Build Visualizations of Live Excel Data in Power BI (through CData Connect)

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CData Connect

Fully-integrated Microsoft Excel Add-Ins that connect Excel with live data.



Use CData Connect to create a virtual database for Excel data and build custom reports in Power BI.

Power BI transforms your company's data into rich visuals for you to collect and organize so you can focus on what matters to you. When paired with CData Connect (on-premise or in the cloud), you get access to Excel data for visualizations, dashboards, and more. This article shows how to use CData Connect to create a virtual database for Excel, connect to Excel data into Power BI and then create reports on Excel data in Power BI.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Excel Data

CData Connect uses a straightforward, point-and-click interface to connect to data sources and generate APIs.

  1. Login to Connect and click Databases.
  2. Select "Excel" from Available Data Sources.
  3. Enter the necessary authentication properties to connect to Excel.

    The ExcelFile, under the Authentication section, must be set to a valid Excel File.

  4. Click Test Database.
  5. Click Privileges -> Add and add the new user (or an existing user) with the appropriate permissions.

With the virtual database created, you are ready to connect to and visualize Excel from Power BI.

Query Excel Tables

Follow the steps below to build a query to pull Excel data into the report:

  1. Open Power BI Desktop and click Get Data -> Other -> MySQL and click "Connect"
  2. Set Server to the address and port of your CData Connect instance (localhost:8006 by default) and set Database to the name of the virtual database you just created (Excel1)
  3. Use "Database" authentication, enter the credentials for a CData Connect user and click "Connect"
  4. Select tables in the Navigator dialog
  5. Click Load to import the data into Power BI

Create Excel Data Visualizations

After connecting to the data into Power BI, you can create data visualizations in the Report view by dragging fields from the Fields pane onto the canvas. Select the dimensions and measures you wish to visualize along with the chart type.

Click Refresh to synchronize your report with any changes to the data.

SQL Access to Excel Data from Data Applications

With CData Connect you have a direct connection to Excel data from Power BI. You can import more data, create new visualizations, build reports, and more — all without replicating Excel data.

To get SQL data access to 200+ SaaS, Big Data, and NoSQL sources (including Excel) directly from your on-premise BI, reporting, ETL and other data applications, visit the CData Connect page and download a free trial.