Power BI Governance and Best Practice Guidance

Power BI Governance and Best Practice Guidance

If you are using Power BI at your organisation or looking to adopt the technology, it is crucial that you consider best practice usage, security and governance considerations before giving your business users full access. Here we outline some of the most important tenant settings and monitoring tips for any organisation using Power BI for reporting and analysis.

Why is Power BI governance important?

One huge benefit of the Power Platform is that it places the power into your business users’ hands. However, this also means that the users do not necessarily need IT to enable the technology before they start using it. Before rolling out Power BI it is important that you set up the correct governance settings and define security roles accurately, otherwise you are very likely to face problems in the future.

Issues that may arise if security and governance is not set up correctly:

  • Internal data could be exposed to the web.
  • Difficult licensing questions and issues may arise with unnecessary costs.
  • No dashboard and workspace visual continuity and no adherence to brand guidelines.
  • Responsibility could lie only with one global admin.
  • Power BI may gain a bad reputation throughout users within your organisation, leading to adoption problems.

Our Power BI Best Practice Advice

  • Tenant settings

    • External usage capabilities: The configuration for allowing content to be shared with external users and allowing them to edit and manage content is enabled by default. You can either turn this capability off or create security groups from your active directory, allowing you to control who can carry out these activities.
    • Publishing Content: The configuration for publishing content to the web is turned on by default. This can be dangerous if your end users do not know that they might be sharing a public link. Define specific security groups of people that you want to give this ability to or turn off completely.
    • Exporting data: It is also a good idea to take care of who has permission to export and consume data sets in and outside of Power BI by defining security groups.
  • Identify and delegate responsibilities

    • Your Power BI security administrative responsibilities don’t necessarily all have to sit with one person or team. These tasks should be appropriately delegated across your organisation depending on skillsets and experience. For example, you could delegate licencing assignment and buying responsibilities to your procurement team.
  • Premium licensing capacities

    • Premium licensing permissions should be delegated to the people who are going to use and benefit from this capacity the most. Make sure to monitor individual usage regularly ensuring everyone has the correct permissions and licenses to carry out their reporting needs effectively.
  • Setting Activity Alerts

    • You can set up activity alerts to monitor Power BI actions in the Office 365 security and compliance settings. Notifications are then sent every time someone in your organisation performs a certain action. For example, starting or extending a trial, creating a public link or deleting a dashboard. You can specify what details you would like included in the notification message.
  • Training completion

    • It is very important that you have in place the correct learning tools and resources for your business users to ensure that they effectively use the tool. Create approval processes so that users must complete certain training tasks before they are allowed access. The better understanding your users have the more successful the rollout and adoption will be.
  • Community support

    • Establish and encourage a community of internal Power BI users to regularly meet, this can allow experiences and success stories to be shared across your organisation and hugely help user adoption. It can also provide a self-help facility to support continuous learning and acts as a platform to communicate layout and brand guidelines.
    • Participating in external Power BI communities can also help improve product knowledge levels and understanding.

If you would like to discuss any of the points mentioned or learn more about the important Power BI security and governance considerations, drop us an email at info@pythagoras.co.uk.

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