By Matthew Jackson
Business Intelligence Consultant at Stellar



Alongside our transfer to extra versatile working from dwelling coverage, I used to be tasked to provide you with an answer that might enable workers to centrally view a dashboard the place members of the group can be working. I got here throughout a number of candidate instruments that would accomplish this. Finally, I made a decision on utilizing instruments throughout the Microsoft Energy Platform, specifically Energy Automate, Microsoft Types and Energy BI.  

Microsoft Types

Microsoft Types was to function my front-end enter, and a hyperlink to the shape can be supplied to all workers to be crammed out as soon as per week for the next week. Sadly, Types was unable to do issues like dynamically seize the customers’ names primarily based on their login credentials and do computerized date choice for the next Monday. There may be additionally a professional model of Types that will present these options. Nonetheless, the free model labored out ultimately. On the shape, members of the group are required to enter their working places for the upcoming week. I do know by means of built-in metrics in Types that the shape takes beneath a minute to finish so am assured it isn’t actually including any further work for the group.   

Energy Automate

Energy Automate is a cloud-based software from Microsoft. It supplies a easy, efficient interface to create and automate workflows and repetitive duties. I used it to get my knowledge the place I wanted it. The automation is named flows and will be created from templates utilizing a GUI with minimal if any code required. In my case, I began with one of many predefined Types to SharePoint templates. I solely needed to make a number of slight modifications to create a Movement to suit my wants.   

Flows are constructed on connectors, that are basically wrappers round an API that enable the service to speak with Energy Automate; there are a plethora of free and premium connectors to all types of functions. For my use case, I wanted the Microsoft Types and SharePoint connectors. When the consumer clicks submit on my kind, Energy Automate triggers my movement to seize and retailer the submitted knowledge in a SharePoint listing. Energy Automate makes API calls utilizing the aforementioned connectors, one to seize the newly submitted kind outcomes, and one other to insert the info into my SharePoint listing.  

Energy BI  

Now the info is seize in SharePoint, I wanted to create a dashboard that I might distribute to the broader group. Energy BI, Microsoft’s knowledge visualization providing appeared like a perfect match and stored me in Microsoft’s Energy Platform. Utilizing Energy BI, I used to be in a position to hook up with the SharePoint listing and apply a number of transformations to create a flat desk containing the workers location knowledge. I additionally wanted to code in some logic to make sure solely the latest submission for every week was being proven. This was one of many necessities; to present the group the power to vary their submission, ought to they should. Lastly, the Energy BI report was embedded into our SharePoint intranet for the group to work together with, utilizing the prebuilt Energy BI internet half.   

Wrapping up 

This small undertaking has me fairly enthusiastic about Energy Automate. On the outset, I used to be already fairly proficient with Energy BI, but it surely was nice to increase my information of the Energy Platform to incorporate Energy Automate. Trying by means of the listing of connectors I’ve solely scratched the floor of its potential. Nonetheless, it was an incredible alternative to experiment with some automation. I’m excited to attend the Microsoft Energy Friday 2020 in Auckland in the direction of the top of August. There I’ll hopefully study much more about what the Energy Platform can do.  

I’ve definitely acquired a number of extra concepts for automation! 

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