Power BI Administrator Tenant Settings; Configuration You Don’t Dare to Miss

In the world of Power BI, there are many configurations in the Desktop tool, and some on the website. None of these configurations are as critical as the Tenant Settings of the Power BI administrator panel. Tenant settings have a list of highly important configuration across your Power BI tenant. If you miss configuring the settings properly, it may result in leaking the data, authorizing people who should not be authorized to see reports and many other catastrophic scenarios. In this post, you will learn the configurations available in Tenant settings, and the recommendation options for each. If you want to learn more about Power BI, read Power BI book from Rookie to Rock Star.

Power BI Administrator

By default, the Office 365 administrator is the Power BI administrator. however, this can be changed, by selecting the Power BI administrator role in Office 365 Portal. Here are the details of assigning Power BI administrator role to a user.

Login to http://portal.office.com with an Office 365 administrator account.

Find the user in the list of active users, and select it from the list.

Then click on Edit in the Roles section. select Customized administrator, and then from the options, select Power BI service administrator

Tenant Settings

The Power BI Administrator can access tenant settings from the Power BI Service which clicking on the setting icon, and select Admin Portal first;

from Admin Portal you will be able to click on Tenant Settings. (Note that you can access this page only if you are a Power BI Administrator. to learn how to be a Power BI administrator, read the earlier section of this post).

Configurations of Tenant Settings are categorized into groups as described below;

Export and Sharing Settings

In this section, you get any configuration about sharing across your tenant (except sharing with Apps or content pack which comes as another section).

Share the Content with external users

This option by default is ON. means users of your organization can share Power BI content with external users. If you don’t want this to happen, make sure to restrict it for everyone or for a group of people.

Publish to Web

This configuration by itself can be enough reason for you to access the tenant setting page. by default, everyone in your organization can publish their reports to web! If you don’t know about Publish to web, read this post. Publish to Web will make the Power BI content publicly available. This is a very dangerous option to be ON always. You have to make sure that you either disable this option or allow a restricted group of people to use this option.

Export Data

Exporting data from charts or visuals which export the data from the data set behind the scene is by default ON. you can change the option here.

Export reports as PowerPoint presentation

Power BI reports can be exported to PowerPoint slide deck file. The PPTX file won’t be an interactive report like a Power BI report. If you want to change that option, here is the configuration to set.

Print dashboards and reports

printing dashboards are not usually a harmful option to be turned on. However, in case you want to change it, you can modify the option.

Content Pack and App Settings

Content Pack and Power BI Apps are ways of sharing Power BI reports. Content pack method is almost obsolete, but Power BI App method is a very common way of sharing these days. in this section, you have options to configure for these two methods of sharing.

Publish content packs and apps to the entire organization

By default, a content owner can publish an app to the entire organization. If you want to change this behavior, and limit this ability to a specific group of people, then add their group information here.

Create template organizational content pack and apps

For changing the ability to create template for content packs and apps, you need to change the setting in this section.

Push apps to end users

This is one of the very new options added to the tenant settings. Without this option selected, Power BI apps won’t automatically be pushed to the end user’s apps section. with turning this option ON, any apps created will be automatically pushed to users. You won’t need to go and GET the app from each user’s profile individually. This is a very good option to be turned ON.

Integration Settings

Configurations in the Integration settings are related to integrating Power BI with other technologies, such as Cortana, ArcGIS, Excel and etc.

Ask questions about data using Cortana

If you don’t want your users to interact with Q&A feature of Power BI with Cortana, then disable this option. However, this is a good option to be kept on.

Use Analyze in Excel with on-premises datasets

Analyze in Excel gives the users ability to explore the dataset through a self-service PivotTable and PivotChart view of the Excel. This is a favorite feature of Power BI for Excel users. This option provides the access of Analyze in Excel for even data sources that are connected live to an on-premises data source. It is a very good option to be ON.

Use ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

If you intend to use ArcGIS maps in Power BI, then you need to select this option. This basically is an acknowledgment that ArcGIS servers might be processing your data in another country. ArcGIS map is one of the most powerful map visuals in Power BI. I highly recommend using ArcGIS map if you have a lot of geo-location analysis requirement.

Use global search for Power BI

This option integrates Azure Search with Power BI.

Custom Visual Settings

Custom Visuals

Custom visuals are one of the great add-ins for Power BI visualization. Custom visuals are built by third parties. Not all of the custom visuals are supported continuously in a satisfactory status. Also, some of the custom visuals are paid visuals. As a Power BI administrator, you may want to restrict the usage of custom visuals in your tenant by changing this option.

R Visuals Settings

R Visuals became the necessary part of Power BI report development. You can gain machine learning insight and enhanced visuals with leveraging R visuals in Power BI. there are many existing visuals for R, and Leila Etaati also has written a book about R and Power BI together. This option is a recommended option to be ON.

Audit and usage settings

You may have seen the usage metrics report of a Power BI dashboard or report. The usage metrics works with audit logs and gives you a detailed analysis of usage consumption of your Power BI content. Options in this section are related to the audit log and usage metrics.

Create audit logs for internal activity auditing and compliance

The audit logs will be created by this option, and users of organization can use it for monitoring and data analysis

Usage metrics for content creators

Content creators are people who create Power BI reports, dashboards and dataset. By default, content creators have access to the usage metrics report monitoring the usage of their content. If you want to turn off this feature, you can change the option here.

Per-user data in usage metrics for content creators

Usage metrics data can also include the per-user individual metrics. Per-user data is useful especially if you want to monitor usage by user to see are they using the content shared with them or not. this is an example of usage metrics report with per-user data:

Dashboard Settings

Data Classification for dashboards

Data Classification is a method for labeling dashboards for users. You can add labels such as Highly Classified or normal and make it visible beside the name of a dashboard. Data classification is not security, it is just a method of labeling for users, so they know how to treat that dashboard. In this section you can create classifications such as below;

Then the classification created can be assigned to every dashboard in the setting of the dashboard

In the settings page of the dashboard, you can choose the classification

This will create the label beside the dashboard

Data Classification is not Security, it is just a method of labeling to aware users about the type of content in the dashboard.

Developer Settings

Embed content in apps

As a Developer, you can leverage Power BI Embedded API and embed reports or dashboards into an application. This is a really powerful feature, which can be turned on or off from here. to learn more about Power BI Embedded, read this post.

Usage Metrics

Admin portal has also some other sections, which is useful for a Power BI administrator. One monitoring part of the Admin portal is usage metrics of all Power BI content across the tenant. This can be accessed from the Admin Portal, and then Usage Metrics.

The usage metrics here is different from the usage metrics for each dashboard and report. The usage metrics for Power BI administrator gives an overall monitoring view of which users most of the content, which dashboards or reports have been used most. How many dashboards, reports, or data sets exist in the tenant, it will reveal some information about workspaces and a lot of other information.

Embed Codes

If you enabled the Publish to Web feature of Power BI in the tenant settings, then you need to monitor what are the content users published with this option. Embed Codes section of Admin portal will tell you which report is published to web by which user. you have the option to see the report or delete the embed code (Deleting the embed code will not delete the report, it will only un-publish it from web link).

Organization Visuals

You can add a Power BI visual that is designed by your organization here. You will need the *.pbiviz file to upload here.

Then you can enter the details of the visual

These visuals then will be available in Power BI Desktop; from My Organization


Power BI administrator has access to specific parts of Admin portal such as Tenant Settings, Manage Embed Codes, Organization Visuals, and Usage Metrics. Tenant Settings has many configurations that you need to be careful of those options. For example; Publish to Web, or Integration Settings are important options to consider. Admin portal and tenant settings are getting updated in each version of Power BI service. hopefully we have some new features in this list soon.

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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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