Create Interactive Metabase Dashboards that Work with Excel Online Data

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CData Connect



Use CData Connect to create a virtual MySQL database for Excel Online data and create an interactive dashboard in Metabase from Excel Online data.

Metabase is an open source data visualization tool that allows users to create interactive dashboards. When paired with CData Connect Cloud, users can easily create visualizations and dashboards linked to live Excel Online data. This article describes how to create a virtual database for Excel Online and build a simple visualization using Excel Online data.

CData Connect provides a pure SQL interface for Excel Online, allowing you to easily integrate with live Excel Online data in Metabase — without replicating the data. Connect looks exactly like a MySQL database to Metabase and uses optimized data processing out of the box to push all supported SQL operations (filters, JOINs, etc) directly to Excel Online, leveraging server-side processing to quickly return Excel Online data.

Create a Virtual MySQL Database for Excel Online Data

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

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

    You can connect to a workbook by providing authentication to Excel Online and then setting the following properties:

    • Workbook: Set this to the name or Id of the workbook.

      If you want to view a list of information about the available workbooks, execute a query to the Workbooks view after you authenticate.

    • UseSandbox: Set this to true if you are connecting to a workbook in a sandbox account. Otherwise, leave this blank to connect to a production account.

    You use the OAuth authentication standard to authenticate to Excel Online. See the Getting Started section in the help documentation for a guide. Getting Started also guides you through executing SQL to worksheets and ranges.

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

Connect to CData Connect from Metabase

After creating the virtual database, navigate to your Metabase instance. Use the MySQL interface to connect to CData Connect.

  1. Navigate to the administration screen (Settings -> Admin) and click "Add Database" from the "Databases" tab
  2. Configure the connection to CData Connect and click "Save"
    • Database type: Select "MySQL"
    • Name: Name the connection (e.g. "Excel Online (CData Connect)")
    • Host: The URL of your Connect instance (e.g. https://myinstance.cdatacloud.net)
    • Port: The port of the MySQL endpoint for your Connect instance (e.g. 3306)
    • Database name: The name of the virtual database you just created (e.g. Excel Online1)
    • Username: A CData Connect username
    • Password: The password for the above CData Connect user
    • Click to Use a secure connection (SSL)

Query Excel Online Data with Metabase

Once you configure the connection to CData Connect, you can query Excel Online and build visualizations.

  1. Use the "Write SQL" tool to retrieve the Excel Online data
  2. Write a SQL query based on the virtual database, e.g.

    SELECT Id, Column1 FROM Test_xlsx_Sheet1
  3. Navigate to the "Visualization" screen, choose a visualization, and configure the visualization

More Information & Free Trial

At this point, you have built a simple visualization from Excel Online data in Metabase. You can continue to work with live Excel Online data in Metabase just like you would any MySQL database. For more information on creating a virtual MySQL database for Excel Online (and more than 200 other data sources), visit the Connect Cloud page. Sign up for a free trial and start working with live Excel Online data in Metabase today.