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Exploring my Mailchimp data in Power BI

by | 8:13 am EST | November 23, 2016 | Power BI

This is my first post in my new series detailing how I use data and Power BI to grow my own business.

What better way to showcase how amazing Power BI is than to show everyone how I use it every day to increase my own community profile and of course revenue, as that’s what matters at the end of the day.

I’ve been using Mailchimp for a little bit now and I find I’m waking up in the morning and immediately wanting to see how many subscribers I’ve received overnight. I like the accumulation aspect of seeing subscriber numbers slowly increase day by day.

Where I’ve found a lot of success engaging with visitors and readers has been when I have started to give away resources for Power BI. My guess here (as I don’t have enough data to prove it yet) is that because Power BI is so new the community is crying out for some help and the best way I can do that is by giving away some resources.

Before I did this, all I had on my site was a ‘subscribe’ button to my monthly email newsletter and over a period of a couple of months all I had to show for it was 3 emails!

Why was that? Well, because I have to say I was adding no value to anyone really. The data (and results) was clearly showing me that what I was doing wasn’t working, so I changed my strategy and have now started giving back to the community and visitors who come to my site by allowing anyone to download some of the detailed Power BI models I have built (see here)

Now that I have a few more subscribers my Mailchimp data has started to become a little bit more meaningful, so now I’m going to start analysing it and making future decisions based on what the data is telling me. I’m going to show you how you can do this also.

Mailchimp actually has a content pack for Power BI which is great. If you’re not sure what a content pack is, it is a pre-packaged report and dashboard that you can setup in Power BI, of which Mailchimp is one. There are plenty of other content packs, with more connections appearing all the time. Because far more data is stored in the cloud now, you are able to connect to it remotely which is awesome.

To get the Mailchimp content pack, you need to log into the Power BI online service, then click ‘Get Data’ (bottom left) and then under ‘Services’ click ‘Get’


Once I’m clicked into the ‘Services’ section I’m then taken to AppSource. AppSource is the latest market place for a variety of Microsoft cloud apps. From here I found the Mailchimp application.


Then I clicked into ‘Mailchimp’ for Power BI and then went through a couple of steps to authenticate and log in with my own credentials.



Once all this is done it takes a little while to update.

Once all that updating has been done, the first thing you see is the dashboard already created for you. First impressions not so good for me as the data doesn’t even look right.

I know that I have 219 subscribers as this is what I’m seeing on the Mailchimp website currently so this isn’t so reassuring.


Let’s do some more exploring.

First I’m going to check out the report and run through all the various pages that are in there.


So there’s a few in there, but I have to say there is no much data in there for me. It seems that if you’ve gained subscribers, through a different source like I have (I use Leadpages to retrieve details from visitors) then, there unfortunately isn’t a whole look of information that is stored within Mailchimp other than the total number of subscribers.

That’s interesting though, so will have to keep that in mind for the future.

Even though there isn’t actually that much I can work with I’m sure there is something I can use. If I jump to ‘List Composition’ section I can see that I’ve got a summary of all my subscribers based on how they have signed up.


This is a pretty bare dashboard I have to say. I’m going to rearrange this a little bit so that I can actually get a good view of what I need to see. Most of this info isn’t super useful because I just haven’t built up enough data yet, but I’m not going to use that as a reason not to use what I’ve got.

To change your dashboard in Power BI online you can click the ‘Edit Report’ button up the top and that allows you to customise things.


I’m not going to go overboard here as I would like more information before I spend a bit more time getting the design right. I’m just going to minimise the charts that have no information and place them in the corner. Then I’ve made the visual showing subscribers per list larger and added some data labels.


Don’t forget to save this so that the report keeps the changes that you make.

At least now I have some insights! I can see where my subscribers are coming from now. I can see that my most popular download currently in the ‘Understanding Your Customer Better’ pbix file (download here). This actually isn’t surprising to me, as it’s a really popular dashboard on the Power BI showcase and also on some LinkedIn groups, but good to see anyway.

What can I discover from this insight? Why is that the most downloaded? Should I be focusing on delivering these to the community and visitors? Is this what they want? These are all great questions I can ask myself now, track and then act on because I can see the information summarised in this format.

The next most popular sign up is for the ‘Understanding Your Customers Better’ – webinar (save a spot here). This really has to do with my marketing most likely, as I’ve posted this on a number of mediums, the main one being on mine (join here) and another LinkedIn Group.

That also seems to have had flow on effects for the other resources and areas where visitors can enter their emails. All good insights! It seems if someone comes for one things they are usually signing up for another. (That would be some great analysis to do…see how many visitors are downloading more that one resource)

While writing and thinking about this I really need to integrate my Google Analytics information here, and possibly my Leadpages results if I can somehow get them. That way I can see how many people are coming to my website, how many are clicking on a leadbox and then how many are actually becoming a subscriber and entering their email.

With all these combined you really are starting to build up a number of key metrics that you can optimise over time.

In review

I’ve got a bit to go to get some really meaningful information out of my Mailchimp app for Power BI. I can though already get a bit of info, that allows me to adjust my dashboard and then build that out over time as my data points increase.

Also, it looks as though you want to have sent out some emails to your subscribers as well and see what the performance is of those emails that you are sending out.

So, there’s a lot that can be improved here on my end to make this data more meaningful, and to actually draw any insight out of it, which I plan to work on over time.

I really want to use this data source and analytics package to analyse how many subscribers I’m getting through the variety of resources and services that I’m providing the community. From this, I’m going to be able to answer various questions like;

What content should I be focusing on producing?

What resources does the community need to improve at Power BI?

Who is opening the emails I’m sending out to my subscribers?

and much more…..

There’s definitely also some improvements to make to the look and feel of this report, but I’m going to wait until I have a bit more information on my reports and dashboards before I do that. Stay tuned……

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