Refresh your dataset(s) automatically when you open Power BI app in iOS.

In this tutorial, we will create a Flow that triggers a dataset refresh whenever the Power BI app is opened, via the iOS Shortcuts app.

Imagine that you want to make sure that all of your datasets are refreshed whenever you open your Power BI app in your iOS device.

First Step — Create Flow

Go to Microsoft Power Automation (previously Flow) and sign in, then in My Flows create a new Instant Flow, choose a name and skip choosing the trigger.

There are tons of triggers, in this case, we are going to choose when an HTTP request is received and leave everything in blank. At this moment we do not have a URL address, this will be created after we save.

After setting the HTTP request we will add the action Refresh a dataset, here we have to choose the workgroup and dataset we want to refresh.

Press Save, your flow now should look like this, please notice that now we have an address on the field HTTP POST URL, copy this address, we will use it in the iOS Shortcuts app (I use the Reminders app on iCloud to save this long address).

Second Step — Create Shortcut.

Shortcuts is an iOS app that allows us to create different types of automations based on triggers (documentation.)

In this case, we will use it to trigger the dataset refresh flow, the trigger of the Short will be every time we open the Power BI app.

(My settings are in Spanish but the instructions in English, I hope you will be able to follow through).

Open your Shortcuts app and at the bottom select automation, on the next screen select Create Personal Automation, here go to the Settings triggers and select Open app, search for Power BI app and select it.

Now, we need to add an action, search for Get Contents of URL.

Here we need to paste the address we generate on the previous step (the one I told you I saved on my Reminder App).

One important step is to go Show more, the method must be set as POST, and Heathers section should include: Content-Type application/json

This is how our Shorcut should look like

On the next step, we need to define if we want to be asked before running, I have this option on, we press in Done and our Shorcut+Flow is ready.

If we did all the steps correctly, every time we open our Power BI app in our iOS device, we will be asked to run the automation to refresh the dataset.

We can go back to Microsoft Automate (Flow) and check that the Flow and Shortcut were correctly executed.


Keep in mind the limitations to data refresh: Power BI limits datasets on shared capacity to eight daily refreshes. If the dataset resides on a Premium capacity, you can schedule up to 48 refreshes per day in the dataset settings (documentation).

There is the possibility to create a slightly more complex flow to notify when there is an error on the dataset refresh, I will explain this on the next delivery.

What else to do?

  1. - When arriving at office.
  2. - When connecting to certain WiFi.
  • The URL Post can contain information in JSON format, I have retrieved my location by lat and lon, for then feeding a Power BI streaming dataset.
  • Newest iPhones have NFC compatibility, you could buy an NFC sticker and the trigger would be, every time this NFC sticker is detected, do…

Originally published at on November 17, 2019.

Consultant, Business Intelligence, data, and analytics.