In this data-driven world, every business relies heavily on data to make decisions for the future. We should update such data and refresh in visualization tools at equal intervals to allow for effective decision-making. The data refresh feature of Bold BI enables your dashboard data to refresh automatically. Most business users track real-time key performance indicators (KPIs) through mobile devices or large TV screens. This lets them quickly react to changes in key metrics and take corrective action when issues arise.
Bold BI also lets you schedule refreshes for the whole dashboard or specific widgets at regular intervals.
In this blog post, we will see how to schedule refreshes for a dashboard, specific widgets, and data sources in Bold BI. We’ll also see in a supply chain example how visualizations can be updated at regular intervals when data is changing frequently.
Configuring refresh setting for a dashboard
To enable auto refresh for a dashboard, open the dashboard in edit mode and click the refresh icon in the toolbar highlighted in the following image.
The Refresh Settings dialog opens.
Select Enable Auto refresh and set the timer in the Time Interval box. From now on, the dashboard will retrieve data automatically at the specified interval period.
To enable automatic refresh for particular widgets in a dashboard, you can select the widgets you want to refresh from the list in the Refresh Settings window. When you enable refresh for specific widgets, the data will be updated only for those widgets.
Also, you can restrict automatic refresh to happen only for record insertion or deletion in the associated database instead of data changes.
Configuring refresh setting to data source
Bold BI has an internal data store for processing data from files and web data connections. This data processing mode is called extract mode. All NoSQL databases, files, and REST API connections work in extract mode, where the data is extracted and moved into the data store. You can configure refresh settings to periodically update data in the intermediate data store from the actual source.
The data store is configurable with SQL Server and PostgreSQL databases in Bold BI Enterprise Edition.
You can configure refresh settings for a data source through any of the following ways:
- Data sources listing page
- Data source designer page.
- New data source configuration window.
Only data sources created in extract mode will have the refresh settings options.
Scheduling refresh from the data sources listing page
To configure refresh settings in the data sources listing page, choose a data source that you want to refresh. Click the options button for that data source and select Refresh Settings in the drop-down list. Now the Refresh Settings window opens where you can schedule the refresh.
Scheduling refresh from data source designer page
To configure refresh settings from the data source designer page, click the Refresh Settings button in the tool bar, as shown in the following image.
This opens the Refresh Settings window.
Scheduling refresh from New Data Source window
Let’s see how to configure refresh settings for a Web API data connection. Click the Refresh Settings button in the Web API data source configuration window.
In the Refresh Settings window, select the refresh type, recurrence, start date, and end dates.
You can schedule the data refresh to occur hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly. The application time zone is displayed below the date picker. The start time of the schedule is converted to the client time zone and shown on the right side for your convenience. After configuration is completed, click Schedule.
From now onwards, data updates in the intermediate data store at the specified time interval to help you keep your dashboard updated with the latest data.
Let’s see how to schedule a data refresh from a SQL Server database in extract mode.
Scheduling data refresh from SQL data source
You can schedule incremental refreshes for any SQL-type data sources. To do so, connect the SQL data source in extract mode and choose the column with the time stamp as shown in the following image.
The intermediate data store refreshes with latest data when modified or when new rows are identified in the source.
In extract mode with non-SQL data sources, during every refresh time interval, the selected tables will be dropped, and all the data will be pulled (full refresh) from the database and moved into the data store.
When connected to your SQL data source in live mode, the dashboard always shows the latest data whenever you open or refresh the dashboard manually.
To refresh the dashboard, click the Refresh option in view mode as shown in the following image.
Let’s see how to refresh data from local files or local storage.
Refreshing data from local files
To refresh data from local files, edit the data source, and from the data source designer, click Edit Connection to choose the file [Excel, CSV, JSON, etc.] that holds updated data.
Now, let’s look at an example of refreshing dashboards in a supply chain department to get an idea of how to schedule refreshes.
The Warehouse Management dashboard assists in inventory management by analyzing inventory metrics, such as the movement of goods and the cost factors involved, to process transactions like shipping, picking, putting away, and receiving. Further, it tracks important KPIs such as inventory carrying costs, return rate, backorder rate, stock details in selected warehouses, and so on.
Using this dashboard, you can track product availability as the number of units that are in the warehouse compared to the number of units that have been ordered.
In this dashboard, data is fetched from the database in extract mode, and incremental refreshes are scheduled based on the Date column to move the latest data into the data store. The refresh time interval is set to refresh the dashboard on a daily basis.
After the schedule runs and an incremental refresh occurs, the date column will be pulled from database and records with the latest date values will be updated in the dashboard. The Product Stock Details widget showcases this.
Refer to the following images to get a better idea about the scheduled data refresh in this example.
Thus schedule the data refreshes as needed in Bold BI dashboards and their associated data sources. If you have any questions, please use the comments section available below. You can also contact us by submitting your questions through the Bold BI website, or if you already have an account, you can log in to submit your support question.