Export Power BI Audit log in a few Simple Steps with No Code

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Export the Power BI audit log in a few steps without scripting

The Power BI related activity in your organization can be often useful. You can use the activity (audit) log to determine the behavior of the users and enhance the adoption of Power BI in your organization. To get the audit log, however, the process isn’t simplified yet. In this article and video I show you an easy way with no scripting required to export the audit log of Power BI.

Video

What is the Power BI Audit log?

The Audit log of Power BI is all Power BI-related activities that are done under your organization’s tenant. You can get heaps of information from the usage of reports, such as who opened the reports or dashboard, who shared them, who published it, who accessed it using Analyze in Excel, and much more useful information. The Power BI Audit log includes (but not limited to) log of operations below;

Power BI audit log operations

As you can see, everything done in the Power BI service or related to the Power BI service is logged in the audit log.

Difficulties of exporting the audit log

The audit log can be accessed by the Power BI administrator in two different ways. One is by going to the Office 365 admin center and export the log from there;

exporting a limited version of the Power BI log from the admin center of Office 365

The method above, however, only export a limited result. As you see, you often see a message saying “Please reduce the number of selected activities or users”.

Another method is to use the PowerShell commands and scripts to export it. In the blog below I explained how that can be done;

The simple way of exporting the audit log with no limitation

In this article, however, I want to show you the simple way of exporting the log. You don’t need to write or run PowerShell scripts. All you need is the Power BI Helper tool, which is developed by RADACAD and is free to use.

Power BI Helper; Download and install for FREE

If you haven’t done it already, download and install the Power BI Helper, it is a free application to use and you can use it for many useful things to do with the development of the Power BI reports as well as checking the memory space each column takes. Here you can download it: https://powerbihelper.org/

Service tenant settings in the Power BI Helper

To use any of the Power BI service features in the Power BI Helper, you need to register the Power BI Helper as an app under your tenant, the article below explains all the steps in details of how to do that:

Login

After you registered the app (has to be done only once), then you can log in with your Power BI account. Go to the Service tab in the Power BI Helper, and log in, you should use the Power BI account that has either the Power BI administrator or Office 365 administrator access to export the audit logs. You may also need to check the box that says “Login as Admin”.

Login to the service from Power BI Helper

After the login, you can go to the “export audit log” section of the Service tab, set the configuration of the period, the export location, and if you want the file to be zipped or not, and then export the log;

Export audit log of Power BI using Power BI Helper

The settings for the export audit log showed in the below image;

Export audit log settings in the Power BI Helper

The audit log will be exported as CSV files (which can be zipped);

Sample audit log exported as CSV files

Checkout Power BI Helper for other useful things

Power BI Helper can also help you to document the entire Power BI file and report. Power BI Helper also helps you to performance tune, and reduce the size of your Power BI file, clean up your model, export data or metadata of the Power BI. In general, it helps you to have a better Power BI development experience. Check out more about what you can do with this tool. below are just a couple of examples:

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Reza Rad
Trainer, Consultant, Mentor
Reza Rad is a Microsoft Regional Director, an Author, Trainer, Speaker and Consultant. He has a BSc in Computer engineering; he has more than 20 years’ experience in data analysis, BI, databases, programming, and development mostly on Microsoft technologies. He is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP for nine continuous years (from 2011 till now) for his dedication in Microsoft BI. Reza is an active blogger and co-founder of RADACAD. Reza is also co-founder and co-organizer of Difinity conference in New Zealand.
His articles on different aspects of technologies, especially on MS BI, can be found on his blog: https://radacad.com/blog.
He wrote some books on MS SQL BI and also is writing some others, He was also an active member on online technical forums such as MSDN and Experts-Exchange, and was a moderator of MSDN SQL Server forums, and is an MCP, MCSE, and MCITP of BI. He is the leader of the New Zealand Business Intelligence users group. He is also the author of very popular book Power BI from Rookie to Rock Star, which is free with more than 1700 pages of content and the Power BI Pro Architecture published by Apress.
He is an International Speaker in Microsoft Ignite, Microsoft Business Applications Summit, Data Insight Summit, PASS Summit, SQL Saturday and SQL user groups. And He is a Microsoft Certified Trainer.
Reza’s passion is to help you find the best data solution, he is Data enthusiast.

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