Power BI is a business analytics service by Microsoft. It aims to provide interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards. Power BI performs functions of data sourcing and preparation, data analysis and data visualization.
Power BI includes:
- “Power BI Service” the SaaS (software as a service) based online service used for consuming and publishing reports and dashboards.
- “Power BI Desktop” the Windows-desktop-based application for PCs and desktops, primarily for designing and publishing reports to the Service.
See Service Catalogue entries Admissions Dashboards, Enrollment Dashboards and Enrollment Planning Management for more information on ITS Analytic Solutions including how to request access.
Power BI is available 24/7 except during scheduled maintenance and unplanned outages.
There is no request procedure for Power BI “Free” or Desktop. You can access Power BI through Office 365. For Power BI Desktop installation instructions, please refer to Installing Power BI Desktop on the ITS Training & Support Centre SharePoint site.
To get a Power BI Pro license, submit an additional access request via the Security Access Request Form (SARF). Expand the “Office 365 Services” section and select the Power BI Pro license option.
There is no charge for Power BI Service or Desktop.
Power BI Pro is the fully downloaded/installed product that can be requested at an additional license fee.
Please scroll to the bottom of this page for all frequently asked questions about this service.
Power BI Desktop is a free desktop application that can be installed directly onto your own computer. It works cohesively with Power BI services to provide advanced date exploration, shaping, modeling, and report creation with highly interactive visualizations. Work done on Power BI desktop can be saved as a file and published directly onto your Power BI site to share with others. For installation instructions, please refer to Installing Power BI Desktop on the ITS Training & Support Centre SharePoint site.
Power BI Pro is an individual user license that allows access to all content and capabilities in the Power BI service. This does not mean that you by-pass security, you will still need to be given access to the appropriate workspaces and apps. With Power BI Pro, you can share content and collaborate with other Pro users. Only Pro users can publish content to other workspaces, share dashboards, and subscribe to dashboards and reports. See Power BI Pro | Microsoft Power Platform for more information.
A Power BI Pro license is required if you wish to share reports that you create in Power BI Desktop, or in the Power BI Service (website). It is important to note that everyone you share your report with also require a Power BI Pro License.
To get a Power BI Pro license, submit an additional access request via the Security Access Request Form (SARF). Expand the “Office 365 Services” section and select the Power BI Pro license option. Please see Security Access Request Form (SARF) (sharepoint.com) for more information.
Yes, Power BI apps are available for Android, iOS, and Windows 10 devices and can be downloaded in your app store.
Currently, the two main ITS-created apps are for Admissions and Enrolment. To get access to these apps, submit a Security Access Request Form (SARF) to request assignment to the appropriate role. These are under the “Power BI Access (Dashboards)” section of the SARF form, titled: “Admission – general Access” and “Enrolment – general access”.
There are a few ways to share reports you have created with others:
- If both you and the person you are wanting to share with have Pro licenses, you can share the report with them by using the share feature.
- If you don’t have Pro licenses, you can export the data to excel, or to PDF / PowerPoint.
- If you have a Workspace that is on the Power PI Premium Capacity, you can share the App or Report directly with ANY end user, regardless of their licensing arrangement.
If you open a Power BI dataset, there is an option along the top bar that says, “Analyze in Excel”. This will allow you to directly connect to the Dataset in Power BI from Excel.
First, open the workspace where the content is located. Along the top row under “Update / Create App”, you will see a horizontal list. By default, you’ll see View, Filters, Setting, and Access. If you click view, you can see the option to change to Lineage. This will show you the flow from the data source, to the dataset, to the reports.
If you hover on the report/dataset/workbook in the workspace view, click the vertical ellipsis (three vertical dots). At the bottom you will see manage permissions. This will show you who (or what role) has access to the content.
The Power BI Publisher role was created for Power BI content creators. It is intended for those who wish to create Power BI Workspaces to collaborate with other report contributors and publish workspace content via Power BI Apps.
As opposed to just sharing a Report or a Dashboard, the Publisher Role will allow you to curate Workspaces and Apps with any number of Datasets, Dashboards, Reports, and Workbooks. These content packages will then be published to a group of end users. An example of this would be the IT-created Admissions and Enrolment Apps, which are a collection of Reports and Dashboards from multiple data sources. These Apps are then published to a group of end users via role-based access.
To request the Power BI Publisher role, navigate to the O365 Services > Power BI Service section of the Security Access Request Form (brocku.ca) and select “Power BI Publisher”. See Security Access Request Form (SARF) (sharepoint.com) for more information regarding the SARF process.
The Power BI External Publisher role was created for Power BI content creators that are looking to publish public reports to the web. Due to the nature of publishing to the web, consumers of the report will not need to authenticate, meaning anyone can navigate to the URL to view the report. Power BI External Publishers should ensure that only public reports containing no personal information are published on the web.
To request the Power BI External Publisher role, navigate to the O365 Services > Power BI Service section of the Security Access Request Form (brocku.ca) and select “Power BI Publisher”. See Security Access Request Form (SARF) (sharepoint.com) for more information regarding the SARF process.
To create a workspace, you must be a Power BI Publisher. For more about the Publisher role, see “What is the Power BI Publisher Role” FAQ. To start, navigate to the Power BI home page. Along the left side above “my workspace”, you’ll see “workspaces”. Once you select ‘workspaces’ you will be presented with a list of all the workspaces you have access to. At the very bottom you should see “Create a workspace”. If you cannot see ‘Create a Workspace’, you do not have the Power BI Publisher role assigned. Once you have created the workspace, you can begin to publish your content. To add other people to your workspace, click ‘Access’ along the top bar, and enter the email of the person you wish to add. There are four options for permissions: Admin, Member, Contributor, and Viewer. For more information regarding roles, visit “Roles in the new workspaces in Power BI”.
Open the report you are wanting to publish in Power BI Desktop and click ‘Publish’ along the top bar. This will bring up a list of all the Power BI Workspaces you have access to. Once you’ve chosen a workspace, click publish and wait for the confirmation. At this point your report has been published, but only people who have access to the workspace you selected can see the report. To share with others, either ‘share’ the individual report in the Power BI Service or publish the report to an App where you can assign permissions to your intended audience.
To embed a report in Power BI, navigate to the report you want to embed. Along the top bar, click on File > Embed Report, and choose where you want to embed the report. If you do not see ‘embed report’, you do not have the appropriate elevated permissions to the report. Embedding a report to ‘SharePoint online’ or ‘Website or Portal’ will embed a version of the report that respects all row-level and object-level security. This also implies that to see the embedded report, the user must already have access to the report. When you select ‘Publish to web’, you will be embedding a report with no permissions. This means that anyone who has access to the place in which you embed the report will have access to see the report.
By default, we block the use of uncertified 3rd party Power BI Visuals. Certified Power BI visuals are visuals in AppSource that meet certain specified code requirements that the Microsoft Power BI team has tested and approved. The tests are designed to check that visuals don’t access external services or resources. If you want to use uncertified Power BI Visuals, you will need to submit a New Initiative Form (NIF) so that IT can investigate. Note that many 3rd party visuals have additional licensing requirements.