Importing data into Power BI Desktop

API customers can use Meltwater’s Power BI Connector to bring earned media content and analytics into their workbooks. This guide explains how to get started with the connector.

Because this connector is not yet certified by Microsoft, please note:

  • This connector is not currently listed in Power BI as a data source. You will need to ask your Account Manager for access to the connector.
  • The connector works well for reports in Power BI Desktop, but not for Power BI Service. Please read the separate guide for Power BI Service.

Before you start

To complete this guide you will need:

Installing the Meltwater connector

In Power BI terminology the Meltwater integration is called a ‘Custom Connector’. You can read more about custom connectors here.

Because the integration is a custom connector, this means you need to copy the connector file to the right location on your computer, and you must allow Power BI to use custom connectors.

Your account manager will send you the latest version of the connector. The connector file will have a name in the form MWPowerBIConnector_1_2_0.mez.

Copy the MEZ file to [Documents]\Power BI Desktop\Custom Connectors (you will need to create this folder if it does not exist):


You now need to allow Power BI to use this custom connector. In Power BI, under the File menu select Options and settings, then Options. Go to Security, then allow extensions not validated by Microsoft:


Once the connector is installed, when you open the Get Data dialog in Power BI and search for “Meltwater” you will see the ‘functions’ you can use to access data.


We’ll take a look at each function in the following sections of this guide.

Earned media exports

This section covers how you can import the results of a “one-time” or “recurring” earned media export into Power BI.

Please make sure you have an ACTIVE recurring export or FINISHED one-time export export before you proceed.

Selecting an export

Start by selecting the “Meltwater - Earned Media Exports” function and clicking CONNECT.

At this point you will be asked to enter your Meltwater API token:


Enter your API token and click Connect to continue.

Next you will be shown the navigator window where you choose the export to bring in.

Expand the appropriate folder for the export type you’d like to access, then expand the export you’d like to import. The schema for an export is nested, therefore data is broken into multiple tables, related by the document_id field. Tick the tables you’d like to import - we recommend you select all of the tables, but you could choose to only import the Documents table for instance.


Once you’ve selected the tables you require click Load to continue.

Your data will be imported into Power BI. Depending on the size of the export this might take a little while.

Creating a visualization

You are now ready to build a report using the imported data. As a simple example you could build a donut chart showing a breakdown of sentiment.

Select Donut Chart from the list of Visualizations. From the Documents table Drag document_sentiment on to the Legend box, then drag document_id on to the Values box.


This will give you a simple chart.


Please consult the Power BI documentation to explore more options for your visualisations and reports.

Earned media analytics

This section covers how you can import earned media analytics results into Power BI.

Please make sure you have at least one Saved Search in your Meltwater account before you proceed.

Selecting an analysis type

Start by selecting the “Meltwater - Earned Media Analytics” function and clicking CONNECT.

At this point you will be presented with a number of options:

First, choose an Analysis Type for your request:

Summary - Volume Calls the summary analysis endpoint, and imports the volume timeseries result
Summary - Sentiment Calls the summary analysis endpoint, and imports the sentiment breakdown
Summary - Top Languages Calls the summary analysis endpoint, and imports the languages breakdown
Top Keyphrases Calls the top_keyphrases analysis endpoint and brings in the keyphrase breakdown
Top Entities Calls the top_keyphrases analysis endpoint and brings in the entities breakdown
Top Tags Calls the top_keyphrases analysis endpoint and brings in the tags breakdown
Top Locations - Countries Calls the top_locations analysis endpoint, requesting the county level, and brings in the result
Top Locations - Cities Calls the top_locations analysis endpoint, requesting the city level, and brings in the result
Top Locations - States Calls the top_locations analysis endpoint, requesting the state level, and brings in the result
Top Shared Calls the top_shared endpoint, and brings in the result
Top Sources Calls the top_sources endpoint, and brings in the result

Choosing a time period

Next you need to specify a time period for your analysis. The connector allows you to choose either a relative or absolute time period.

Note that the connector uses the local time zone of where you are running Power BI when calling the API.

To specify a relative time period, use the following parameters:

  • Relative time period: Number of days - Enter the size of the required time period in days. For example 7 would be the last 7 days. This means when the connector requests the analysis it will be from 00:00 7 days ago to 00:00 of the current day.
  • Relative time period: Time - Optionally use this parameter to override the time of day for time period. For example if you enter 09:00, and set the number of days to 7, when the connector requests the analysis it will be from 09:00 7 days ago to 09:00 of the current day.

To specify an absolute time period, use the following parameters:

  • Absolute time period: Start - The start of the time period to analyze.
  • Absolute time period: End - The end of the time period to analyze.

Enter a relative or absolute time period, then click OK to continue.

Entering your API token

At this point you will be asked to enter your Meltwater API token:


Enter your API token and click Connect to continue.

Choosing a company, search and source

Finally Power BI will show you a navigator window for your analysis request where you will need to choose the company, search and source for your analysis.

The top level of the navigator tree represents the “companies” you have access to through your Meltwater account. For most customers there will only be one company, but you may have access to different companies/accounts on the Meltwater platform (for example if you are large company with accounts for each of your teams).

Expand the company you’d like to use to see a list of searches owned by that company. Next expand the folder for the search you’d like to use where you will see a list of sources you can choose from.

Finally select the source you’d like to use for the analysis.

For example, in the screenshot above the “Company Demo” company/account has been expanded, next the “Adidas” search has been expanded, and finally the “Twitter” source has been selected.

Click Load to continue. This will fetch results from the API and bring them into Power BI.

Creating a visualization

Now that you have imported an analysis result you can build a visualization using the data. As a simple example, you could bring in a “Top Keyphrases” analysis result and create a tree map.

Select Treemap from the list of Visualizations. Drag the keyphrase field from the data schema on to the Group box, then drag the document_count field on to the Values box.

This will give you a simple visualization.

Note that for this example we filtered to the top 20 keyphrases to improve the visualization.

Owned social analytics

This section covers how you can import owned social analytics results into Power BI.

Please make sure you have at least one owned social connection configured in your Meltwater account before you proceed.

Choosing a source

Start by selecting the “Meltwater - Owned Social Analytics” function and clicking CONNECT.

At this point you will be presented with a number of options:


First you will need to choose the social network (source) for your analysis.

Choosing a time period

Next you need to specify a time period for your analysis. The connector allows you to choose either a relative or absolute time period.

To specify a relative time period, use the following parameters:

  • Relative time period: Number of days - Enter the size of the required time period in days. As an example, if you specify 7 days, the period will be one week up until “yesterday”. If you refresh your data in a week’s time, the time window will automatically move to a week later.

To specify an absolute time period, use the following parameters:

  • Absolute time period: Start - The start of the time period to analyze.
  • Absolute time period: End - The end of the time period to analyze.

Enter a relative or absolute time period, then click OK to continue.

Entering your API token

At this point you will be asked to enter your Meltwater API token:


Enter your API token and click Connect to continue.

Choosing a company, account and analysis type

Finally Power BI will show you a navigator window for your analysis request where you will need to choose the company, account and analysis type.

The top level of the navigator tree represents the “companies” you have access to through your Meltwater account. For most customers there will only be one company, but you may have access to different companies/accounts on the Meltwater platform (for example if you are large company with accounts for each of your teams).

Expand the company you’d like to use to see a list of owned social accounts connected for that company, then expand an account to see a list of analysis types you can choose from.

For example, in the screenshot above the “Company Demo” company/account has been expanded, next the “UX Design Community - SF” account has been expanded, and finally the “Page fan countries” analysis type has been selected.

Select the company, account and analysis type you’d like to use then click Load to continue. This will fetch results from the API and bring them into Power BI.

Supported analysis types

The analysis types you can choose from will depend on the social network for an account.

For Facebook the following analysis types are available:

  • Account metrics: A daily breakdown of all account-level int and float type metrics listed for Facebook accounts on the supported metrics page
  • Page fan cities: A daily breakdown of Facebook page fans by city
  • Page fan countries: A daily breakdown of Facebook page fans by country
  • Page fan gender and age: A daily breakdown of Facebook page fans by gender and age
  • Page fans online day & time: A breakdown of when Facebook page fans are online, by date and hour
  • Top posts - [sort field]: The top posts for the Facebook account, sorted by the stated field

For Instagram the following analysis types are available:

  • Account metrics: A daily breakdown of all account-level int and float type metrics listed for Instagram accounts on the supported metrics page
  • Follower cities: A daily breakdown of account followers by city
  • Follower countries: A daily breakdown of account followers by country
  • Follower gender and age: A daily breakdown of account followers by gender and age
  • Followers online day & time: A breakdown of when account followers are online, by date and hour
  • Top posts - [sort field]: The top posts for the Instagram account, sorted by the stated field

Creating a visualization

Now that you have imported an analysis result you can build a visualization using the data.

As a simple example, you could bring in a “Page fan countries” analysis result for a Facebook account and create a map of where your audience is located.

Select Map from the list of Visualizations. Drag the country_name field from the data schema on to the Location box, then drag the value field on to the Size box.


Refreshing data

In Power BI you can refresh the data in your report by clicking the Refresh button in the Home ribbon.


For earned media exports this will re-fetch data for the export from the API. For a one-time export this will have no value, but if you imported a recurring export, you can refresh your data in Power BI after the export is updated to bring in the latest results.

For earned media analytics this will re-fetch the analysis results from the API. If you specified an absolute time period for your analysis this will have no value as the same results will be fetched. If you specified a relative time window (for example the last 7 days), this will update the analysis results appropriately.

For owned social analytics this will re-fetch the analysis results from the API. If you specified an absolute time period for your analysis this will have no value as the same results will be fetched. If you specified a relative time window (for example the last 7 days), this will update the analysis results appropriately.

Consumption of API limits

For earned media exports the connector itself will not consume your API limits. For one-time exports your limits are consumed when you create the export using the Export Console or by calling the API. For recurring exports your limits are consumed each time the export is run on your chosen schedule by the API. Refreshing the data for an export in Tableau simply downloads the existing export result.

For earned media analytics the connector will call the appropriate analytics endpoint. Therefore when you first fetch data through the connector, or the connector refreshes the data, each time this will use one of your analysis calls from your limit.

For owned social analytics features we do not set package limits on the API. All customers are subject to fair-usage limits, but as these are high limits for most use cases you shouldn’t encounter any issues.

Clearing saved API tokens

When you use any of the features described above Power BI will store your API token so that you don’t have to enter this frequently.

You can clear any API token stored by Power BI by going to File > Options and settings > Data source settings. Here you can ‘clear credentials’ for any connector.