By: Mike Pierre-Louis 


With another year in the rearview, now is the time when companies will be reaching out to their clients and/or users to ask for feedback. Everyone knows that manually reading survey responses is so 2018 (ok, kidding, much much before that), so we’ve searched high and low to find you a simple way to build a great survey and automate your survey results. There are a multitude of options, but we landed on using Microsoft Excel Forms and Power BI. There are many benefits to this method, including an automatic data refresh every hour.

So, without further ado, let me show you how to build and run your survey.

Building the Survey:

The first step is to build the survey. Using Office 365, click on “One Drive.”
screenshot of Microsoft Office 365 apps

Find or Create a folder where you’d like your file to reside, then click on “+ New” followed by “Forms for Excel.”

screenshot create forms in Microsoft excel

Give your survey a name. Perhaps, “2018 Client Survey.” Once it’s saved, add your survey questions and configure your survey as you see fit. This part should be the most intuitive – and most specific to your business – so we’ll leave it to you.


Next, let’s configure the appropriate sharing settings. Click the Ellipse on the top right of the page and then click on “Settings.”

screenshot in Microsoft OneDrive

screenshot sharesetting in Microsoft OneDrive
Once that’s done, you can share your link with anyone.

As people submit their responses, the data will be collected in the base file. Once you’re satisfied with your survey theme style and questions, let’s switch over to Power BI.

Setting up PowerBI

Find or Create an App Workspace where you want the survey results report to reside and then hit “+ Create” then “Report.”

screenshot create report in Microsoft PowerBI

Once the pop up appears, click on “Import new data.”

screenshot Import new data in PowerBI

Click on “Get,” followed by “One Drive for Business,” and then search for your file and hit “Connect.”

screenshot of connecting files in PowerBI

Once there, click on “Import.”

screenshot import data in PowerBI

And you’re done! As users respond to your survey, data will be captured and automatically refreshed into your PowerBI report. Armed with your survey results in PowerBI, simply customize your report as you see fit and enjoy.

screenshot report in PowerBI

Further Develop Your Power BI Knowledge

  1. Want to add some better data visualizations to your survey results? Check out our article on custom data visualizations.
  2. Not sure how to share the survey results with your manager? Here’s how to share reports in PowerBI.
  3. New to PowerBI? Check out our Power BI Best Practices blog to get yourself moving faster.



Thanks for reading! We hope you found this blog post to be useful. Do let us know if you have any questions or topic ideas related to BI, analytics, the cloud, machine learning, SQL Server, (Star Wars), or anything else of the like that you’d like us to write about. Simply leave us a comment below, and we’ll see what we can do!

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Key2 Consulting is a data warehousing and business intelligence company located in Atlanta, Georgia. We create and deliver custom data warehouse solutions, business intelligence solutions, and custom applications.