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samdthompson Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hello @jllau84. I am not a consultant so....ya know.

 

Anyway, couple of questions.

 

1. What are you expecting the reporting to do for you?

2. Are you trying to generate reports for a really big organisation or a small one?

3. How many transactions are you expecting to come through each week?

4. Do you need near real time processing or is it a case of needing to see transactions up to say yesterday?

5. Does it need to be fully automated or would it be okay to have an extract run?

 

PowerBi is an incredibly powerful platform but still in its infancy so not all things are yet catered for eg a Xero connector on desktop. In saying that a monthly update cycle is pretty good and so many of these issues go away quite swiftly if there are enough users voices backing the idea.

 

There are a couple of ideas I can think of and seen implemented that i can share if you can give me an idea of what you are after.

 

Cheers,


Sam

 

jllau84
Regular Visitor

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hi Sam,

 

1. What are you expecting the reporting to do for you?

- Able to generate Financial Report, Budget Report, Forecasting Report etc.... Maybe link to HR data for HR Report etc.

2. Are you trying to generate reports for a really big organisation or a small one?

- We are concrete supplier, we might need to generate the sales report and other internal report.

3. How many transactions are you expecting to come through each week?

- for sales, normally 400 to 500 line but may be higher than that.

4. Do you need near real time processing or is it a case of needing to see transactions up to say yesterday?

- yes, for management planning, material planning and sales forecast.

5. Does it need to be fully automated or would it be okay to have an extract run?

- depend on the complexity of the extract task, if got automated will use automated method.

 

karaoan Kudo Collector
Kudo Collector

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Elizabeth,

 

I am not "agitated" but interested (and admittedly sceptical) in regards to the details of your approach for which so far, you haven't provided any details. Your "web site" is an under construction page. Your answer that your focus is on your "success in creating visuals" shows me that your and our respective focus and services are different. 

 

I am still very interested to see details of your approach and potentially be proven wrong.  Details of our solution are openly available. Show us yours!

 

Martin

 

 

samdthompson Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

@jllau84 I am not a particularly high user of zero - i try to keep out of the way of accountants - so you will need to excuse my ignorance with some of my responses.

 

1. The volume of transactions is not a problem. Thats easily within the limits of API calls so not a problem.

2. Linking to other systems will require multiple tables - at least one for each system and then for good practice a date table at the very least. That cannot be done in PBI service. It does not allow the relationship creation.

3. If by realtime info you are talking about an order comes in, is entered into the system and the say mix quatities are updated and reported on immediately then PBI wont be a solution for you at the moment.

 

with a whole bunch more investment into say pubnub connectors or an overly complicated system where you have data extracted on PBI servcie then connected as a data source in excel then published back up to PBI service while being mashed up with other sources, it could be achieved. But that sounds a bit too hard does it not?

 

I suspect from the volume of transactions you are looking for a solution which is out of the box and will (we all know that never actually happens) just work without a whole bunch of dedicated IT time.

 

I would love to say use powerbi because i genuinely like using it and reccomending it, but in this case i dont see that its a good solution for you at the moment. If you were able to wait 24 months it would be virtually guaranteed to be an out of the box fit.

 

Cheers,

 

Sam

ElizabethTachji Helper II
Helper II

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hi Lau,

 

I connected to  Xero using a Cdata ODBC driver.  In the Power BI desktop there is an option to get data via ODBC.

 

Cheers

Elizabeth@analyticsrealtime.com.au

Elizabeth Tachjian
ElizabethTachji Helper II
Helper II

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hi Sam and other, My replies in red

 

1. What are you expecting the reporting to do for you?

- Able to generate Financial Report, Budget Report, Forecasting Report etc.... Maybe link to HR data for HR Report etc.

-Can be done, use the actual table tables from Xero(for example invoice and credit notes tables), create a budget table and forecast table in excel.  Get data the excel files and Xero data,. Establish a relationship with power BI desktop using chart of account numbers or items codes.  Once the relationship is established you can develop the variance reports.

2. Are you trying to generate reports for a really big organisation or a small one?

- We are concrete supplier, we might need to generate the sales report and other internal report.

create a sales report using the sales invoices table in Xero.  Simply!

3. How many transactions are you expecting to come through each week?

- for sales, normally 400 to 500 line but may be higher than that.

Not an issue.

4. Do you need near real time processing or is it a case of needing to see transactions up to say yesterday?

- yes, for management planning, material planning and sales forecast.

Once you have developed the Power BI desktop report, publish the report to Power BI Service.  In service set refresh as often as you like.  I normally refresh data 4 times a day.   Xero has a limitation of 5000 API's per day.  

 

5. Does it need to be fully automated or would it be okay to have an extract run?

- depend on the complexity of the extract task, if got automated will use automated method.

 Power Bi is all about automated.  Once the report is created, it is automated.  For example I spent a couple hours creating a sales dashboard for a reasonble size conference.  The customer asked for realtime analytics such as number of registration per event, $ values earning per event, total earning for the conference, are the people registered attending all events, how many gala dinners need to organise for, budget variance graph per each event for units and $. Slice up the data any way you like as long as you have the data in Xero.  The 6 report users get a refreshed set of conference analytics 4 times a day.

 

There is no need to extract all data to excel.  You may need to create a few tables in excel because the data is not available in Xero.  Tables I normally create are budgets, forecast, calendar table.  

 

Enjoy

Elizabeth Tachjian
ElizabethTachji Helper II
Helper II

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hi All,

 

Note, there is Power BI desktop and Power BI Service.  Desktop is where you mash the data and can connect to many data sources.  Power BI service has limited capabilities of mashing data and is a great tool to share the dashboards.

 

Desktop is for free, Power BI service Pro user is no more than $20.00 per user per month. 

 

Cheers

elizabeth@analyticsrealtime.com.au

Elizabeth Tachjian
samdthompson Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

This is all great stuff and i agree that with the additional drivers it can all be made nicely in desktop, but the CData drivers for Xero are an additional cost and an additional addon to manage. I guess my point is for @jllau84 purposes, this is not an out of the box solution. Maybe i am too much a fan of keeping things as simple as possible?

ElizabethTachji Helper II
Helper II

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

Hi Sam,

 

The decision the user needs to make is would they prefer:-

 

1. to use clearjelly to transfer data to excel, then link excel to Power BI desktop which is what you are suggesting and your preferred method

2. Get data directly out of Xero to Power BI desktop using an ODBC driver which is what I am suggesting and my preferred method.

 

Cheers

Elizabeth

Elizabeth Tachjian
samdthompson Impactful Individual
Impactful Individual

Re: Connecting to Xero data from Desktop application?

nope, not a proponent of either, more just disappointed that PBI is not a great solution for xero users who want to do a bit more than play around with a single exisiting data source. I guess the best thing to do is get a annual cost for each type of connector from:

@karaoan and @ElizabethTachji

 

given that the number of calls is minimal, either system would work so really the decision becomes one of cost and reliability.

 

Cheers,

Sam

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