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.
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;
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;
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:
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”.
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;
The settings for the export audit log showed in the below image;
The audit log will be exported as CSV files (which can be zipped);
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: