Do you want to visualize your Salesforce data in Power BI? Are you looking for a simple fix? If yes, you’ve landed at the right page! This article provides you with a step-by-step solution to help you connect Salesforce to Power BI in a matter of minutes. 

This article aims at answering all your queries about Power BI Salesforce connectors. Follow our easy guide to master the skill of establishing a Power BI Salesforce connection and visualizing your data easily.

Methods to connect Salesforce to Power BI

There are multiple methods that can be used to connect Salesforce to PowerBI:

Method 1: Using Hevo’s automated data pipelines

Hevo can’t directly move your data from Salesforce to Power BI. Instead, you can replicate the data to BigQuery and connect with Power BI.

Hevo is the only real-time ELT No-code Data Pipeline platform that cost-effectively automates data pipelines that are flexible to your needs. With integration with 150+ Data Sources (40+ free sources), we help you not only export data from sources & load data to the destinations but also transform & enrich your data, & make it analysis-ready. Its fault-tolerant architecture ensures that the data is handled in a secure, consistent manner with zero data loss.

It provides a consistent & reliable solution to manage data in real-time and always have analysis-ready data in your desired destination.

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Step 1: Connect Salesforce as Source

Sign in to your Salesforce account and permit by clicking Allow to give its access to Hevo. 

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In the Salesforce’s configuration page, enter all the required details to connect it as a Source. 

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  • Read more on configuring Salesforce as a source from our documentation.

Step 2: Connect Power BI as Destination

  1. Login to Power BI application and click on Get Data

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  1. Then click on Database in Get Data. From the list that appears, click on Google BigQuery and then Connect. 

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  1. To connect to the BigQuery Data warehouse, Sign in

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  1. Give a permit to Power BI to access this data by clicking on Allow

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  1. Enter your Project ID and Dataset ID and then click on import in Connectivity Settings as the mode of Data Connectivity

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  1. In the Navigation pane, a list of your tables is displayed. You have to select the tables that you need and then proceed to click Load

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  • Learn from our documentation more about configuring Bigquery as a destination.

Some amazing features of Hevo

  • Data Transformation: It provides a simple interface to perfect, modify, and enrich the data you want to transfer.
  • Schema Management: Hevo can automatically detect the schema of the incoming data and maps it to the destination schema.
  • Incremental Data Load: Hevo allows the transfer of data that has been modified in real-time. This ensures efficient utilization of bandwidth on both ends.
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Method 2: Using Power BI’s in-built connector

Power BI’s in-built Salesforce connector conveniently establishes a connection with Salesforce. You can easily set up a data source and use Power BI to visualize your data to perform a fruitful analysis for your business.

Here are the steps involved in using the Power BI Salesforce connector.

Step 1: Configuring Power BI

Go to Power BI Service and select Apps. From the right corner, click on Get Apps and type Salesforce.

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Launch Power BI on your workstation and click on the get data button found in the navigation panel. Select “analytics for salesforce” option.

Salesforce to Power BI-Salesforce Analytics connector.
Image Source: docs.microsoft.com

A new dialogue box will now open up, where you need to provide your credentials to sign in to your Salesforce account. Provide access to your Salesforce data by clicking on the authorise button.

Salesforce to Power BI-Signing in to connect Salesforce to Power BI.
Image Source: docs.microsoft.com

Step 2: Configuring the data source

Select the data that you want to import from Salesforce. You can select the dashboard in two ways, either as a sales manager or as a sales rep. Choose the options carefully as per your business needs, since these dashboards may contain different types of objects.

Salesforce to Power BI-Selecting Salesforce Data.
Image Source: docs.microsoft.com

You can import custom or pre-defined reports from Salesforce using the reports tab. This feature provides you with more control over the data being imported from Salesforce. Click on connect to successfully establish a connection and start importing your data.

Connecting to Power BI Objects

Step 1: Click on Get Data and select More.

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Step 2: From the Online Services list, select the Salesforce object and then Connect.

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Step 3: In the Salesforce Object dialogue box, select URL for signing in and click OK

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You can select the Include relationship columns option to establish relationships between objects in Power BI.

Step 4. Sign in to your Salesforce account and then click Connect.

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Step 5: In the Navigator pane, select all the objects that you want to load. Click on Load or Transform Data as per your requirement. 

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Connect to Salesforce Report 

You can retrieve only up to 2000 rows using Salesforce Report Connector. 

Step 1: Click on Get Data and then More. Go to the Online Services list to select Salesforce Reports and click Connect. 

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Step 2: Click on OK in the Salesforce Report dialog box. 

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Step 3: Sign in to your Salesforce Account and click on Connect. 

This is how you can connect Salesforce to Power BI using the in-built connector. From the Navigator pane, select the report you want to load. 

This is how you can connect Salesforce to Power BI using the in-built connector.

Limitations of this method

  • Import is a one time process. So anytime your Salesforce data changes, you will need to import the data again. This can be handled to an extent by using scheduled data imports, however, it doesn’t perform like a real-time connection.
  • This method requires you to use predefined dashboards and reports to import objects, which means not all Salesforce data is imported in most cases and you miss the flexibility of getting the complete data and custom fields into PowerBI.

Method 3: Using Salesforce APIs to connect Salesforce to Power BI

Salesforce APIs can be used to establish a real-time connection with Power BI and perform an insightful analysis. Using the following APIs is one of the best ways to connect and interact with Salesforce data:

  • Salesforce REST APIs: Salesforce REST APIs are a set of web services that help to insert/delete, update and query Salesforce objects. To implement a custom application using Salesforce in mobile or web ecosystem, REST APIs are the preferred method. 
  • Salesforce SOAP APIs: These can establish formal contracts of API behaviour through the use of WSDL. Typically Salesforce SOAP APIs are used when there is a requirement for stateful APS or in case of strict transactional reliability requirement. SOAP APIs are also sometimes used when the organization’s legacy applications mandate the protocol to be SOAP. 
  • Salesforce BULK APIs: These are optimized for dealing with a large amount of data ranging up to GBs. These APIs can run in a batch mode and can work asynchronously. They provide facilities for checking the status of batch runs and retrieving the results as large text files. BULK APIs can insert, update, delete or query records just like the other two types of APIs. 
  • Salesforce Data Loader: It is a Salesforce utility that can be installed on the desktop. It has functionalities to query and export the data to CSV files. Internally this is accomplished using the bulk APIs. 

This method requires you to load data from Salesforce into a database that supports a live connection with Power BI such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, etc to generate your business reports easily. Check out Hevo’s easy step-by-step guide to help you transfer data from Salesforce to databases such as PostgreSQL.

Once you have transferred your data from Salesforce to PostgreSQL, connect PostgreSQL database to Power BI to visualize data and generate informative business reports.

Click on the get data dialogue box from power query or the data tab from the excel ribbon. A list of databases will now show up, select the database option as PostgreSQL.

Salesforce to Power BI-PostgreSQL database.
Image Source: docs.microsoft.com

Select the connectivity mode as the direct query mode, to always have up-to-date data from PostgreSQL for analysing and generating reports. The key part of this method is to ensure that data is refreshed continuously in the PostgreSQL database.

This is how you can implement Power BI Connect to Salesforce Lightning using the Salesforce APIs.

Limitations of this method

  • This method requires users to parse API responses from the Salesforce APIs using manual codes. This is a very challenging and tedious process, especially for beginners as it requires a deep understanding of APIs and their implementation.
  • Continuous updating of data requires a lot of data pre-processing to be done such as transforming data into an analysis-ready form, removal of duplicates to ensure that data can be used to perform analysis and generate reports using dashboards.

Method 4: Using Salesforce Analytics for Sales Manager App to Connect Salesforce to Power BI

In this method, you can useful insights from your data effectively without much hassle. 

Prerequisites 

  • Power BI Pro
  • Salesforce subscription of marketing, developer or admin

Step1: Install the Salesforce Analytics for Sales Manager app. You can do so by going on the website and clicking on the Get it Now from the Appsource page. Click on install. It will appear on your apps page after installing. 

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Step 2: Now open the app and click on ‘Connect Your Data’ from the top of the page

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Step 3: A Parmeters dialogue box will appear. Click on Next.

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Step 4: An authentication dialogue box will appear. You do not need to make any changes unless you have knowledge. Click on Sign in and Connect.

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Step 6: Sign in to Salesforce. Your report will get connected to the data sources and you will be able to see the sample data. 

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 Limitations of Using Salesforce Analytics for Sales Manager App to Connect Salesforce to Power BI

There are certain disadvantages of using this method such as:

  • You will require a license for exporting data from external sources other than CSV files while using Sales Analytics as a Power BI Salesforce connector. 
  • There are certain data requirements for the Sales Analytics dashboard to function properly.

Method 5: Using Salesforce Data Loader to Connect Salesforce to Power BI 

It is a tool of Salesforce that does not require knowledge of coding from you to load Salesforce data. It supports only CSV file format. 

Step 1: Log in to your Salesforce account and load your CSV file to it using Salesforce Data Loader

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Step 2: Now you can connect your CSV file to Power BI

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Limitations:

  • This method supports only CSV file format of data
  • You will have to manually extract data on a regular basis
  • Data is not updated in real-time

Use Cases of Connecting Salesforce to Power BI

There are several practical use cases of connecting Salesforce to Power BI, such as:

  • Power BI can easily integrate with any data structure and can upgrade the existing system. This makes it a robust Business Intelligence tool. 
  • Salesforce Power BI integration enables real-time data analysis because Power BI can process data very fast without latency. 
  • Salesforce integration with Power BI can make the functioning of your organization smooth as it provides cross-platform functionality. This enables your employees and team members to access data from different platforms and draw insights from them. 

Conclusion

This article taught you how to connect Salesforce to Power BI through various methods. It also provides in-depth knowledge about the concepts behind every step to help you understand and implement them efficiently. These methods, however, can be challenging especially for a beginner & this is where Hevo saves the day. Hevo Data, a No-code Data Pipeline helps you transfer data from a source of your choice in a fully-automated and secure manner without having to write the code repeatedly. Hevo with its strong integration with 150+ data sources(Including 30+ Free Sources like Salesforce) & BI tools, allows you to not only export & load data but also transform & enrich your data & make it analysis-ready in a jiffy.

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Tell us about your preferred way to connect Salesforce to Power BI! Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Talha
Software Developer, Hevo Data

Talha is a seasoned Software Developer, currently driving advancements in data integration at Hevo Data, where he have been instrumental in shaping a cutting-edge data integration platform for the past four years. With a significant tenure at Flipkart prior to their current role, he brought innovative solutions to the space of data connectivity and software development.

Visualize Your Salesforce Data In Power BI Easily