Create a Power BI Dashboard
This help file outlines how to export model health data from a Revit file using Ideate Automation and display it in Power BI. This process will reduce the amount of hands-on time needed to ensure stability and consistency across your Revit project files. The Power BI template from Ideate is a starting point that you can modify to suit your company’s needs.
Create the Ideate Automation task
Set the script variables
Start Automation task
Loading data into PowerBI
Using the PowerBI template for different projects
Migrating to Automation 3.0 and PowerBI 3.0
Before you begin, check that your setup can meet these requirements:
- Power BI Desktop — September 2023 (Version 2.121.644.0 or later)
- Installed Ideate Software:
- Ideate Automation — version 3.0 or later — download and complete the Open File task first!
- Ideate BIMLink — version 6.2 or later (May 2023)
- Ideate Explorer — version 4.8 or later (May 2022) download them all here
- IdeateApps — version 1.15 or later (May 2023)
The PowerBI template and associated files can be requested by Ideate Software subscription customers. You will receive an email from Ideate Software support with a download link.
Download the zip file, double-click on it and choose ‘Extract All’.
IMPORTANT! Do not accept the default folder location for these files. You must extract them directly to the ‘C:\’ drive, in order for this workflow to function correctly. Please refer to the image below which shows the correct entry.
The Ideate Health Check folder will be created on your ‘C:\’ drive, containing the following subfolders:
- Dashboard Template, containing these files:
- Ideate Dashboard — v3_0.pbit — Power BI Dashboard Template. This Power BI template file references the exported data and shows the interactive dashboard visualizations. Important — the template file must not be moved to the Data Folder.
- Metric.xlsx. This file sets the threshold values that change visualizations from black to red. Metric.xlsx file must not be moved into the Data Folder. You may modify this file to your company’s threshold values.
- Time Stamp
- This is the sample Data Folder (.xlsx files). It contains a sample dataset to view the visualization and familiarize yourself with the dashboard. When the template is first launched, you’ll be prompted to enter the “Folder” location. It refers to this folder. You can change the data location later or replace the files here with your company’s Ideate Automation exports. Only correctly formatted xlsx exports should be placed in this folder.
Create the Ideate Automation Task
- Launch Ideate Automation. The shortcut can be found on your Desktop after installation.
- Select Create to start a new task.
- Pick the script “ISW-Health_Check-PowerBI” in the “C:\ProgramData\Ideate\Ideate Automation\Custom Scripts\PowerBI” library. This script was placed here in the Initial Setup step.
- Review the description of this task and note the product requirements, then pick Next.
Set the Script Variables
Fill in the required script variables:
- Revit Files — select one or more Revit files to process for a health check. Go to ‘Manage’ if you have not added the files into your Automation Files list yet.
- Export Folder — browse for a location to save the Excel data files. This will be your Data Folder, per the details in the Initial Setup section above. It can be located on your local drive or BIM 360 / ACC as well.
Review the defaults and the optional variables:
- Use File List checkbox: This will allow you to use a txt file that includes a prebuilt list of models on which to run the health check. You can generate this list using the script “AUT-Generate_Revit_File_List”.
- Template File Location: The template is required to ensure data format consistency across various Revit models. The preset tabs are expected to be in a specific sequence by the Power BI template
- Exported File Name: For time stamped data, the date of the export is required
- Link Library Path: Ideate BIMLink definitions configured to work with the PowerBI export. They are placed into the script folder by the Dashboard Files.exe by default.
- Include Annotation Issues: Runs the Annotation Issues check using Annotate from IdeateApps. This will increase the run time of the script, as all workests need to be opened and all views checked for issues.
- Include Views on Sheets Only: It will only run the Annotation Issues check on Placed views. Views not on a sheet will be skipped.
Select Next, then review the script inputs on the Confirm Task Selections page.
Start the Automation Task
- Before you start the task, ensure that all changes have been Synced with Central. When you are ready to proceed, pick ‘Save and Run’. This will start Revit and proceed to export data. The Status field will indicate the task is Running.
- Once the task is finished, you should see a ‘Completed’ status on the Home page. At this point you can use the right-click menu or the Schedule button to set a regular repeat of this task, or pick ‘Clone’ to change some of the variables as needed.
- The result of this process is a uniquely named Health Check Excel file for each of the selected Revit files, located in the Data Folder.
Loading Data into Power BI
The Ideate Dashboard — v3_0.pbit is the template file containing the dashboard visualizations. It is found in C:\Ideate Health Check\Dashboard Template.
- Open the .pbit file with Power BI, either by double-clicking on the file or in Power BI, select File>Open Report>Browse Reports.
- Be sure to change file type to Power BI template files (.pbit) when browsing for the template.
- After starting Power BI, a dialog shown below will appear.
- Enter the Data Folder path (custom or C:\Ideate Health Check\Time Stamp) and Select ‘Load’
- If you see a pending change to queries, select Apply Changes.
- It is a best practice to refresh the data in Power BI — Home Tab > Queries Panel > Refresh.
- Once the data loads, you can save it with a name that follows your company standards as PowerBI files (.pbix) to a folder associated with a specific project
- When opening the .pbix file, you need to Refresh the data to add any newly created exports into the visualization list.
Using the PowerBI template for different projects
The automated exports for different projects should be set up to be saved to project specific folders. Please make sure to not store any other files in these or the Power BI query will not function correctly.
- Create your folder structure like this:
- Open the Ideate_Dashboard template file
- Set the Folder path to the project-specific data folder
- Once the data is loaded, save as a .pbix file. Save it in a different subfolder from your data exports!
- Now you can make a project-specific shortcut to the .pbix file directly on your desktop or put them all in a holding folder.
- The two paths necessary for the template to function are managed here:
- The visualization Metric file:
- The Data Source Folder (./Time Stamp by default)
- Filters — File Name and Date are filters that are applied to the data visualizations. The underlying data is not affected.
- Thresholds — Metric.xlsx file is loaded in Power BI and is used to conditionally format the viz cards. You may modify the Metric.xlsx and the conditional formatting thresholds will change.
- Warnings Rank slicers (4 - High, 3 - Medium, 2 – Low, 1 – Not Ranked) can be selected using CTRL+Click. If they’re black, they are selected, if they’re white, they’re unselected.
- Project Information — Used as a value to filter dashboard information by File Name and Date for the following visuals: Revit Version, File Size, number of Warnings, Warnings per File Size, Views not on Sheet, Model Lines, Model Groups, Detail groups, Avg. Annotation Issues/ Sheet, CAD Imports, and In-Place Families.
- Model Groups — Sum of Model Groups filtered by File Name and Date.
- Detail Groups — Sum of Detail Groups filtered by File Name and Date.
- Views Not on Sheets — Dependent and Independent Views not on sheets (primary views not calculated) on filtered date/file.
- Avg. Annotation Issues/Sheet — Issue count divided by number of sheets on filtered date/file. Issues include 0 Length Dimensions, Annotation Clashes, Blank Tags, Elevation Marks with no Elevations, Hidden by Element, Orphaned Tags, and Not Visible Elements.
- CAD Imports — Sum of CAD Imports on filtered date/file. Control + Click “Details” button to see details, including Created By.
- In-Place Families — Sum of In-Place Families on filtered date/file. Control + Click “Details” button to see details, including Created By.
- Warnings Over Time — Information on warnings change over time.
- TopWarning Descriptions — Filtered by File Name, Date and Is Hidden set to False. Types of warnings can be picked above by the slicer (4 - High, 3 - Medium, 2 – Low, 1 – Not Ranked) that can be selected using CTRL+Click. If they’re black, they are selected and if they’re white, they’re unselected. Is Hidden is set to False in this visual so you are only seeing warnings that are not set to hidden with Ideate Explorer. If you’d like to see if there are any hidden warnings, you can see that under Detail Information (2) Tab or CTRL+Click on the (i) Icon under Top Warnings Description visual.
- Detail Information Tab (1) — Detailed information about CAD Imports and In-Place Families including ‘Created By’.
- Detail Information Tab (2) — Detailed information on Warnings details, Totals and Hidden Warnings.
Migrating to Automation 3.0 and PowerBI 3.0 Template
The version 3.0 contains major updates to the data exports utilizing Ideate BIMLink, Ideate Explorer and Ideate Annotate. The updated ISW-Health_Check-PowerBI script no longer ships with Ideate Automation; it can be requested by Ideate Software subscription customers instead. The script itself has been redesigned to allow more flexibility and supports scheduling directly in the Automation UI.
If you had Automation Tasks utilizing the previous iteration of the PowerBI script, they need to be recreated using the new script. Following the request, you will get an executable that will place files in C:\ProgramData\Ideate\Ideate Automation\Custom Scripts\PowerBI and here C:\Ideate Health Check
These include the script file and BIMLink definitions optimized for the new PowerBI 3.0 template.