POWER BI MADE EASY – PART 5: share

what we will cover

In this section we will review how to share your reports and dashboards with colleagues via Power BI Service. Using Power BI Service you can deploy and maintain datasets that are shared across an entire organization. We will cover:

  • How to distribute a report
  • How to manage data sets
  • Create and manage workspaces

Distribute a Report

Log into Power BI service at https://app.powerbi.com/. To create a new workspace to collaobrate with your colleagues, click on ‘Workspaces’ and then at the bottom click on ‘Create a Workspace.’

Screenshot of the Create a new workspace button.

Once you have created your workspace, you can assign users different roles, by clicking ‘Access’.Screenshot of the Access button on the Workspace ribbon.

There are four different types of access types you can assign a user:

  1. Admin: Can add/remove other users and publish, update, and/or share an app in a workspace
  2. Member: Same as admin but can’t add or remove users, nor cannot delete workspaces
  3. Contributer: Can create, update, and publish content and reports within a workspace
  4. Viewer: Can only view a report or dashboard in a workspace

Now that you have a workspace, you can publish a report from Power BI desktop to Power BI service. In Power BI Desktop, choose File > Publish > Publish to Power BI or select Publish on the ribbon. 

You will then be prompted to select the workspace to send your report. Select the workspace you have created and hit OK. 

You will be given an option to go directly to Power BI Service after publishing has completed. You will then see your data set and your report within your Workspace.

If you restrict your data with Row Level Security, you can assign you can see the different security roles by clicking on the 3 dots next to your data set and the select ‘Security.’ You can then add user emails against the security roles you set up in Power BI Desktop.

Manage data sets

When you have very large datasets, you don’t want to be loading the entire data every time. It is possible to only load the latest data using ‘incremental refresh.’ Note, incremental refresh works best for relational databases (support query folding – the ability for a Power Query query to generate a single query statement) rather than flat files. To set up incremental refresh we need to return to Power BI Desktop and complete four tasks: 

  1. Define filter parameters for the start and end dates

  2. Use the parameters to apply a filter to the data

  3. Define the incremental refresh policy e.g. show the last 5 years and only refresh the last 10 days.

  4. Publish changes to Power BI service

To add a start and end date, head into Power BI Query and click on ‘Manage Parameters.’ Add in a ‘RangeStart’ and a ‘RangeEnd’, making sure the exact names are used. Also, make sure to use the ‘Date/Time’ type and not the ‘Date’ as incremental refresh only works with ‘Date/Time’.

To apply the date filers, go to your table to filter e.g. ‘sales’ and select your date field e.g. ‘OrderDate’. Click on ‘Date Filters’ and then select ‘Custom Filter.’

Be sure to change the middle icon from the red date icon to the blue parameter icon. Then select the RangeStart and the RangeEnd parameters.

Screenshot of the filter rows settings dialog.

When you return to Power BI Desktop’s data view, you can click on the 3 dots next to the table name and select ‘incremental refresh.’