Power Query MySQL database connection

Excel Power Query can make a connection to MySQL database but requires that you have a MySQL Connector/Net 6.6.5 for Microsoft Windows. Instructions for that on Microsoft site.

Once you have the connector you can get MySQL db table data into your Excel file using Power Query in two ways. The method you select will be dependent on how you want to work with the MySQL data you retrieve.

The choice is made after you have selected Power Query – From Database – From MySQL Database.

After you select From MySQL Database, you will see the MySQL Database connection popup.

Now you can make a choice. Either method requires you to specify the Server and Database to make direct connection to a single table (or view) but you can optionally enter a SQL Statement to effectively connect to multiple tables and views in one connection. Bonus is that the SQL query is pushed back into the server so the Power Query client doesn’t have to do the work.

Method # 1. Native SQL query – when connecting you have option to enter SQL, and if you enter SQL query there you will get:

    Source = MySQL.Database(“”, “database_name”, [Query=”select * from database_table_name”])

Method # 2. Power Query Navigation – instead of entering SQL, just leave that field blank, then continue on, and Power Query will present you with list of MySQL server database names (Schemas) and tables names. Simply select the “Table” link in the database and table that you want and that will add Navigation step and retrieve that table’s data.

    Source = MySQL.Database(“”, “database_name”),
   database_table_name = Source{[Schema=”database_name”,Item=”database_table_name”]}[Data]

Either way you get the same table results in the Power Query.

Of course, if you want to join in other tables from your MySQL database(s), then method #1 will be more direct. Method #1 also assumes that you can use SQL to get what you want from the MySQL database tables.

However, you could also use method #2 to retrieve all desired tables (even from different databases on that server), and then use Merge or Append to get the desired results.

Method #2 allows you to retrieve and work with your MySQL database table data without using SQL and rely on Excel Power Query instead. That opens the door for relatively non-technical data workers to use the data which is a pretty cool thing!

You can use these methods with MySQL databases on your local computer or on a remote computer. You just have to make sure to enter the correct server url, database name, user and password.

On occasion I have had challenges before I could get a remote MySQL database connection to work. I had to clear the Power Query cache, update Power Query, turn off the Privacy option to make the connection work.

BC Hydro’s amazing #BCStorm social media turnaround

BC Hydro made an amazing social media turnaround to communicate with customers in crisis! Go BC Hydro!

On August 29, 2015 high winds caused tree falls that took out BC Hydro power lines throughout BC’s Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast leaving up to 500,000 customers without electricity. Many including me were without power for 48 hours.

BC Hydro’s web site was their primary channel for communicating with customers about extent of damage and expected time for repairs, but the site also went down during this time. H

They had used Twitter in the past to communicate with customers but they weren’t using it much on first day of crisis.

However on the second day of the crisis with 100,000+ customers still without power BC Hydro dramatically increased Twitter communication by responding directly to customer tweets about extent of damage and expected time for repairs.

To visualize this dramatic increase in BC Hydro Twitter usage I downloaded all @BCHydro tweets for August 29 and 30 from Twitter’s API using Python Tweepy and used Microsoft Power BI to create a visualization of BC Hydro tweet counts which is shown below.

Some notes on chart:

  • x axis shows date and hour of day
  • y-axis shows count of tweets
  • ‘response’ tweets are light green part of bar
  • ‘status’  tweets are dark green part of bar

You can see that on August 30 at 11 AM, about 28 hours after the storm hit, BC Hydro suddenly starts tweeting responses to customers’ questions. They continued for the next few days until their website was back up in addition to their regular ‘status’ tweets.

The chart clearly shows a very amazing social media turnaround! BC Hydro dramatically increased their use of Twitter to get customers answers and information. Go BC Hydro!

Note: the Twitter data was last updated Aug 31, 2015 at 16.45 PM PST.



Historically BC Hydro did not use Twitter this way.  The chart below shows BC Hydro’s tweeting before the storm. They were tweeting once or twice per day with occasional spikes to 7 tweets per day.




The ‘response‘ category includes tweets by BC Hydro responding to a customer tweet. Example ‘response’ tweet:

2015-08-30 14:26:01, @Adamhillz Crews will be on site as soon as possible. Stay back from any downed lines and call 911 if it is on fire.

The ‘status‘ category includes tweets by BC Hydro about ongoing status of repair work etc. Example ‘status’ tweet:

2015-08-30 14:28:32, Crews have been brought in from across province, including Prince George, Terrace, Kamloops, Smithers, Vernon & Vancouver Island #bcstorm

FYI if anyone is interested, here is the text file with tweet text – bchtweets

Here is the Python code used to get the BC Hydro Tweets using the Twitter API.

import tweepy
#import MySQLdb
from datetime import datetime
import random
import sys, os
import json
from dateutil import tz
from tweet_auth import * #this is another .py file with the twitter api credentials

#get twitter auth
auth = tweepy.OAuthHandler(consumer_key, consumer_secret)
auth.set_access_token(access_token, access_token_secret)
api = tweepy.API(auth)

def main():
with open('bchtweets.csv', 'wb') as file:
for status in tweepy.Cursor(api.user_timeline, id='bchydro').items(1800):
file.write(str(status.created_at.replace(tzinfo=tz.gettz('UTC')).astimezone(tz.gettz('America/Los_Angeles')).replace(tzinfo=None)) + ', ' + status.text.encode('utf8') + '\n')

if __name__ == '__main__':

Note that there is a separate file with my Twitter OAuth credentials that looks like the following. You just have to replace the ‘xxx…’ with your credentials.

#twitter api oauth credentials - replace with yours
consumer_key = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
consumer_secret = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
access_token = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'
access_token_secret = 'xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx'