Despite its numerous data management capabilities, DHIS2’s data visualization abilities are limited. For example, there are restrictions with DHIS2 in sharing editable versions of a visualization.
Connecting DHIS2 to PowerBI, a powerful business intelligence tool is beneficial for the DHIS2 community as it helps complement the limitations of DHIS2. For example, this connection enables a wider range of visualization and analytics.
It also serves as a bridge between DHIS2 and other applications that require visualizations, and finally, it provides analytical and data manipulation avenues with data from DHIS2.
A custom connector is needed to connect PowerBI to DHIS2 successfully. The custom connector leverages the PowerBI Connector SDK to retrieve core data from DHIS2 using DHIS2 web API methods. The connector transforms these data into a preliminary data model optimized for PowerBI, which can then be further tailored to meet data analysis needs. By integrating seamlessly into the “Get Data” function in PowerBI Desktop, the data connector makes it easy for users to query, shape and mashup DHIS2 data to build custom reports and interactive dashboards.
The custom connector allows import of the following;
- Organisation Unit metadata
- Data Element metadata
- Data Element Values
- The date range for OU Levels
- Dynamic Dimensions like Categories, Attributes, Category Option Groupsets
- Organisation Unit Group Sets and Data Element Group Sets
- Date table
- Periods table
After the successful installation of the DHIS2 Custom Connector on PowerBI Desktop, importing the desired data through an interactive interface is done by;
- Providing log-in details to the desired DHIS2 instance.
- Selecting the metadata and data to import.
Once the user’s credentials are authenticated, a navigation box will pop up, displaying the various DHIS2 tables available to import, including:
- Dimensions: multiple tables representing category option combinations and attribute option combinations
- Data Element Values: the values associated with each data element
- Data Elements: all data elements available in the DHIS2 instance selected
- Organization Units
After data import, users can work on the desired data model to clean and manipulate data leveraging the analytics capability of PowerBI.
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