Use Power Query to Manage Dropbox Space

Level: Beginners

I got this dreaded Dropbox email recently as shown below.

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I needed to clear out some of the files I have loaded in Dropbox so I didn’t have to upgrade my account.  It occurred to me that I could make this process a lot easier by using Power BI to quickly show me where my big files were located in Dropbox.  This post today explains how I did it. What I ended up with is a report like this that allowed me drill down on the large sub folders to easily find my big files.

dropbox size

Note, there is a great tool called WinDirStat that you can download here that does this too – I use WinDirStat all the time. But I never want to miss an opportunity to do something with Power BI.

Process to Build the “File Space Usage” Tool

First I created a new Power BI report and connected it to my Dropbox folder.

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You can of course use the same process on any other folder on your computer, or even the entire Hard Disk if you want.

I then imported the columns I thought would be of use, and loaded them into the data model.

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I figured the Hidden flag and Date Accessed might be useful at some stage, so I brought those in too.

I then wrote some measures that I thought would be useful.

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I encourage you to write your own measures rather than use the implicit measures created when you drag a column of values to the report.  By writing your own measures, you “Learn” how to write DAX and that will help you become a Power BI ninja.

The last thing I did was to create a report that made it easy to see where my big files were located and find out what they were.

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I have loaded a short 4 minute video that shows how quick and easy it is to do this from scratch.

What Obtuse uses have you found for Power BI?

I would love to hear from others about how they are using Power BI in ways that are not immediately obvious.

 

If you want a comprehensive lesson on how to use Power Query, checkout my training course here https://exceleratorbi.com.au/product/power-query-excel-power-bi-online-training/

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Comments

  1. That is so handy. I didn’t realise that “Folder” allowed you to do that.
    To take it on step further, the next thing is to identify duplicate files.

    Cheers.

  2. Chapeau Matt….very nice indeed! I saw someone else talking about doing this with Outlook data files which may have similar potential.
    Mike

  3. Matt – EXCELLENT. I didn’t know you could use Folder like that. I’m going to share this with my team. I would think IT would love this too.

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