Create COVID dashboard using Power BI Dataflow

Learn how to create a simple, but informative and interactive dashboard from daily updated data sourced from Johns Hopkins Institute. This uses on-cloud import using Power BI Dataflow.

COVID dashboard video link
COVID dashboard video link

Interact with the actual dashboard here.

What is Power BI Dataflow

In simple terms, it is Power Query on the cloud. Of course, it does many other things, but for now, this is a good enough description. Power BI Dataflow can import data from many of the same sources as Desktop Power Query (Get Data).

You can refresh Dataflow online. In this case, we use the COVID dataset from John Hopkin’s University. The Power BI dataset refreshes daily.

How to create a Power BI report Power BI Dataflow

Create report using Power BI Desktop. At the time of writing this article, there is no way to create a Power BI report directly from the Dataflow on cloud.

Connect to the Power BI dataset using Power BI Desktop. Choose the table inside it and import data.

Publish the Power BI Report

Next create the visualization in Power BI Desktop and publish it back to Power BI portal.

After publishing, the visualization (report) and the dataset gets created on the Power BI Portal.

Refreshing the dataset

One important step to remember is that the dataset refresh frequency also must be set manually for the first time. Remember to do this. Otherwise, the Power BI Dataflow will continue to refresh, but the dataset will not refresh.

The ribbon chart visual

Usually, we would have used a typical stacked bar chart. Instead, I have used the Ribbon chart visual. It is like a stacked chart but it does two more things –

  1. It ranks items in descending order in the stack
  2. Ribbon chart links each item to the next column in the stack

Due to this, when the rank changes, you can see it visually. This is very useful for showing how the status of each country has fluctuated over time during the COVID pandemic period.

We used the Publish to web option to create a read-only link. After that, this anonymous link is usable by anyone – without any authentication or special tool. Just with a browser and internet connection. Using Power BI Dataflow it is easy to create central, common data sources.

More on Power BI

You can also try Q&A on this report. In addition, to know more about Power BI Desktop – which is completely free – read this article.

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