Our use of cookies

We use cookies to tailor your experience, gather analytics, and provide you with live assitance. By clicking "Accept" or continuing to browse our site you agree to the use of cookies. For more details please read our Cookie Policy.

Get the Power of Location-based analytics in Power BI using ArcGIS Maps

by Danish Ali Detho | O365 & Power Platform Solution Architect

In today’s world, data analytics has to become pivotal for making informed decisions and decision-makers are always keen to find new and innovative ways to improve their knowledge about their customers. One of the key facets of that information is the geographic of your customers especially when your customers are geographically scattered around the county or World. This allows organizations to know which regions are performing well and where do they need to focus more to improve their presence. The most efficient way to present such information is through a map chart and the Power BI team recognized the importance of it which is why Microsoft has teamed up with ArcGIS to integrate their digital mapping and location analytics software solution in Power BI and provide their customers an exceptional mapping solution for presenting the geographical data. In this blog, we will take a look at this new mapping solution called ArcGIS for Power BI, how to utilize it using live data coming from SharePoint Lists and what benefits it presents to the customers.

What is ArcGIS Maps for Power BI?

ArcGIS Maps for Power BI is a comprehensive and scalable digital mapping and location analytics software solution which allows you to create compelling data stories with mapping, analysis, and insight capabilities. It incorporates an additional layer of depth to data analysis within Power BI. ArcGIS for Power BI is a tool that enables you to map and visualize your data geographically. It also provides the world’s leading spatial analytics tools along with a comprehensive collection of global data which can help decision-makers to understand patterns and trends that are difficult to present and visualize in charts, tables, or spreadsheets.

AxioWorks SQList continuously export SharePoint lists and libraries as normalised SQL Server tables, making live SharePoint data available to reporting tools like Power BICrystal Reports, or SSRS.

Main Features of ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

Improved data insights

ArcGIS maps have built-in smarts to identify geolocation data. It can convert any location whether be an address, city, state, ZIP code, place-name, boundary, or latitude-longitude into points on a map. The built-in smart mapping capability helps users to choose the right style and display the associated data.

Spatial analysis on mapped data

Spatial analysis helps users to enhance their understanding of mapped data by mapping relevant locations and spotting relationships and patterns i.e. adding more relational visuals on the report. This allows us to create heat maps with a click, aggregate data into clusters, determine drive time, and reveal hidden patterns in your data with ArcGIS.

Improved data accuracy and security

Geolocation information from your dataset in Power BI is sent to Esri servers to find locations and render them on the map. The data is never saved or stored on Esri servers because any interaction with Esri servers is transient.

Contextualize your data

ArcGIS spatial analysis tool helps you to identify the spatial facets of your data like Identifying a location in relation to other critical variables such as income, population, or weather. This gives you the power to set up multiple visuals showing other critical information and then control them using the Map.

Create an ArcGIS Map Visual using data from SharePoint List

Now, let’s create an insightful map visual using a SharePoint List. You can use any list which has some sort of location info whether it be addressed or state/City/country. I will use the Programs data categorized by states in Australia. For the location, I will use a normal Choice Column which has a list of all the Australian states.

Let’s open the Power BI Desktop and connect to a SharePoint List data source that contains the mapping data. Now click on the ArcGIS map visual from Visualizations.

You will need to create a trial account by going to https://www.esri.com/en-us/arcgis/products/create-account. Once the account is created, you can then set up your organization map. Afterward, go back to Power BI Desktop and then sign in using the account you just created.

Now, I will simply drag and drop the division column to the location field. This will render the Map with data points on it for each state.

This is pretty much what we can do with OOTB Maps visual too. Now, let’s dig deeper and use some other available fields. Size field changes the size of the pointers on the map based on some specific numeric data whereas the Color field can be used to distinguish the pointers on maps by setting a different color for each pointer on the map. Lets, add the count of items to show which state has the most programs running.

We can add multiple fields in the tooltip field to show relevant data when the user hovers over the pointer on the map.

Let’s look at some cool features which make it stand out from the OOTB map visual. You can set different map themes from the map settings on the top left using Basemap. And you can also display additional info as well. For our example,  Lets select the size of population and population of educated people.

Another great feature is to show spatial data by showing relevant data in other visuals and then changing the data visualization by selecting one or multiple points on the map. Let’s add a stacked chart that shows programs in each category and then select multiple states on the map.

Final Thoughts

AxioWorks SQList continuously export SharePoint lists and libraries as normalised SQL Server tables, making live SharePoint data available to reporting tools like Power BICrystal Reports, or SSRS.

ArcGIS Maps brings a whole heap of geo-enabled data analytics goodness to Power BI which will allow power bi users to create stunning map reports that will allow the business users to visualize the geographical data in various different ways as well as being capable to perform real-time business intelligence on the data in order to make efficient decisions. They will not only be able to visualize accurately mapped data but will also be able to leverage geostatistical data coming from Esri servers to understand the demographics of areas they are interested in making the reports even more insightful. The maps will also be integrated with other visuals on the report to allow users to do some Spatial analysis on runtime by selecting different points on the map.

Latest articles

What went down at MS Ignite 2021: Power Automate and Power Virtual Agent Edition

14 Jan 2022

When we talk about the biggest annual tech conferences of the year, Microsoft Ignite comes to mind where not only do we get a view of all their […]
[read article]

What went down in MS Ignite 2021 : Power Apps Edition

30 Dec 2021

When we talk about the biggest annual tech conferences of the year, Microsoft Ignite comes to mind where not only do we get a view of all their […]
[read article]

AxioWorks Newsletter December 2021: How has 2021 been for you?

28 Dec 2021

Hello Reader, Welcome to another exciting issue of our monthly Newsletter! Each month, we try our best to bring to you content that is relevant and […]
[read article]

AxioWorks Newsletter November 2021: What has AxioWorks been up to?

03 Dec 2021

Hello Reader, Welcome to another exciting issue of our monthly Newsletter! Each month, we try our best to bring to you content that is relevant and […]
[read article]

What went down in MS Ignite 2021 : Power BI Edition

30 Nov 2021

When we talk about the biggest annual tech conferences of the year, Microsoft Ignite comes to mind where not only we get a view of all their product […]
[read article]

AxioWorks Newsletter October 2021: Focus on customer service and a webinar on its way

01 Nov 2021

Hello Reader, Welcome to another exciting issue of our monthly Newsletter! Each month, we try our best to bring to you content that is relevant and […]
[read article]

Gain valueable Insights into your PowerApps using Application Insights

25 Oct 2021

Power Platform provides a great way for citizen developers to develop Apps using low-code /no-code tools like PowerApps, PowerAutomate, and PowerBI. […]
[read article]

AxioWorks Newsletter September 2021: Focus on our sales effort

18 Oct 2021

Hello Reader, Welcome to another exciting issue of our monthly Newsletter! Each month, we try our best to bring to you content that is relevant and […]
[read article]

Why use SQList to generate Power BI reports from SharePoint lists, rather than using the Power BI native connector to SharePoint?

18 Oct 2021

The main reason is that in practical terms using the native connector only works for small amount of data and simple queries. When you start using it […]
[read article]

SharePoint Online List vs SQL Server as Data Source in Power-BI

15 Sep 2021

Lists are primarily used as a source of data storage in the world of SharePoint and in most scenarios these lists can grow really fast especially if […]
[read article]

Get SharePoint and SQL news to your inbox

Stay up-to-date with industry news and trends, SQL and SharePoint innovations and all the latest from AxioWorks by subscribing to our monthly newsletter.

Subscribe to the AxioWorks newsletter

*