By Dhruvin Shah
Power BI and SharePoint are products with their own distinct capabilities, advantages and usefulness within business. Power BI being a suite of data analytics tools that provide insight into any organisation’s reporting data. Power BI allows businesses to connect hundreds of data sources, then simplify data visualisation, and potentially evoke ad hoc analysis. SharePoint is a web-based collaborative platform that integrates with Microsoft Office, primarily a document management system, which is highly configurable and variable organisational uses.
From our experience at Cielo Costa working with clients, we have observed that organisations require integration with both products: SharePoint (SharePoint Online and SharePoint On-Premise), end users or organisations can integrate Power BI reports within SharePoint Online or On-Premise.
Last year Microsoft introduced Power BI web part for SharePoint Online users and for On-Premise versions of SharePoint which they have updated Reporting Services Report Viewer Web part. We have observed that clients were engaged by using their Power BI content within the SharePoint platform and have continually benefited from this programmatic relationship.
Microsoft have a clear and concise road map for Power BI and SharePoint:
Users can integrate Power BI with latest release of SharePoint Server 2019 and SharePoint Online. With Power BI Premium, customers have full support of Paginated report (.rdl), Excel workbooks and Power BI reports.
With the latest update of Power BI, users can easily prepare reports based on the tables available from their Excel spreadsheet or csv files stored via SharePoint Online. End users can select files and open in Power BI to prepare fast and integral visualisations of their reporting data. On top of the extended visualisation capability, users can also ensure updates are reflected in the report automatically, also within the original linked data source.
Part of the road map, Power BI have improved their On-Premise Report server functionality by expanding features like Bookmark and Selection pan from Power BI Desktop features to Power BI Report Server. With the July 2018 Power BI release of PowerShell APIs for the developers and administrators enabling easy management of BI content. For an example, within a large organisation an administrator can manage BI content using Power BI admin centre. With the Power BI PowerShell new possibilities are unlocked for administrators that go beyond what’s currently available in the Power BI Admin Portal. Administrator can manage Reports, Workspace and data set using PowerShell commands.
Microsoft have added recently new features within Power BI:
Incremental Refresh: Instead of refreshing an entire data set, premium users can refresh the data from where it was last refreshed.
Support of Aggregations for Larger data sets: increasing performance and scale-ability of the query performance over a big data.
Report Level Tool tips: enhances end user experience by providing report page or customised tool tip when end user hovers over any report.
Bookmark: Bookmarks in Power BI capture the currently configured view of a report page, including filtering and the state of visuals. Users can also create a collection of bookmarks, arrange them in the order they wish, and represent the story of the report to the end user.
Selection Pane: By combining the Selection Pane feature with Bookmark Pane the features become very useful. For every bookmark in a bookmark pane, Power BI provides one selection pane. Performing a slideshow with the Power BI Desktop, unnecessary visuals can then be hidden with a click to focus on other specific visuals.
Every month Microsoft releases new Power BI features with end user and developer advantages. Refer to the following timeline chart indicating Power BI features and their release month.
In Report Server, Microsoft have supported claims-based authentication which enable systems and applications to authenticate users without requiring the user to disclose additional personal information, such as a social security number or date of birth, that are perhaps more than necessary. Microsoft will also support ADFS and Azure Active Directory support which allow users single sign-on across to the system.
Microsoft supports Power BI and SharePoint integration not only for desktop, it supports mobile platforms such as Android, iOS and Windows. Microsoft has released their mobile updates every month to improve this user experience.
Cielo Costa are a dedicated team of Microsoft Office 365 and Power BI experts that have helped deploy and integrate Office 365 and Power BI solutions within businesses. Refer to Cielo Costa’s case studies to see how Cielo Costa can potentially help your business benefit from Office 365 and the multitude of features that assist business efficiency and success.