This is quite common issues as you start to go forward in Power BI, so I’ll try and scope it out for you guys.

A client has five or six data sources coming together to produce a Power BI report, due to the nature of the data sources they return a “now” state so trending is  a challenge, typically to set trending up we would set up a snapshot. In this data model data is coming in from a range of services not all of which are in SQL some data is coming directly from products as well. The net result is that snapshotting would be complex and ultimately remove the benfit of using Power BI and the Mashup engine. Instead Patrick spelled it all out in a Guy in a Cube Video. Now we didn’t need to do all of this, but something went “ping” and suddenly I had a vision of the future. We could use the integrated SharePoint with the App space to host a SharePoint List and then use the SharePoint List to bring the data back.

That’s dumb, why would I want to do it all this way, SharePoint isn’t going to hold the data I need!

The biggest benefit of using this method is that quickly and easily trends can be set up based on complex “unrelated” data.

Watch this space as I’ll keep adding to it as we find things out about using the mechanism after all there isn’t really a short cut to setting up a trend and getting real world data.