What are Power BI Embedded Dashboards?

Over the past few months, Microsoft’s leading business intelligence platform, Power BI, has released a new piece of functionality that will further extend the Microsoft Power Platform. It goes without saying how we have all commonly feel that managing all our crucial business data in one software, has proven to be the far ahead option to managing different pieces of one’s business in different places. Microsoft’s ability to highlight this fact only goes to show the value added with Power BI Embedded Dashboards for Dynamics 365.

For years, there has existed an ability to create relatively customized dashboards in Dynamics 365 with the out-of-the-box features available to all users. With these dashboards, users had the ability to take and consume any data that exists in their Dynamics 365 instance, and tailor it to be displayed in a small array of charts, lists, or for the more experienced users (or developers), iFrames that could help leverage certain web components to add additional insights at a quick glance. That being said, these types of dashboards are only really meant to be data displays, and are relatively flat.

You might be asking yourself, why would I even want my users to bother with Power BI as a part of my Dynamics 365 solution? Power BI Embedded Dashboards are able to leverage a more complex data-model to create a more interactive experience, which is one of the key benefits to using a product like Power BI. This is something that a user would not get with regular Dynamics 365 Dashboards. By leveraging a data-model a user can manipulate the Power BI report with slicers that help filter data down to one specific point (filter for customer, ABC Company.), highlight key figures to expose their portion of a whole, personalize a visual to give a more meaningful context, and even so much more. The experience of adding Power BI to your solution would give all of your users an ability to take a base version of one dashboard, and completely make it their own to provide the most efficient, meaningful, and actionable insights for their role (from sales representative, all the way up to CEO). Instead of a sales rep starring at the same twenty-five leads they have been assigned for the one millionth time in Dynamics 365, Power BI can expose to them the fact that one of their twenty-five leads hasn’t been followed-up with in over three weeks, even though their prospective value could be worth over a million dollars for their company. Now I understand everyone’s role is different, but that certainly seems like an actionable insight to me. Power BI Embedded Dashboards for Dynamics 365 help bring life to the data that is stored in your solution, to paint a clear picture for all users on how to be more effective at their role.

Power BI Embedded Dashboard

How Do I Set Up a Power BI Embedded Dashboard?

To set up a Power BI Embedded Dashboard for Dynamics 365, there are some specific configurations that will help your report perform most effectively. These configurations will not only allow for your report to be consumed in Dynamics 36, but also ensure that your data is being consumed at the most efficient rate possible. To understand further, please read below:

  • Setting up your Power BI report as a DirectQuery will help give your report the most current version of your data in one snapshot. In leveraging DirectQuery, your report will get a live set of data directly from your source. Since users constantly enter, update, and delete data from Dynamics 365 thorough the data, DirectQuery will help ensure that your entries and updates are current. (Note: TDS Endpoints will need to be enabled for your environment)
  • Once your report is configured, it would be advisable to publish this report into a dedicated Workspace just for dashboards. This will help keep your organized down the road.
  • Once published, you will need to add your Power BI Embedded report to your solution file to then be leveraged as a dashboard.
  • Once added to your solution file, you can then update your site map to include your new Power BI Embedded Dashboard, and after a quick publish you will have complete flexibility to use all the custom elements you just built.
D365 Power BI Embedded Dashboard

Overall, this is a pretty easy setup, and the only hard-work (or fun-work, however you elect to see it) is in the creation of the Power BI report itself. Once you are able to get one Power BI Embedded Dashboard up and running, publishing a few more will be a cake-walk.

How Do I Keep My Data Secure Within My Organization?

As with all Power BI reports, the creator of the report is able to impose a security-model to help keep data sensitivity and security completely locked down like the setup of Security Roles in Dynamics 365. Imposing a security-model on your report can help ensure that each user only sees data that is related to them, or keeps high-level figures such as profit hidden from those who need not bother themselves with that information. Power BI’s ability to leverage one security-model on a report to make that report securely accessible to everyone at your organization is another key reason to incorporate this element into your overall Microsoft solution.

If you would like more information on Power BI Embedded Dashboards, please see this help article here. If you find that you would like a walkthrough of this amazing feature, or Power BI as a whole, please feel free to stop by MIBAR.net to schedule a demonstration.

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