How do I connect Power BI to OpenSpending?

Execute the following steps to connect Power BI to OpenSpending. You only need knowledge of Power BI and your own business.

OpenSpending is an online web service on the budget and spending of governments in the Netherlands. It includes data from various sources, including IV3 of CBS.

No technical knowledge is needed nor knowledge on the OpenSpending APIs to connect OpenSpending to Power BI. This step-by-step plan will tell you exactly which steps you need to go through on Invantive Cloud to create your own dashboard with data from OpenSpending.

The steps to connect Power BI to OpenSpending are:

  1. Register an Invantive Cloud account.
  2. Create a OpenSpending database.
  3. Make the OpenSpending database available through the Microsoft OData connector.
  4. Connect Power BI to OpenSpending through the connector.
  5. Load data from OpenSpending into Power BI.
  6. Build your dashboard.

Invantive Cloud offers a OpenSpending connector to download data from OpenSpending into Power BI, but there are over 75 other connectors available also for SQL, Power BI Desktop, Power BI Service, Power Query and/or Azure Data Factory.

Do you have a large environment? For effective downloads, you can of course also filter the data using the filter step or the transform button in Power BI.

When you are having questions, please check the forums for OpenSpending. Every organisation is entitled to 1 hour of free training to help you get started. This free hour also applies to free plans.

Register Account on Invantive Cloud

Skip this step when you already have an account on Invantive Cloud. Otherwise execute the following steps one time to register an account on Invantive Cloud:

  1. Go to Invantive Cloud start page.

  2. Select the Log on-button.

  3. Select the Sign Up-button. Sign Up to Invantive Cloud.

  4. Enter your business email address. Enter business email address.

  5. Select the Next-button.

  6. Enter your personal data. Enter personal data.

  7. Select the Next-button.

  8. Enter your password and repeat the password you entered.

  9. Select the Next-button. Enter two identical passwords.

  10. You will receive a six-digit verification code by email within 2 minutes.

  11. Enter the six-digit verification code. Six-digit verification code to validate email address.

  12. Select the Sign Up-button.

  13. Log on now. Sign Up.

  14. Make sure you have an authentication app installed on your phone. Select the Next-button. Prepare TOTP-configuration.

  15. Add the displayed QR code to the authentication app, enter the current verification code, and choose "Finish". Scan QR-code into TOTP-app and enter current code.

  16. Skip registration of the organization. Skip company registration.

  17. Complete your personal information and choose "Save". Complete personal data.

  18. Go to the dashboard. Navigate to dashboard.

  19. The Invantive Cloud dashboard will be shown.

You now have a login code on Invantive Cloud with which you can set up the connection with OpenSpending and numerous other platforms. You will use the same Invantive login code and workflow for all other platforms.

Create OpenSpending database

In this step, we set up a database with data from OpenSpending. The database is "virtual" because it is not a traditional database, but is fed real-time from OpenSpending. Invantive Cloud provides Power BI with a real-time link to OpenSpending. The database will be used for all your OpenSpending reporting with Power BI. So you only need to perform these steps once.

You now have a login code on Invantive Cloud with which you can set up the connection with {0} and numerous other platforms. You will use the same Invantive login code and workflow for all other platforms.

  1. Click the Add Database button. Add database.

  2. Select OpenSpending from the list. Select OpenSpending connector.

  3. Please fill out the form with login information for OpenSpending.

  4. Select the OK-button.

Congratulations! You can now process data from OpenSpending within the Invantive Cloud website. You can do this for example with the interactive SQL editor.

Grant connection from Power BI access to OpenSpending

To retrieve the data from Power BI we create a link via Invantive Bridge Online. This creates a "bridge" between the cloud of Invantive and the standard OData connector that is available in every version of Power BI. You do not need to install anything locally: no connector, no ado.NET provider and no Power BI add-on neither.

Execute the following steps to safely use the data from OpenSpending outside of Invantive Cloud:

  1. Next to the database you will find an orange text requesting you to allow access from your current location (IP address). Select the nearby orange button.

  2. If you want to use the data through the web versions of Power BI, you must completely disable IP address checking by entering an asterisk ("*").

You are now ready to import the OpenSpending data into Power BI.

Configure Power BI connector for OpenSpending

You will now pull in Power BI data from OpenSpending through the established link.

Execute the following steps:

  1. Start Microsoft Power BI and click on "Get Data". Use Get Data in Power BI

  2. Choose "OData Feed." Choose OData feed

  3. Enter the Bridge Online URL of the OpenSpending database in the window. Select the OK-button. Configure OData URL for Invantive Bridge Online

  4. Sometimes Power BI does not accept the URL and a yellow warning sign appears. If so, add a '/' to the end of the URL and remove it again. Select the OK-button.

  5. A message about missing authentication will appear if you have not previously recorded your login credentials in Power BI.

  6. Select the "Basic" tab on the left. Configure Basic Authentication

  7. Enter the user name for Invantive Cloud.

  8. Enter the password that you have set for Invantive Cloud.

  9. You do not need to change the "Scope" under the "Choose which Level" menu unless you have specific reasons.

  10. Select the OK-button.

You only need to perform these steps for linking OpenSpending with Power BI once. From now on, you will find the linked data source in Power BI beneath "Recent Sources" in the menu.

Load Data in Power BI from OpenSpending

A list of OpenSpending tables appears for use in your dashboard. You can find these tables and their meaning on documentation.invantive.com. A limited number of tables from the OpenSpending documentation of Invantive are not visible from Power BI because they have parameters.

Execute the following steps to load data into your dashboard:

  1. Select the table you want to use in the Navigator. You can also select multiple tables at once.

  2. A preview of the data from OpenSpending appears to the right when you select a table.

  3. Select the OK-button.

  4. All data from all selected tables are loaded directly by the connector into Power BI.

  5. Loading can take a short or long time depending on the amount of data. The first time it takes noticeably longer anyway because the data is not yet in the "cache".

  6. Advanced Power BI users can use the "Transform" button to increase the loading speed from Power BI by applying filters.

The OpenSpending connection will cache the data. Your data will be stored encrypted. Power BI, especially during dashboard development, often retrieves the same data again. This cache provides a noticeable acceleration. The cached data is refreshed according to the duration you set at the virtual OpenSpending database. By default, the duration is set to 4 hours; therefore, you will receive the same data for 4 hours via the connection.

Build a OpenSpending Dashboard

In Power BI the data is now ready for use in the dashboard.

Now build your reports or dashboards.

Click "Refresh" to refresh the OpenSpending data from Invantive Bridge Online.

Additional features

After an initial success with new insights through a custom report or analysis on OpenSpending, you are going to create multiple dashboards on your OpenSpending data. It is then more efficient to use Microsoft data flows so that the data is shared between the different dashboards within the online Power BI platform.

You might also use other Invantive connectors for a report or analysis. For this you can follow the steps described above. All Power BI connectors of Invantive work identically; only the registration of the database depends on the data source.

Finally, using Invantive Cloud you can also build software in the form of small web applications. This software can use the data in your database.