Visualize asset and inventory data with Power BI

Requires a Business subscription plan

In this guide we'll walk you through using Microsoft's free business analytics application Power BI Desktop to visualize Orca Scan data in real-time.

1. Install Power BI

To get started download and install Microsoft Power BI on your Windows machine.


There are options to install Power BI on a Mac, but we must admit it's not straightforward. Consider using Google Data Studio instead.

Screenshot of Microsoft Power BI website

Login to your , select the sheet that you want to connect to Power BI and open the Integrations settings.

Opening the sheet integration menu

Enable "Allow public URL access" and copy the Live Data URL to your clipboard. Power BI will use this URL to query Orca Scan data in real-time.

Copying the Orca Scan unique sheet URL

As an additional confirmation check, you must save the integration changes.

Saving the integration changes

Now, let's head over to Power BI...

4. Get Data in Power BI

Find the Get Data menu, and select the option Web.

Finding the Get Data section in Power BI

5. Paste the Live Data URL

You will get the option to paste a URL. Insert the Live Data URL from your Orca Scan sheet here.

Pasting the Live Data URL in Power BI

Advanced: configure the data export

You can append the parameters below to the URL to configure the data output. For instance, to include the historical records or change the date/time format.

View the Live Data URL documentation for a detailed overview of the parameters.

Function URL parameter
Change output format .html / .csv / .json / .xml
Include audit trail transactions=true
Include deltas for numeric columns deltas=true
Change date format datetimeformat=DD/MM/YYYY
Change time zone timezone=-03:00

Important: always use a ? before the first parameter and an & before each additional parameter, for example:

6. Review and confirm

If everything looks good, click load.

Reviewing and confirming the data import in Power BI

You will now be able to view your data in the Fields pane. Right next to it, we have the Visualization options to create charts from.

Showing fields from Orca Scan data in Power BI

How to create a chart

Start out by selecting one of the Visualization options, then drag your fields into it.

GPS location map

In this example, we're using a Map to visualize the location of our vehicles, a Pie chart to view the vehicle status, and a Table for a general overview.

Showing example of Power BI dashboard for vehicle location tracking
Click the image to zoom

How to refresh data

You can refresh the data to pull in the changes from Orca Scan as often as you like.

Showing configuration for how often to pull scanned barcodes into Excel

You can also set the frequency or schedule specific time slots to refresh your reports. In some cases, scheduling requires a gateway in Power BI. You can read more about scheduling in Power BI's refresh configuration guide.

Have a question about using Orca Scan with Power BI?

We're always happy to help, chat with us live or drop us an email.