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Crystal Clear: Visualizing and Analyzing Your OneDrive Data

Crystal Clear: Visualizing and Analyzing Your OneDrive Data

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    In this blog, we explore how the powerful combination of Microsoft OneDrive and Bold BI not only simplifies file management, but also empowers you to unlock the full potential of your data through visualizations, fostering an environment for innovation and growth.

    Why Microsoft OneDrive and Bold BI?

    OneDrive supports a wide variety of file types, making it a versatile platform for storing and managing different kinds of digital content. Bold BI includes a OneDrive data connector for connecting, visualizing, and analyzing your data stored in OneDrive. With Bold BI’s powerful features, you can set up a refresh schedule to keep your dashboards up to date with the latest data in your OneDrive, and even join your OneDrive data with data pulled from other sources.

    The following figure shows a sample Excel worksheet stored in OneDrive that can easily be used as a data source to create a Bold BI dashboard.

    Sample OneDrive File
    Sample OneDrive File

    Real-time benefits of integrating Microsoft OneDrive with Bold BI

    These are the real-time benefits of integrating Microsoft OneDrive with Bold BI:

    Instant insights

    Through the integration of Microsoft OneDrive with Bold BI, you gain the ability to access insights in real time from your OneDrive data, enabling swift and informed decision-making as your cloud data is updated.

    Timely collaboration

    Real-time integration allows collaborators to instantly access the most current data from your OneDrive files, promoting effective teamwork regardless of geographical location.

    Current data accuracy

    With real-time synchronization, your analytics and data visualizations in Bold BI consistently render the latest, most accurate data from OneDrive, eliminating the risk of outdated information influencing decisions.

    Enhanced agility

    Swift data synchronization empowers you to respond promptly to evolving market conditions, emerging opportunities, and potential threats, fostering a more agile business approach.

    Immediate course correction

    With real-time insights, you can swiftly identify deviations from targets or expectations, enabling timely adjustments to strategies and preventing potential issues from escalating.

    Let’s cover how to integrate Microsoft OneDrive data into Bold BI.

    Integrating Microsoft OneDrive data into Bold BI

    To integrate Microsoft OneDrive data into Bold BI:

    1. In Bold BI, navigate to the data source creation page by clicking the data source button on the dashboard home page.
    2. Click Create New on the data source pane to start a new data source connection.
    3. Navigate to the Cloud Storage category and select the Microsoft OneDrive connection.

      Data Source List
      Data Source List
    4. Authenticate your account by entering your Microsoft OneDrive Service/Organization URL in the prompt.

      OneDrive Authentication
      OneDrive Authentication
    5. Once authentication is successful, the configuration panel for a new data source opens. Type the data source name, select the file you want to connect, and click Select to proceed.

      Select File
      Select File
    6. Click Connect to connect with the predetermined configurations in the schema.

      Preview and Connect
      Preview and Connect
    7. The data source design view with the selected schema will open. Drag and drop the table to the designer surface.

      Drag and Drop Data Source in Designer
      Drag and Drop Data Source in Designer
    8. Save the data source with a relevant name.

    Once you’ve linked your data source with your Bold BI account, you can display its data by designing a dashboard.

    Creating a dashboard with Microsoft OneDrive data

    Using data integrated from Microsoft OneDrive, let’s create a financial analysis dashboard. We can do so by dragging widgets into the dashboard designer. Using this dashboard, the sales manager gets a comprehensive overview of revenue and expense details, online versus retail sales comparisons, regional revenue, and predicted revenue for the next three months.

    Financial Analysis Dashboard
    Financial Analysis Dashboard

    This dashboard visualizes key sales metrics, such as:

    • Net profit margin: How much profit a company makes from its revenue as a percentage after deducting all expenses.
    • Revenue vs. gross profit by product category: A comparison of total revenue earned from different product categories against the gross profit generated by those categories.
    • Total products sold: This is a crucial sales metric that quantifies the total number of products or units a company sells within a specific period.
    • Cost of goods sold: This refers to the direct costs incurred by a business to produce or acquire the goods it sells during a specific period.
    • Revenue: The total income a company generates from its primary operations through sales of goods or services.
    • Gross profit margin: The percentage of revenue that exceeds the cost of goods sold, indicating production efficiency.
    • Expenses: The costs incurred by a company in running its business operations.
    • Net profit: The final amount left after deducting all expenses from the total revenue, representing the actual profit earned.
    • Revenue by channel and payment method: The breakdown of revenue based on different sales channels and payment methods.
    • Accounts receivable vs. accounts payable by month: A comparison of money owed to the company versus the money the company owes to suppliers monthly.
    • Revenue by state: Categorization of revenue based on different states or regions where the company operates.
    • Revenue by sales agents: Analysis of each sales agent’s contribution to the company’s overall revenue.

    Now let’s configure these metrics to dashboard widgets.

    Configuring data in widgets in the Microsoft OneDrive dashboard

    We can set up the metrics from the previous list in a dashboard using the OneDrive data source we’ve created. Generating expressions for these metrics is necessary before setting up the data in widgets. Use the functions provided in the following table:


    Visualize the metrics in the dashboard by drag and drop the widgets to the blank dashboard you created initially. Set up the widgets in the dashboard according to their respective data sources, as detailed in the following table:

    ProductType: Combo Box

    Value: Product_name

    Cost of Goods Sold (CoGS)Type: Number Card

    Value: CoGS

    Total Products SoldType: Number Card

    Value: Quantity

    Net Profit MarginType: Radial Gauge

    Value: NetProfitMargin

    Revenue vs. Gross Profit by Product CategoryType: Stacked Bar Chart

    Value: Revenue, GrossProfit

    Column: Product Category

    RevenueType: Number Card

    Value: Revenue

    ExpensesType: Number Card

    Value: Expenses

    Net ProfitType: Number Card

    Value: NetProfit

    Gross Profit MarginType: Radial Gauge

    Value: GrossProfitMargin

    Revenue by Channel and Payment MethodType: Doughnut Chart

    Value: Revenue

    Column: Store Type, Payment Method

    Accounts Receivable vs. Accounts Payable by MonthType: Bar Chart

    Value: Account Receivable, Supplier Payment

    Revenue by Sales AgentsType: Map Widget

    Value: Revenue, NetProfit

    Column: Sales Agent

    Revenue by StateType: Map Widget

    Value: Revenue, State

    The financial analysis dashboard is now complete. You must turn on access permission to share it with your sales team. Following this, copy the URL from the address bar and distribute it. Check this documentation for further information on sharing dashboards. After setting up the widgets in the dashboard, it’s possible to schedule regular data updates to keep the dashboard information current.

    Scheduling data refresh for the Microsoft OneDrive dashboard

    You can schedule data refreshes in the dashboard to ensure your data is current. Use the refresh settings tool to schedule the data transfer from your cloud storage in OneDrive to Bold BI.

    Follow these steps to configure refresh settings:

    1. Click the Edit icon next to the data source in the Data Sources pane on the dashboard designer page.

    Edit Data Source
    Edit Data Source

    2. Click Refresh Settings on the data source designer page.

    Navigating to Refresh Settings
    Navigating to Refresh Settings

    The Refresh Settings window will pop up, as shown in the following figure.

    Configuring Refresh Settings
    Configuring Refresh Settings

    3. In the Refresh Settings window, set the data refresh intervals and click Schedule to enable the data refresh schedule.

    The dashboard will automatically reload after the refreshes have been set. The latest data from OneDrive will be moved to the dashboard, and data changes will be reflected in the dashboard as shown in the following image:

    Refreshed data
    Refreshed data

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    The integration of Microsoft OneDrive and Bold BI offers businesses numerous benefits such as improved data visualization, accessibility, and the ability to merge various data sources. It encourages data-driven decision-making due to flexible reporting, collaboration features, and proper file management. Both platforms prioritize data security, scalability, and cost-effectiveness, providing businesses with a comprehensive, user-friendly solution. This integration allows businesses to fully utilize their cloud data, eliminate silos, and enable their teams to generate actionable insights.

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