By Chris Metcalf
At Socrata, we work hard every day to make data more useful, to more people, in more ways. Whether it’s through our award-winning open data platform, our GovStat performance tracking tools, or our easy-to-use Socrata Open Data API, we strive to identify the most user friendly way for the widest variety of users to access open data and provide a targeted experience for their needs.
Today, we’re excited to announce the release of the Socrata Open Data Connector for Microsoft Office 365™, a new feature that delivers native support for Microsoft Excel® and the newly released Power Query feature and Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 and Power Query tools—right from your desktop. By adding support for the Open Data Protocol (OData), an open standard for accessing data over the web, users will be able to seamlessly access datasets from within their Excel spreadsheets, and keep them in sync as data changes.
Once users have loaded data into Excel, they’ll be able to use familiar tools to:
- Discover available datasets from within Power Query
- Make use of open data within their Excel models and analyses
- Analyze datasets using sophisticated features like PowerPivot in Excel
- Build and share dashboards using Microsoft Power BI for Office 365
- Visualize data using charting tools in Excel
- Create interactive maps using the Power Map feature in Excel
And best of all, since Excel has a live connection to the Socrata dataset, refreshing your source data is just a click away.
Using Excel to Access Open Data
We have added a new “OData” pane within the “Export” tab of every tabular dataset on Socrata. Within that pane, users will find a link to the OData endpoint for that dataset. By copying that link into Microsoft Excel, you’ll be able to set up a live connection to the data in Socrata.
These updates will be rolled out today and will be available on all existing public datasets.
Socrata’s support for OData will be maintained alongside our support for our Socrata Open Data API (SODA), so developers can continue to choose which experience they prefer. Because the functionality of the OData standard differs from that of SODA, some query functions and datatypes may only be available via SODA.
Microsoft, Excel, and Office 365 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.