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Power BI Dashboards for Dynamics 365 Finance & Opertions via the Common Data Service - Part 4

Introduction

Part 1 of this series introduced at a high-level how the BYOD pattern could be implemented in the new world of Dynamics 365, providing a cloud first spin on a common on-premises pattern for reporting on Dynamics data. Part 2 of this series details the first three steps of connecting Dynamics 365 to Power BI via the CDS, namely:

  • Creating the CDS Environment
  • Creating the Connection
  • Customizing the Entity (OPTIONAL)

Part 3 covered the following additional topics:

  • Creating the Connection Set
  • Creating and Running a Project

In Part 4 we now switch to Power BI in order to do the following:

  • Creating the Dataflow
  • Creating the Report

Creating the Dataflow

We have now setup everything in the Common Data Service. The next step is to move over to Power BI to create a dataflow and a report.

1. Navigate your browser to the Power BI Service and login – https://powerbi.com

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2. Expand the left-hand navigation, expand Workspaces and then choose Create a workspace

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3. Create a workspace by providing a Workspace name

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4. Click the Save button and you will be transported to your new workspace

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5. Choose the button Dataflows | Get Started

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6. We want to Define new entities so choose the Add new entities button

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7. Scroll down until you find the Common Data Service and click

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8. Enter the details about your environment and then click Sign in

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9. Once signed in, click the Next button

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10. Expand Entities 

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11. Choose your entity and then click the Transform data button

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12. Perform your data transformation operations and then click the Save & close button

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13. Provide a Name for your dataflow and click the Save button

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14. In the left-hand navigation, hover over the dataflow name, click the ellipses () and then choose Refresh Now

 

Creating the Report

1. Open Power BI Desktop

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2. In the ribbon, choose Get Data and then Power BI Dataflows

 

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3. Expand the correct dataflow and select the entity (don’t worry of table is empty, this sometimes happens)

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4. Click the Load button

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5. Back in Power BI Desktop you can now create your report

 

Conclusion

This series has been about connecting Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations to Power BI using the Common Data Service. Amazingly, the entire process can be accomplished in a web browser and is relatively straight-forward and simple to understand. In fact, the entire process is relatively simple for even a business user. This means that an IT professional is not required to stand up various environments and systems or muddle with security settings, or write complex SQL to map fields. Instead, a business analyst could easily accomplish the steps demonstrated here in a matter of an hour or less. That's simply amazing.