About Parth Acharya
Data Analyst | Social Media Evangelist | Film Maker

36 Responses to Brand New Excel Add-in: Data Explorer (And How to: Social Media Analytics)

  1. sairakesh says:

    informative read…

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  3. gleedan says:

    For me, this is not how informative I was getting for this post of Mr. Parth. The important I have get is the knowledge for the add-ons of excel. That was really amazing.

  4. 8G says:

    can you Query multiple Fans and append only new posts with some automated scripts?

    • Yes, it is possible to query multiple fans. And I do not believe you can append only new posts with some automated scripts, however you can refresh the query with a single click and download all the updated data with new posts.

  5. Dave says:

    Thank you so much! Can’t wait to give this a go! could save us thousands in social tools!

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  7. Martin says:

    Hi, I’ve been doing this for a couple of months, and all of the sudden the company’s profile I’m doing this for is giving me a limit size=1000 error. Have you got this sometime? did you fix it? really appreciate if you can help. THanks!!

    • Hi Martin – yes, I have got that error sometimes, especially when I try to pull ‘feed’ or ‘posts’ from business pages. To tackle this error, I add ‘limit’ and ‘until’ parameter to the query. I should update the blog to throw light on this error and its solution. Thanks.

      • Martin says:

        Thanks for your reply! Meantime, would you share the details, so I can tackle it out myself and deliver the info to the client? Thanks a Lot !!!

      • There… updated! – Let me know if the described solution does not work for you.

      • Martin says:

        Fantastic!! it works like a charm. There is this little matter of the records limit… in my case, is 200… So I think I’ll be doing a little programming, or just copypasting and editing the formula to get what I need (2nd half 2013 from a major bank). but it’s far better than copy/paste the contents from Fb directly, and far more insightful!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        According to updated Graph API the “unitl” and “since” parameters must be in the UNIX timestamp code (i.e. 1459382400) not in the MM-DD-YYYY or YYYY-MM-DD format. UNIX

      • Thank you for the call out. :)

  8. That’s awesome. Do you know how the same can be done in other spreadsheet softwares such as LibreOffice?

    • Hi Akshita,

      I do not think you can do this with other spreadsheet software such as LibreOffice – mainly because it is not Excel that does it per se, but an Excel Add-in “Power Query” that has this capability.

      *Unless LibreOffice comes up with its own extension that supports Facebook API*

  9. Thanks a lot Parth to share this add-in. One does not now need to totally depend on social media technologies. I did read in comments that its not possible to append new data in existing sheet. Just wanted to check again in case we are able to download more than 1000 comments for a particular date range. Or maybe if we want it for a longer date range with too many updates we have to download in different sheets, right? Any similar add-in for twitter, YouTube, Instagram or other social platforms?

    • Hi Princee,

      If you are referring to the 1000 posts limit, I updated to blog to cover a way around that limitation. I believe using multiple files gives flexibility, but I think you can essentially use the same file with multiple tabs to gather a broader (date) range of data.

  10. There is one more thing – when you see the data e.g. for Starbucks feed and scroll right to columns Likes and Comments, it shows not value but just Table or null. Any idea on how we can get the values for same.

    • The likes and comments, if null, should define that a post does not carry the values in the fetched data. I do not think there is a way around if the add-in is not able to capture those data pieces.

      To your question about other social networks, I have not seen an update of this add-in that includes any other social network than Facebook. However, there are free/commercial tools out there that can help you gather Social data from different social feeds, which in turn can be pulled to excel for further analysis as required. Hope this helps.

  11. mrmistry says:

    Hi.. quick question — I’ve been having issues with the 1,000 limit. We have a site with 500K and 1M fans respectively. I’m trying to better understand who is commenting or liking our posts. Is this possible? Essentially get to a table that says “Mary Smith” made XXX comments in December.

  12. Vipul Mistry says:

    Hi.. quick question — I’ve been having issues with the 1,000 limit. We have a site with 500K and 1M fans respectively. I’m trying to better understand who is commenting or liking our posts. Is this possible? Essentially get to a table that says “Mary Smith” made XXX comments in December.

    • Hi Vipul,

      Yes it is certainly possible, however you will have to use a different Graph API query in order to get the data using this add-in. Also, because of the manual nature of this add-in, I believe you will have to gather data post-by-post basis. Meaning, you will have to come up with your own method of creating the kind of analysis you are looking for.

      Here is one way (although seemingly long, “but free”) of conducting such analysis:

      1. Using Graph API query, get all the comments on each post. You will need each post ID and you will have to decide how much time after publishing a post, you want to run the query.
      2. As a result of the query, you should expect comments and commentator. (alongside other data-points like date, time etc.)
      3. If you do this for all historic posts (you can go as far as you can, it will just consume time as you run query for individual posts), and continue to do so for all your future posts, you will have some rich data about comments and people who comment on your posts.
      4. Using this data, you can create a blended excel file with all the data combined, create a pivot table and get the results that you want.

      A couple of extra points that are coming to my mind:

      1. You can also conduct it for multiple posts (if you dont wish to go post-by-post), but I think it has risk of facing data limitations (mentioned in the blog) considering you have 1M fans who may be engaging in large volume with your posts.
      2. If you create a Graph API query once (to get the required data for a post-id: comments, commentator), the rest is going to become kind of a repetitive exercise (relief!)… but as I said, you can also try date range parameter to get data for multiple posts at once with a risk of not-getting-all-the-data you may expect to get from Facebook.

  13. Gautam Sinha says:

    Hi Parth

    I installed Data Explorer and when connecting to facebook to import data it’s asking to – Specify the Object or a Connection in Facebook graph and i entered my facebook email id and connection as friends list and it does not get connected. Throwing up an error…

    Do i have to install any other software to access the facebook

  14. SS Tom says:

    Thanks for your great help, the limits for FB each time is 100, so can we have a more convenient way to change this limit?

  15. karakhian says:

    I wanted to extract my Facebook comments, but I get the following message:
    Facebook: (#803) Cannot query users by their username (here stands my Facebook username)

  16. Julie says:


    I’ve been using the power query to get all my page’s posts’s likes and comments. Can I get my fan base and manage to sort them (by gender and age for instance)?

    Thks for the work you’ve done by the way, very explicative and clear.


  17. theulimate1 says:

    Hi Parth,

    This looks like a tool with a great amount of potential. With likes, shares, comments at the post level, I can see which posts are the best performing ones. This especially helps to learn from my competitor’s pages.

    However, one of my competitors has a page with 21 million likes. When trying to fetch information about their ‘posts’, I get an error message that says:

    We encountered an error while trying to connect.
    Details: “Facebook: Please reduce the amount of data you’re asking for, then retry your request”

    I tried ‘Starbucks’ as well, going with your example. I get the same error. Any work around? Thanks :)

    • Hi!

      See if the part of the blog following *Update: Tackling the ‘limit=1000’ error* helps; essentially – including the ‘limit’ parameter in the query should help bypass the data limitation error.

      Also, if you are attempting to query large amount of data, these data limits may apply (snippet from this page):


    • Rate limits are imposed on each app. The rate limiting tool will give you information about how close your app is to being throttled. Click on any sample to get more detail on the types of utilization.
    • Your app can make 200 calls per hour per user in aggregate. As an example, if your app has 100 users, this means that your app can make 20,000 calls. One user could make 19,000 of those calls and another could make 1,000, so this isn’t a per-user limit. It’s a per-app limit
    • That hour is a sliding window, updated every few minutes
  • HW says:

    Hi there, how can i change the log-on credential details ? seems i cant change at all after I’ve signed in using my own profile.

    • This is an old post; not sure if the plug-in is updated since then – but you may try getting rid of it and add it back again to your Excel. Sorry, wasn’t very helpful.

  • Altin says:

    Cdata Software has developed The Facebook Excel Add-In is a powerful tool that allows you to connect with live Facebook data directly from Microsoft Excel. Use Excel to search, aggregate, read, write, and update your Facebook feeds, etc. Perfect for mass imports / exports / updates, data cleansing & de-duplication, Excel based data analysis, and more!

    Here are some of my favorite features:

    Easy import of data into Excel
    Easy to save changes back
    Ability to filter and sort, not just a raw import
    Establishes a live, refreshable connection, not just a static dump
    Modify and delete records
    Quickly export and backup data
    Operate on data with Charts and Pivot Tables
    The robust features of the Excel Add-In are easy to use, thanks to out-of-the-box functionality. You can install the Add-In, configure the connection to your data source, and, thanks to the point-and-click interface, immediately begin working with your data.

    While the default options allow you to access and manipulate your data without writing any code, the Add-In is supported in macros/VBA functions. This gives you robust, granular control of your data on top of the generic queries possible through the Excel Add-In user interface.

    For more information go to: https://www.cdata.com/drivers/facebook/excel/

    • Approving the comment for people to see. I have not used this tool myself, but other people may benefit, in case they are looking to use something other than Power Query.

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