that you want to match the tables on – in this case the PartyID. When you have done that, click on the OK button to return back to the query builder. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 41. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Your new merged query will show up as a new worksheet, but the columns from the CustTable are not showing up. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 42. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Click on the NewColumn that was created, check the fields that you want to show in the new query, and then click OK. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 43. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Now you will see all of the columns from the CustTable showing up in the query. When you are done, click on the Done button to return to the Excel workbook. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 44. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets We now want to take this link one step further, and merge the new query with the postal address so that we can see the customers with their appropriate address information. So select the query that you just created, and then click the Merge button again. This time, for the child form, select the LogisticsPostalAddress query and then link the two queries by the LocationID column. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 45. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets When the new query is displayed, expand the NewColumn and select all of the address columns from the LogisticsPostalAddress table. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 46. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Just to make everything tidy, double-click on the header of the query, and you will be able to rename the query to be something more descriptive, and then click on the Done button to return to the Excel workbook. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 47. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets Now you will see a merged query of the three tables. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 48. Using PowerQuery to Merge Datasets If we select the query, and click on the Map option within the PowerMap group of the Insert ribbon bar. Then select the Launch PowerMap option to open up PowerMap and we will see all of the new fields that are available for reporting. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 49. FLATTENING MAPS Even though the world is round, it does not mean that you have to look at it that way all of the time. PowerMap has a cool feature that allows you to switch from the globe view to a flat earth view. In this example we will show how you can flatten your maps. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 50. Flattening Maps To flatten your map, just click on the Flat Map button within the Map group of the Home ribbon bar. You can use the arrow buttons in the bottom right of the map to change the perspective of the map as well. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 51. ADDING LABELS TO THE MAPS As you zoom in on the maps, you may want to see information about the areas that you are looking at. You can easily do this by turning on the map labels. In this example we will show how you can turn on the labels on the maps. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 52. Adding Labels to the Maps To turn on the map labels, just click on the Map Labels button within the Map group of the Home ribbon bar. As you zoom in on the map, different labels will be displayed depending on the level of detail that is available. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 53. SUMMARY PowerBI marries a number of useful analytics tools together to help you analyze your data, and to be able to analyze your data geographically is one of the cooler features. After you have mastered the basics of the PowerBI suite though you can start using some of the other features such as: • Creating multiple layers within PowerMap to merge data • Using PowerQuery to access information from web sites and XML feeds • Create labels and information panels in your PowerMaps • Create tours that animate your maps through storyboards There is so much that you can do with PowerBI, try it out. © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 54. Searching for more detail? THEN CHECK OUT THE KINDLE EDITION FOR EXTRA CONTENT I created the Kindle Edition of this blueprint to provide an easier way for you all to reference all of the examples that are here , and also to make the images easier to view. As a bonus. I have included some extra content in the Kindle edition that you cannot get through the blog post or the presentation. • Using PowerQuery to Integrate External Data AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GA5N98E © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 55. Want to learn more? THEN PICK UP A COPY OF MY BOOK AND SUPPORT A STARVING AUTHOR Dynamics AX is built on a number of foundation products from Microsoft that are used to make it bigger, better, and stronger than the average business system. Taking advantage of these products will make your life easier. Use these tools to maximize the efficiency of your business management, taking advantage of a powerful and centralized tool set. "Extending Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 Cookbook" will show you how to use tools that you already have to extend out Dynamics AX and discover potential new directions. You will be surprised at what you can do on a shoestring budget. The book will allow you to streamline your work processes, and use the system's powerful and centralized features to the advantage of your organization. This is a book for those of you that want to make the most out of Dynamics AX by using what you already have, and without breaking the bank. FACEBOOK: AMAZON: PACKT: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax http://www.amazon.com/Extending-Microsoft-Dynamics-2012-Cookbookbook/dp/B00ESX15RW/ http://www.packtpub.com/extending-microsoft-dynamics-ax-2012cookbook/book © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 56. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES Sometimes the image quality has not been the best because SlideShare compresses the images when they are uploaded, and also it moving from slide to slide can sometimes be a little slow, and with the larger slide decks this can be frustrating – especially if you are looking for some particular content. Here are some additional locations that you can find the blueprint contents: ON AMAZON We have created reference Blueprints that are available on Amazon that combine all of the information in the SlideShare post into an easy to reference and lightweight format. These should be better references when working through some of the more intricate or lengthy posts, and also should give you better access to the content and code snippets. These take a little bit of time to develop and publish, but I should be creating these as part of the documentation process, but they give me the ability to update them continually, and also add additional notes and sections that you will be able to access automatically through the Kindle publishing process, so not all of the blueprints are available in this format, but we’re working on it. View the Blueprint on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Murray-Fife/e/B00G9CNJPQ THROUGH BLOGS Also we have posted a most of the individual posts on the Extending Dynamics AX blog. If you are looking for a quick link to grab a code snippet from, or to reference a particular process, then you can find them here: http://www.extendingdynamicsax.com Also, there are a lot of smaller posts that we make showing tips that you might find useful. For those we have created another blog called Dynamics AX Tip Of The Day. As you may have probably guessed there should be a new post every work day. You can find this blog here: http://www.dynamicsaxtipoftheday.com ON FACEBOOK If you want an easy way to track the posts on all of the channels that I am using, then make sure you follow the Facebook page that we have created: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax © 2013. All rights reserved.
  • 57. Murray Fife Microsoft MVP, Dynamics AX Murray Fife is a aMicrosoft Dynamics AX MVP, a Presenter, an Author, and Solution Architect at I.B.I.S. Inc with over 18 years of experience in the software industry. Like most people he has paid my dues as a developer, as an implementation consultant, and a trainer. Ihehas a hard to find blend of technical and interpersonal skills and spend his days working with companies solving their problems with the Microsoft suite of products, specializing in the Dynamics® AX solutions. Unable to completely kick the habit of being a developer, countless prototypes have started their life on his desktop, only to be turned into standard products and offerings. The projects that are too visionary (a.k.a. too out there) usually live on through my personal blog sites waiting for others discover them. EMAIL: PHONE: murray@murrayfife.me +1 (770) 324-3862 TWITTER: @murrayfife LINKEDIN: http://www.linkedin.com/in/murrayfife BLOG: http://www.extendingdynamicsax.com http://www.dynamicsaxtipoftheday.com http://www.atinkerersnotebook.com SLIDESHARE: http://slideshare.net/murrayfife/presentations FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/extendingdynamicsax
  • 58. © 2013 MURRAY FIFE ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The information herein is for informational purposes only and represents the current view of Murray Fife as of the date of this presentation. Because Murray Fife must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Murray Fife, and Murray Fife cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information provided after the date of this presentation. MURRAY FIFE MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS PRESENTATION. © 2013. All rights reserved.