As an app owner, it is essential to easily visualize, track, and analyze specific performance metrics and how the app is being used. Data visualization and transformation can be used to analyze trends and spot insights more efficiently. Tools such as PowerBI offer the solution to develop interactive dashboards using data sources, however, there are limitations including not providing any data cleansing solution, DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) is only useful for basic functions, limited creation of new data, and is difficult to handle table relationships. While Acho is a data platform for connecting, transforming, and analyzing your app’s data where you can easily load and export large amounts of data in a matter of seconds. In addition, Acho provides a full suite of data cleansing and transformation tools available in the no-code format, eliminating the need to write complex expressions or code.

What is PowerBI?

PowerBI is Business Intelligence software that provides interactive visualizations for business reporting needs. It’s one of the more popular BI solutions competing with Tableau, Looker, Chartio, and other vendors.

Power BI is able to use data sources through CSV, TSV, and other flat files, SQL databases, and online sources through Rest APIs. An API (access programming interface) is a communication protocol for how apps talk to each other, it doesn't however transform data in transit. A REST API is an API that conforms to the design principles of the REST(Representational State Transfer) style, where it provides a high level of flexibility and freedom for developers. If users want to import data from an application that Power BI doesn't support, they have to rely on the app's API. REST APIs can be generated from existing data through third-party data platforms. Acho can create REST API endpoint links to integrate within Power BI quickly and efficiently.

Choose a database for Power BI

Data analysts, developers, and business owners use tools such as Google Analytics to track and analyze website/app traffic and user behavior. Most applications will allow the users to export data as flat files and load it into Power BI manually. While most BI tools can process data from flat files or SQL databases, they may not be able to connect to apps or APIs directly. Due to this limitation, users will often use tools such as Acho to shrink, clean the data, and generate REST APIs to be loaded in PowerBI.

Ways to export out of tools such as Google Analytics:

  1. Directly connect to tools like Google Analytics:
    • Power BI offers the option to directly integrate third-party tools such as Google Analytics, but the data are often raw and uncleaned which can be difficult to visualize and process.
    • Power BI only supports a limited number of apps. For example, Power BI cannot connect to Stripe. However, Acho’s ever-expanding app integration lineup will be able to address this issue.
  2. Export as CSV files
    • CSV files contain static data information, meaning that it will require constant manual modifications to the database to keep it up to date.
    • If there are large amounts of data, Power BI can significantly slow down in performance. Before loading any data to Power BI, it is important to clean and shrink the data size.
  3. Export using Cloud DB management platforms
    • Integrating REST APIs into Power BI can allow data to be in real-time without manual updatings.
    • Without data cleansing, large datasets can still cause Power BI to slow down in performance.
  4. Export through ETL tools
    • ETL tools offer users the ability to cleanse data before integrating it into Power BI which can make the data more manageable for analysis and visualization.

Acho as a cloud database management platform where data can be organized, manipulated, and transformed with no code required offers users a more customizable experience for data management and integration.

comparison between direct integration, csv, etl, and Acho

Acho provides users with different options for exporting data, one of which is the easy generation of REST API endpoint links that could be loaded into PowerBI through Web Data Connector, this will connect PowerBI to a web page as a source for data. Acho provides the easiest onboarding experience for connecting your databases with data visualization tools like PowerBI.

How to export data from Acho to PowerBI?

1. Click the export button on the top right of the table
Acho - export
2. Select Power BI and click Generate API
Acho - BI
3. When the API is generated successfully, a green message will pop up from the top of the page. The connector API endpoint will be copied to your clipboard automatically
Acho - system notification
4. After launching PowerBI Desktop, it will take users to the Add data to your report landing page to import data from sources. Select Get data from another source
BI - add data
5. When prompted to choose the data source, select Other from the left-most column. Within the Other selection, select Web as the source. Then, click Connect to be prompted to the next page to enter the API endpoint link that was copied from Acho
Power BI - Web
6. Paste the API endpoint link that was generated by exporting the data from Acho

After, click OK to proceed to connect the API endpoint address to PowerBI as the data source.

Power BI - URL
7. The users will be brought to the data overlook page where they can visualize the dataset before loading it onto PowerBI. When the user is ready to load the dataset to PowerBI, click Load. It will take time to load the data into PowerBI if it is large
Power BI - Load
8. When the data is ready, it will appear in the Fields on the right
Power BI - Field
9. If your data on Acho has changed or updated, you can click the dropdown next to the table name and choose Refresh data to retrieve data again
Power BI - refresh

With the data loaded onto PowerBI from Acho’s API endpoint link generated, you can easily build dashboards to analyze data trends and insights.

Power BI - dashboard

Above is a demo dashboard using website traffic sample data pulled from Google Analytics. Before loading the data into PowerBI, Acho provides users the ability to transform, modify, and cleanse the data so that the PowerBI can process the data in a much faster and organized way. With all the data imported, there are endless possibilities to present and design customizable visualizations. Now with the power of REST APIs and Acho, the data source imported can be updated in real-time without manual monitoring.