Have you ever imagined how rapid and accurate Real-Time Monitoring could be? In today's Data Analytics landscape, the demand for streaming datasets is becoming increasingly important. The ability to access and analyse information in the moment is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for businesses that want to remain agile in a dynamic marketplace. According to a recent study by KX, US businesses could see a total revenue uplift of $2.6 trillion through investment in real-time reports. Industries from retail to telecommunications use data analytics, like Power BI for Dynamic Dashboards, to streamline processes and accelerate expansion in their various business lines.
In this article, we will delve into a powerful solution - Power BI's advanced features for Real-Time Data Streaming.
Real-Time Data Streaming
Real-time Data Streaming is a dynamic process that involves the continuous observation and analysis of data as it occurs, providing immediate insights into various aspects of a business operation. This real-time monitoring integration allows companies to be able to do real-time decision-making. For instance:
Consider Inventory Management. The system tracks product sales, stock levels, and customer buying patterns continuously. As products are sold, the system updates inventory levels in real-time.
Real-time monitoring helps identify fraudulent activities. If there's a sudden spike in high-value transactions or multiple transactions from the same location within a short time, the system can trigger alerts for further investigation.
Operational efficiency requires real-time data. Companies in distribution need to know real-time updates regarding shipments and inventory, so that corrective action can be taken.
Introduced in 2016, streaming data sets are possible in Power BI. Streaming Datasets can come from Azure Stream Analytics, PubNub data streams, or REST APIs, and they offer true real-time data. In Power BI, this means having the ability to access real-time data streams and visualize them seamlessly within a single platform.
How does it work?
To utilize this feature, first create a streaming dataset in the Power BI service. Then specify the dataset name and the values received from the data stream. Currently, the supported data types are Text, Number, and DateTime. Once the dataset is configured, the Power BI service will create a Push URL. The Push URL is where your data will be sent in the Power BI service. This Streaming Dataset works on level dashboard.
We try to get the dataset in real-time using streaming option: API and PubNub. The streaming dataset configuration can only be set in the Power BI Service. After selecting new “Streaming Semantic Model” in Power BI Service, 3 options for streaming dataset sources will appear as below.
A. Using API
Because for this example we use API as streaming option, choose API and continue. Then create a new dataset with any names. We also configure the column and the data type.
2. After configuring the dataset, this will create the dataset with a Push URL. In this article we try to get real-time CPU data using API URL in Power Shell. Copy the URL and use it to get the real-time data of CPU.
B. Using PubNub
First, configure all the settings. Name your dataset in Dataset Name, enter the Subscriber Key and Channel Name. PAM Auth Key can be left blank. For example, below we are trying to use PubNub Sample Dataset which analyzes about sensor networks.
2. After configuring your dataset, the publisher code is running, Power BI will be able to connect to the channel and receive some data.
3. Streaming dataset is all set and we ready to create real-time monitoring dashboard.
After the streaming datasets are created, we can create reports from that dataset. Only streaming datasets coming from the API have a create report menu. Simply click the three dots on the desired streaming dataset and select create report. Then, start creating visual on your report, including line chart, card, etc.
As explained earlier streaming datasets only work at the dashboard level. Real-time monitoring of data can be seen through the dashboard. The next step is to pin the desired chart to appear on your dashboard. “Pin Visual” can be done by hovering over the desired visual and later in the header icon of the visual just select the “Pin visual” menu.
Create Dashboard Tile
Once the streaming dataset is generated, it can be used to create visual element in the dashboard. Create a new dashboard and select “Add Tile” located at the top right corner of the Power BI Interface. After that, click on “Custom Streaming Data” and proceed by Clicking “Next”.
Select the dataset you just created and then click “Next”.
After that, you simply create your visualization element that you want. Customize your visualization and set up the field. The types of visuals that can be created in the dashboard are Card, Line Chart, Clustered Bar Chart, Clustered Column Chart, and Gauge.
For example, you can add visual with the type of card to monitor main KPI of your data. Other than that, line chart can be used to monitor value of some fields over the time. Below is the example dashboard from the dataset sensor-network that have been generated from PubNub.
As the digital era progresses, embracing Real-time Monitoring and Analysis, Dynamic Dashboards, and Streaming Datasets is not just advisable; it's a strategic imperative for thriving in the dynamic landscape of data-driven decision-making. The need for rapid real-time data analysis is becoming a critical synergy for business development. Leveraging these tools, businesses worldwide can unlock substantial value, enhancing processes, reducing costs, and making tangible contributions to revenue growth.
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