Have you heard of Microsoft Flow? No, well then please have a look here: https://flow.microsoft.com
You can use it to create automated workflows between apps and services to get notifications, synchronize files, collect data, and more. So, in the context of let’s say Power BI, you can use Flow to synchronize data sources.
In this blog we will look at a simple example. Imagine you would like to create a dashboard about tweets about certain key-words or topics. What you need to do is first store these tweets in some kind of file, and then use that file as a data source in a Power BI dashboard.
Because the cloud is an important topic at the moment, let’s do everything online. So, for this blogpost I presume you don’t have any software installed on your machine, except an operating system and a browser of course 🙂
Okay, having done that you are ready to go. But oh, since we will keep track of Twitter data and store it on OneDrive, this means you at least also need to have a twitter account and a OneDrive account… Both of these are also free, I honestly don’t know much people who don’t use them…
(Although I prefer Dropbox, OneDrive has one big advantage if you use it in Power BI… I’ll explain that later in more detail.)
I would like to store tweet info in an Excel file. It can be any type of file, but I like to work with Excel. So you can create an Excel file or use this one as a template:
It’s a simple Excel file, that contains one table with the following columns:
Once you have the Excel file, upload and save it on your OneDrive.
Next, on Microsoft Flow, create a new Flow as follows:
In the available flow templates, filter upon Social Media flow templates, and the Save tweets to an Excel file will popup in the list. Select it and then Use this template:
The next step is to create your connections to Excel and Twitter. There are links foreseen to connect and once that’s done you will see this:
The following appears, and in here you will configure your Tweets you would like to gather and the Excel file in which they need to be kept:
In the first block, enter your twitter key words that need to be monitored. Then use the buttons at the right of the Insert Row container to select the Excel file on your One Drive folder:
Once you do that, new textboxes appear below, where you can map twitter fields and your Excel columns:
Actually, it’s based upon these fields that I created the example Excel file.
Now you’re almost done. At the bottom of the window type in a name for your flow and save it:
Our flow is now ready and it will start monitoring tweets and store them in the Excel file. Go to My Flows and be amazed:
This is as easy as boiling an egg, right?
Now that we have our Excel file and it’s filling up with all the great tweets about DynamicsNAV, we wait a little so that we have enough data to display in a nice dashboard. I’ll explain how to do that in:
How Do I: Create a Twitter Dashboard using Microsoft Flow? (part 2) (coming soon)