Microsoft Power BI can be broken down into different sessions namely the Power BI Desktop, Power BI Services, and Power BI Mobile. Each part of Power BI comes with its individual configuration. One critical feature of the Power BI Service is the Power BI Admin, with all its many privileges. In this article, we are going to discuss all there is to know about the Power BI Admin, available configuration, and settings.
To follow along with this article, you should have a basic understanding of Power BI Desktop, and Power BI Service, have admin rights, or be the admin of your tenant.
Access Power BI Admin Role
To access the Power BI Admin role you will need to be either of the following:
- Power BI Admin.
- Power Platform Admin.
- Microsoft 365 Global Admin.
Assign Power BI Admin Role
The Power BI administrator is by default the Office 365 administrator. Most roles in Microsoft Office 365 are usually assigned in the Microsoft 365 admin center or by using PowerShell. Let’s start by adding a new user to our tenant and assigning the new user Power BI Administrative role.
Create New Users in Tanent
In your browser navigate to Microsoft Office.com, then click on the App Launcher and select “Admin”. This should take you to the Admin environment.
Note: To have the admin icon in your app launcher, you must either be the Admin of your organization or use a Microsoft developer account.
In the admin environment, click on select “Users” then “Active Users”, this should open the Active user’s environment.
In the user’s environment, you are provided with two options for adding a new user.
- Single User
- Multiple Users.
For this article, we will be adding a single user to our current tenant.
The following steps should be followed when adding a new user:
- Basics: In the basic configuration you are expected to fill in all necessary settings. You can leave the “Automatically create a password” unchecked and click on “Next”.
- Product Licenses: You will select the current license you are currently subscribed to. For this article, I will be using the Microsoft Developer Account.
- Optional Settings: For the optional setting, you can leave it as default, meaning the new user does not have any admin access, then click on next.
- Finish: This is the final step in adding a new user. If you are sure all settings are met, then click “finish adding”, this should add the new users to your tenant.
Successful: You should see a checkmark indicating the new users have been successfully added to your tenant.
Assign User Power BI Admin
Now, let’s add the new active user as an admin in Power BI.
In your Microsoft 365 admin center click on the new user you just added. A new window will appear, navigate to Roles then select “manage role”.
In the manage role window, check the “admin center access”, then scroll down and expand the “show all category”.
In the “show all category” you will see the “Power BI Administrator”, check the box and save the change.
This will automatically give the new user admin privileges for Power BI.
What is Power BI Administration?
Power BI administration manages organization settings that control how Power BI operates. This can only be done by users that are assigned admin roles to configure, monitor and provision organizational resources.
Administrator roles related to Power BI
To manage Power BI for your organization, a number of roles work together. Most admin roles in Power BI are either assigned in Mircosoft 365 admin center as we did earlier in the article or by using PowerShell.
The image below shows the different admin roles available for Power BI and the functions they do.
Power BI Admin Tasks
The Power BI administrator of an organization mostly works in the Power BI admin portal, these are the settings that govern Power BI users for an organization. The image below shows all available settings available in the Power BI admin portal.
To get to the admin portal from your Power BI service, click on the setting (3 dots) at the top right of your web browser, then select “settings” and click on “Admin portal”, this should take you to the Power BI Admin environment.
Now, that you are in the admin portal environment, click on the tenant setting this will should all available settings.
Help and support settings
Publish “Get Help” information
By enabling the “Get Help” icon you can set some links to help and support people in your organization. Usually, this is done to support new members of an organization or existing members that need certain information. The help icon appears on the top right when this is enabled, it will redirect users to a specific URL or site for FAQ.
Note: It can take up to 15 minutes for a setting change to take effect for everyone in your organization.
Now, that all URL links are inserted into the various help channel, you can apply the setting to your entire organization or specific security group.
Receive email notifications for service outages or incidents
If this tenant is affected by a service outage or incident, email notifications will be sent to security groups that have mail enabled.
Allow users to try Power BI paid features
This feature is very important as it allows users in an organization to try Power BI paid features. You’ll have more control over how users receive license upgrades thanks to this feature. This setting permits customers to access more services for free for 60 days in situations where you have prohibited self-service buying.
Show a custom message before publishing reports
This is a feature that allows the admin to create a custom message before a user can publish a report from the Power BI Desktop. The Custom message can be written in plain text, check the image below for a sample.
To test what we just created, head to your Power BI desktop and click on “Publish”. You will notice that the message has changed and reflected what we created in the Power BI Admin.
The hub of cooperation in the Power BI Service ecosystem is the workspace. Controlling who can create the workspace is preferable.
Create workspaces (new workspace experience)
This setting allows everyone or a specific user group in an organization to be able to create a workspace. Note by default this feature is usually set on.
Use datasets across workspaces
Administrators can limit employees’ access to datasets across workplaces. Users still need the necessary Build permission for a particular dataset when this setting is enabled.
You can leave the other features at workspace default.
In the Power BI service, sensitivity labels can be enabled by using Microsoft Purview Information Protection, which has a different licensing scheme.
Apply sensitivity labels from data sources to their data in Power BI (preview)
When this setting is turned on, Power BI datasets that connect to sensitive data in supported data sources can inherit those labels, keeping the data secure and categorized when it is imported into Power BI.
Restrict content with protected labels from being shared via a link with everyone in your organization
When this setting is enabled, users cannot create a sharing link for anyone within your organization for content that has protection settings in the sensitivity label.
Export and sharing settings
This is a broad section of the tenant setting, we might have to group them into sections.
Export to External Users
This feature grants external users access to Power BI and even gives them the ability to manage and change the Power BI material within your company.
Publish to web
This is a very important feature, the Publish to web feature in Power BI gives administrators options that enable users to create embed codes for publishing reports to the web. This is a very sensitive feature in Power BI, as you are not expected to publish sensitive data like finance, and marketing data online.
Data Export, Copy, Print, and Integration
These features are all grouped in the same section as they perform almost similar functions. There are choices for setting or disabling exporting features, including the ability to export reports in various formats or event picture files, download reports, establish a live connection to a dataset, and print.
Power BI content can be labeled as certified, indicating that testing and quality control have been performed on it. Also let users within this organization validate datasets, dataflows, reports, and apps.
Create email subscription
This enables users to create email subscriptions to reports and dashboards within a workspace.
You can further check other settings available for the “Export and Share” settings.
Dataset owners can utilize the discoverability function to make their endorsed content accessible to users who don’t currently have access to it.
Content pack and app settings
This setting represents various ways of sharing Power BI reports.
Publish content packs and apps to the entire organization
Administrators utilize this parameter to choose which users, rather than particular groups, can publish content packs and apps to the entire organization.
Create template organizational content packs and apps
Users within the company can use Power BI Desktop to build template apps and organizational content packs using datasets produced on a single data source.
Push apps to end users
Administrators can permit report creators to distribute apps directly to end users without requiring AppSource installation. Power BI apps won’t be immediately published to the end user’s apps section if this option is not chosen. After this option is turned ON, any apps produced will be automatically sent to users.
A number of additional technologies, including ArcGIS, XMLA endpoint, Azure Maps, Snowflake, Redshift, Google BigQuery, etc., can be integrated with Power BI using the configurations in the Integration options.
Allow XMLA endpoints and Analyze in Excel with on-premises datasets
When enabled, users within the company can see and interact with on-premises Power BI datasets using Excel. This permits connections to XMLA endpoints as well.
Power BI Visuals
This setting represents the Power BI visual, such as enabling the use of “Software Development Kit- SDK”. Users in the organization with permission to add and use visuals can add and use certified visuals only.
R and Python visuals settings
Visuals produced by R or Python scripts can be shared and interacted with by users within the organization.
R and Python visuals use can also be managed. However, if you choose to use this feature, keep in mind that R and Python visuals need Power BI personal gateway to function.
Audit and usage settings
Create audit logs for internal activity auditing and compliance
Users within the company can utilize auditing to keep track of the actions other users within the company have taken in Power BI. You will notice by default this setting is usually enabled and can only be turned off in the Office 365 admin center.
Usage metrics for content creators
Users inside the company who have the necessary rights can view usage metrics for dashboards, reports, and datasets when this setting is enabled.
Per-user data in usage metrics for content creators
Users’ display names and email addresses will be made public by usage analytics for content producers.
Azure Log Analytics connections for workspace administrators
The Premium Workspaces can be connected to Azure Log Analytics by Power BI administrators and Premium Workspace owners in order to monitor the connected workspaces.
Users in the organization can add and view web content tiles on Power BI dashboards.
Embed content in apps
Software as a Service (SaaS) apps can be integrated with Power BI dashboards and reports by organization users.
Allow service principals to use Power BI APIs
Web apps that are registered in Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) can access Power BI APIs by using a service principal that has been assigned to them.
Allow service principals to create and use profiles
In order to improve client data isolation and create tighter security boundaries between customers, an app owner with a large customer base can leverage service principal profiles as part of a multi-tenancy solution.
Block ResourceKey Authentication
You can forbid the usage of resource key-based authentication for added protection. For streaming and PUSH datasets, the Block ResourceKey Authentication setting is applicable.
Admin API settings
The features may be useful for enabling a team of developers to improve how Power BI is used throughout the company.
In the Power BI service, a dataflow is a group of tables created and managed in workspaces.
Template app settings
Users of Power BI Pro or Power BI Premium can receive rapid insights by connecting preconfigured dashboards and reports to live data sources with Power BI template apps.
This is the AI feature of Power BI services when enabled, this feature allows dataset owners to view queries sent by users regarding their data.
Datamarts are a Power BI Premium (and Premium Per User) public preview feature that, for the first time, enables self-service customers to securely collect, store, analyze, and share their data in a single, low-code solution that delivers SQL and unified analytics. If enabled you will have access to all of these features.
This is the first part of two blog posts, in this article you have learned how to add a user with the Microsoft office 365 administrator and how to assign a user Power BI administrator role. We also covered Power BI Tenant Admin, follow our blog post for the second part of this article.