ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Case Study: 12-Month Rolling Dashboard on Hosted 0365 SharePoint 2013

Updated on September 28, 2020

The Sad Tale of a Difficult Dashboard


In a hosted 0365 SharePoint 2013, I have to display a rolling 12-month view of Software
Licenses Owned & Planned contrasted against the current server license requirements needed
and planned.
(This is basic Software License Management, and there are plenty of COTS products that
will skin this cat, but they're not an option. Consider this is a case study, so stretch
your mind and not focus on THIS particular problem, but the possible solutions of other
similar scenario.)


There is a rather normalized set of lists that facilitate data entry by different
factions. Procurement enters the software purchase. Environment supplies the requirements
of the servers. (These are disparate, so SharePoint is great that people worldwide can
enter data.) But, as you can imagine, there are 4 lists: Software, Procurement, Server,
Server Software.

Current Solution:

What we have cobbled together so far is the ability to make a DataExtract view on both the
Server Software and the Procurement lists, and that is the basis of a connection to an
Excel spreadsheet. That extraction is a good basis, but then within that spreadsheet,
there is a "working" tab, that then provides further transformations to complete the ETL
functionality for the metrics.

From there, multiple tabs are made showing charts for each product group, displaying
overages, underages, money spent or planning to spend etc.

Rolling 12-Month View

The user selects a start date, and from it, the 12-month rolling view is produced. It goes from the first day of the entered month, and rolls out the 12 months. For example, if the user enters any value in January 2016, then the 12 month view should show Jan - Dec 2016.

The date is updated every 6 months, to keep up with proper forcasting. As far as I know, there is no way to simply produce this in any Business Intelligence (BI) application. (i.e. Excel, PowerBI, etc.)


1. The first problem is that the size of an individual spreadsheet with all of this
Extracted Data, then the working tabs, and all of the "dashboard" content makes the Excel
file so large, that it CAN NOT be used as the basis for a SharePoint Excel Web Services
web part. So, we "split" the spreadsheet into a Data and Dashboard spreadsheet file.

2. We do not have a fileshare. The OneDrive concept has taken over, and there is no longer
a fileshare. All employees have a OneDrive library that they can share, but this is NOT a
good Enterprise solution, IMO. Also, to display the spreadsheet in the Excel Web Services
web part, the dashboard spreadsheet needs to be stored in a SharePoint Document library.
Don't forget that there are now two spreadsheets, linked, and fortunately, Excel can find
the linked spreadsheet if it is in the same DocLib.

3. Updating the content in both spreadsheets is now a chore. First, the Data spreadsheet
must be opened and the data Refreshed. Then, the Dashboard spreadsheet has to be opened,
and the content Updated. (There's no data in the dashboard, only references to the data
via formulas.) Keep in mind that performing these actions creates a new "version" of the files in the Document Library. (I'm fairly sure this is a horrible long term solution, but haven't done the math on it. I try to purge old versions on a regular basis.)

Desired Achievements:

A. Assuming that I decide to stick with this concept, the first desired outcome is to try to automate the "Refresh & Update" process. I've tried several methods, but the challenge of the two linked spreadsheets, in a SharePoint Document library, with all of the built-in "Click to Enable Content" and other Microsoft Office-isms makes this very, very challenging.

B. I've started working on an method inside of Access where the all of the calculations are done within an Access Database (not a web database, as it isn't strong enough to do that heavy lifting. No Action Queries nor Crosstabs.), and that will result in porting the data to the Data Spreadsheet, and will allow for easier maintainability down the road when new products come or go.

Other Facts:

i. We have PowerBI at our disposal, the free version, and as much as I'd like to produce the dashboards there, the same issues still exist, and more. First, PowerBI doesn't link directly to SharePoint lists, so you MUST use the PBI Desktop. Next, there are refresh issues, and also space limitation issues, due to having the free version vs. the paid version.

Concepts Wanted!

Do you have any thoughts?

Knowing that the data must be stored in SharePoint lists, produce a rolling 12-month view, and the dashboards displayed on a SharePoint Page (or maybe PowerBI), what would you do?


What would you use to solve this problem? Sharepoint and ...

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)