Groups in Power BI

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You can share dashboards with other Power BI user accounts in your organizations, however you can leverage Power BI groups for creating a work group in your organization, and it works with Office 365 groups, contents will be shared with Power BI groups, and managing members are easily possible through Power BI service or Office 365 admin panel. In this post I get you through some features and basics about Power BI groups. If you like to learn more about Power BI, read Power BI online book; from Rookie to Rock Star.

Why Groups?

Sharing Contents with Team

You may have shared a dashboard with couple of your colleagues in your organization, after few weeks a need for new dashboard comes up, and you share that dashboard with them. couple of months later another member of your team asks for access to data set in Power BI to be able to create his own report and share with some others. Power BI groups enables you to share content (dashboard, report, and data set) with all members of a group. You don’t need to share each individual dashboard to each individual users, groups made it easy for you.

Multiple Work Spaces

It is really hectic environment when you are part of multiple teams and each team have their own set of dashboards, reports, and data sets. Your work space in Power BI will be hundreds of items and finding something there would be a problem. Power BI groups creates separate work spaces for all members in the group. You can easily switch between work spaces in Power BI.

Isolated User/Group Administration

When you share a content with an individual in the organization, if that person leave the company, or be replaced by someone else from another team, then you have to remove sharing from previous user account, and assign it to the new user account. Best practice is to share content with groups. and members of Groups then easily can be managed by an administrator. Power BI groups are fully synchronized with Office 365 groups. once you used a group in Power BI, then it is only an admin’s task to add/remove members from it.

Creating Groups in Power BI

By default you see your own work space named as “My Workspace” in Power BI. all of your dashboards, reports, and data sets are listed there.

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You can easily create a Power BI group with expanding My Workspace, and click on Create Group

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you need to set up a name, and privacy settings for the group. Once you set up the name the group ID would be automatically assigned based on that, you can edit that if you want.

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You can also choose if group is private for members only, or for everyone. Or you can choose if you want members to be able to edit Power BI content in the group, or just view it.

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Adding members in the group is also as easy as adding their email addresses. You can then decide if you want that user to be admin of the group or not.

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A New Workspace

After creating the group, you will be redirected to a new workspace for that group with no dashboards, reports, and data sets.

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Every content in group is shared between all members of the group. Let’s create the very first content in this group.

Publish Content to Group

When you publish reports from Power BI Desktop, you will see all groups that you are member of, and you can choose where you want to publish. If you don’t see any groups or options for Publish that means you are not part of a Power BI group.

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After publish your report and data set will be visible to all group members in Power BI services. A group can have multiple reports, dashboards, and data sets (such as screenshot below for Sales Group)

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You can have a featured dashboard for your group, which is like a landing page in Power BI group. everyone from group would see this dashboard when they log in to the services. Featured dashboard can be easily set from each dashboard.

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You can then see the featured dashboard anytime you login to Power BI services. Only one dashboard can be set as featured dashboard.

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Office 365 Synchronization

Power BI groups are fully synchronized with Office 365 groups. If you go to O365 admin panel, you will see groups that you have created in Power BI. and you can manage groups and their members in this admin panel;

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This functionality is very helpful in enterprise solutions, where you share contents with a group in Power BI, and then members of group will be managed by an Office 365 admin.

Groups also can be created from Office 365 admin panel. for example creating a group such as below;

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Will be visible in Power BI service of all members (who have Power BI subscription added to their Office 365 subscription options);

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That means if you already have Office 365 groups created for your organization, then you don’t need to create Power BI groups for them again, they will be visible for users who have Power BI subscription.

You can also navigate to other group pages such as Calendar, Members, and Conversations (based on your permission level in the group)

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If a group be deleted from Office 365, all of its content in Power BI with the workspace itself will be deleted.

Power BI Pro

At the time of writing this blog post, Power BI groups are a Pro option and are not part of Power BI free user account.

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Reza Rad
Reza Rad is an Author, Trainer, Speaker and DW/BI Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 15 years’ experience in databases, programming and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft MVP in Data Platform for seven continues years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. He is author of some SQL Server and BI books, and also Power BI online book; from Rookie to Rock Star.

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