Dashpivot article – Power BI forms integration

Power BI forms integration

Power BI forms integration

Integrating your forms with Power BI can enhance data collection and analysis processes.

There are different ways to integrate your forms with Power BI depending on what tools you're using and your processes.

Why would you want to import forms into Power BI?

One of the primary reasons for integrating your forms with Power BI is the advanced data visualisation capabilities of Power BI. It allows users to transform the raw data collected from surveys or polls into compelling, interactive visualisations. These visualisations are not just limited to basic charts and graphs but extend to intricate dashboards that provide deeper insights. For instance, responses from a customer satisfaction survey can be visualised in Power BI to identify trends, patterns, and areas that need improvement, which might not be immediately apparent in the raw data.

Another significant advantage is the real-time data processing feature of Power BI. As responses are collected in your forms, they can be reflected instantaneously in Power BI dashboards. This real-time update is crucial for scenarios where immediate feedback or quick decision-making is required, such as tracking live responses during an event or monitoring time-sensitive feedback.

Moreover, Power BI excels in its ability to consolidate data from multiple sources. When you import data from your forms into Power BI, you can merge it with other relevant data sets, like sales figures or operational metrics. This integration allows for a more holistic analysis, enabling organisations to draw more comprehensive conclusions. For example, correlating customer feedback data with sales data can reveal insights into how customer satisfaction impacts sales trends.

Customisation and flexibility in reporting are other key benefits. Power BI provides extensive customisation options, enabling users to tailor reports and dashboards to specific needs and preferences. Unlike the standard reporting format in different form tools, Power BI allows users to highlight key information, create a narrative around their data, and present it in a more engaging and informative way.

What are the different ways to get your data into Power Bi from Forms?

Importing data from your forms into Power BI can be done in several ways, each method suited to different needs and technical capabilities. Here are the most common approaches:

  1. Export to Excel and Import to Power BI:
    • The simplest method involves exporting the response data from your forms to an Excel spreadsheet.
    • Once exported, this Excel file can be imported into Power BI using the 'Get Data' feature. This method is straightforward but requires manual intervention each time you need updated data.
  2. Automating with Power Automate (Flow):
    • For a more automated approach, Power Automate (formerly known as Microsoft Flow) can be used.
    • Create a flow that triggers every time a new response is submitted in Forms. This flow can append the response to an Excel file stored in OneDrive or directly into a dataset in Power BI.
    • Power BI can then connect to this Excel file or dataset for updated data. This method is great for near real-time data updates.
  3. API Integration:
    • If you're using Microsoft Forms, data can be accessed via Microsoft Graph API.
    • Custom scripts or applications can be written to pull data from Microsoft Forms using the API and then push it to Power BI.
    • This method requires programming knowledge and is more complex but offers a high degree of flexibility and automation.

Each of these methods has its pros and cons, and the best choice depends on the specific requirements of your project, such as the need for real-time updates, the volume of data, and available technical resources. The key is to balance the ease of implementation with the need for automated and timely data updates.

What are the limitations of Microsoft Forms?

If you're using Microsoft Forms, despite its ease of use and accessibility, it does have certain limitations that users should be aware of, especially when dealing with more complex data collection and analysis needs.

One of the main limitations of Microsoft Forms is its restriction on the number and type of questions and responses. Each form can include up to 100 questions, and it can collect up to 50,000 responses. This cap might suffice for many users, but for large-scale surveys or data collection efforts, these limits could be a significant constraint. Additionally, while Microsoft Forms supports a variety of question types, such as multiple choice, text, rating, and date, it lacks more complex question types and advanced survey functionalities like matrix questions or detailed conditional logic. This can be a drawback for users who require sophisticated survey designs.

In terms of security and compliance, while Microsoft Forms is generally secure and meets standard compliance requirements, it may not fulfil the specific needs of certain organisations, particularly those in highly regulated industries. The tool also lacks advanced collaboration features found in some other platforms, such as real-time editing and complex role-based permissions.

If you're working in the construction industry, Dashpivot has much more functionality to meet these limitations, with different field types such as tables, photos, signatures, locations and more with much bigger limits. It meets security and compliance needs, with role-base permissions, audit logs and more. It also has a direct integration into Power BI with Flowsite.

See how you could run a site diary form in Dashpivot below, with a lot more detail than Microsoft Forms.

Site diary example

Use this digital site diary template rather than Forms and import it directly into Power BI

Use digital forms in Dashpivot rather than Microsoft Forms

Microsoft Forms have their uses, but lack the customisation and different fields that Dashpivot provides with the drag and drop form builder.

Dashpivot has pre-built forms for a wide range of construction projects, such as site diaries, timesheets, safety and quality inspections, and more, all in a format that is ready for import into Power BI.

Use tables, pre-filled dropdowns, formulas, photos, signatures and more to get more detail from your forms.

Automatically import your form data into Power BI

Get your forms data sent to Power BI automatically as soon as forms are submitted by using the Flowsite PowerBI integration.

Set your rules depending on what forms you want to get sent to Power BI, then see your data flow into Power BI in almost real time.

Create your data visualisations in Power BI with the full confidence that your data is up to date, so you're making the right decisions based on your dashboards.

Daily diary template

Site diary template

Complete and organise your daily diaries more efficiently.

Construction Change Order template

Construction Change Order template

Manage change order completion and approval automation with this smart template.

Delay Analysis Report template

Delay Analysis Report template

Detail those site delay events with this flexible template.

Sitemate builds best in class tools for built world companies.

About Nick Chernih

Nick is the Senior Marketing Manager at Sitemate. He wants more people in the Built World to see the potential of doing things a different way - just because things are done one way doesn't mean it's the best way for you.

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