Power BI Collaboration Support

View your Power BI items within a convenient SharePoint web part. You can also send notifications to your corporate groups and add follow-up actions for your team to more tightly collaborate on your business intelligence efforts in one location.

Guide

With the Ataira Analytics Power BI SharePoint add-in you can view your Power BI items within a convenient SharePoint web part. You can also send notifications to your corporate groups and add follow-up actions for your team to more tightly collaborate on your business intelligence efforts in one location. Pre-built into the site are lists for Power BI, Actions and a Document Library.

  • Power BI Documents - This list is populated with your Power BI reports and dashboards from your workspace and group workspaces. Once the list has been populated you are able to view your items right in SharePoint and also open these reports natively in a new window. When you click on an individual Power BI item you are able to send a notification to your Office 365 groups and add a follow-up action in the Action list that's associated with that item.
  • Power BI Links - This list provides an area for sharing Power BI reports with a Publish to Web embed code. To get the code, go to the Power BI web portal and select on a report in your workspace or in a group workspace. Then go to the file menu and select on Publish to Web. Copy the embed code and place in the Link field. You can share reports between Power BI Pro and Power BI Free users. You can also send notifications or add follow-up tasks for items in this list.
  • Document Library - A general list for storing documents that relate to your business intelligence activities. These could be Excel spreadsheets, Word documents as references or anything else relevant. Like the Power BI list, you are able to send notifications to your Office 365 group or add a follow up action in the Actions list.
  • Actions - This is a standard SharePoint task list but is also used to store tasks that are associated with particular a Power BI or Document Library items. You can set due dates, sub tasks and assign actions to particular users for follow up.
  • Comments - You can use this list to keep track of comments about items in the other lists and document library. For reports in a group workspace you also have the option of adding data point annotations so that you can keep track of and taken action on flucuations in your data.
  • Assets - You can use this library to load your own custom logo and favicon to white label your add-in.

A typical use case would be for a Power BI developer to create a business report that is then exposed through the Power BI list in SharePoint. Other users then could assign actions such as looking deeper into a particular metric, modify the formatting of the report or send notifications to users in Groups who might not other-wise view the Power BI report or document. The add-in can be installed in any site, sub-site or site collection for your users to collaborate across SharePoint, Groups and Power BI.

Instructions

After your SharePoint administrator installs the add-in you will be able to start adding items into the Document Library and Actions lists just as you normally would using the SharePoint interface. Some of the typical menu items have been disabled since they are not applicable to SharePoint add-ins such as Tags and Notes and Search. You can upload many types of documents to the Document Library list. If your administrator has enabled Excel Services you can upload pivot table and Power Pivot spreadsheets and then view these through the Open link in the item menu. Some Excel spreadsheets can even be used as data sources for your Power BI reports.

Reload ListTo populate the Power BI list, click the 'Reload List' button in the list ribbon menu. Your browser will go to the Microsoft authentication website for the Ataira Analytics Power BI application, this is used to retrieve your Power BI items from the Power BI API site. You will then be redirected back to your original page. Once there, your items will display in the Power BI list. You will then be able to click the 'View' link to display the Power BI item in SharePoint. You can also click the 'Pop-Out' link to open the report in a new browser window.

Send NotificationOnce you have items available in the Power BI or Document Library lists, you will have two menu options available to enable greater collaboration with your business intelligence efforts. When you click on the 'Send Notification' button in the list item ribbon menu it will take you to a page which lists the properties for the item you selected, a comments box and a 'Send Notification' button. Put some comments in the input box and click the button. Your browser will redirect to the Ataira Analytics Outlook Connector application where you may select the appropriate group for your notification. All members of this group will receive your comment with a description of the item and a link to where they may view the item.

Add ActionWhen the 'Add Action' button is clicked button in the list item ribbon menu it will take you to a new Actions item with the referenced item is preselected in the drop down boxes for the list and item. Give your action a title and fill out any of the other applicable properties such as due date, user or sub tasks. If a related item is subsequently deleted the action will still maintain a reference to the item until the action is edited and a new item is selected in the drop-down boxes.

EmptyListThe 'Empty List' button in the list ribbon menu is used for removing all items from the Power BI list for all users. When users next view their list it will be empty and they will need to click on the 'Reload List' button referenced above. This can be useful if a user no longer has access to the application and orphaned items are left behind.

Edit Edit Document

Clicking 'Edit' while viewing items in the document library will open the item in Office Online in edit mode.

Get Link Get Link

You can setup your items in the document library as data sources in Power BI. To accomplish this click on 'Get Link' and copy the url in the text box. Then go to Power BI online and select Create Dataset > Files > SharePoint Team Sites > and enter the url you copied earlier. It will then prompt you to select the document library and the item to use as the data source. Click connect and it will create the data source for the file. You can then create reports against this dataset and update it in real time and view the updates in your portal.

Refresh Dataset Refresh Dataset

If you have updated your dataset you can click on 'Refresh Dataset' to send a refresh request to Power BI to schedule and on-demand refresh of the data. Once the data refreshes you can click on view to see the update visualizations in your Power BI documents. This is useful if you are using a document in the document library as a data source and update the data in real time.

Delete Report Delete Report

This will send a delete request to Power bi to delete this report.

Add Data Point Add Data Point

This icon appears when you click on a report in a group workspace. The data associated with this data point will be added to your comment.

White Label

To add your logo and favicon go to the Assets document library located at '/lists/assets'. Replace the SiteLogo.png and favicon.ico with your image files. SiteLogo.png should be 50px by 50px and the favicon should be 32px by 32px. 

Troubleshooting

Blank Report

Q: When I click the 'View' button for a Power BI item I get a blank report or a message that says, 'This content is not available'.
A: Authentication for the Power BI item has expired or the content has been deleted from the workspace. Click on the 'Reload List' button to re-authenticate to the application.

Fewer Reports Than Expected

Q: When I click the 'Reload List' button there are no items or fewer items in the Power BI list than expected.
A: Be sure that you have Power BI items in your workspace or groups. You must have a Power BI Pro license to view your Group's reports and dashboards, however your workspace items will be visible with the Power BI Free license. If you have recently been added to a group, visit the Power BI site so you will be authenticated to the group.

Error in Send Notification

Q: After I add comments and click 'Send Notification' for an item I get an error in Internet Explorer but not in Chrome.
A: Add the website to the Trusted Sites list in the security tab of Internet Explorer.

No Option to Send Notification for Some Items

Q: I'm not able to send notifications for some items in the Power BI Documents library.
A: You are not able to send notifications for items in the Power BI Documents library that are in your personal workspace since those items are only available to you.

No Option to Add Data Point Comments for Some Items

Q: When I click on a dashboard or a report in a personal workspace there isn't an option to add a data point comment.
A: Data point comments are only available for reports in a group workspace.

Document Preview is not Available for On-Site SharePoint Server

Q: The application is installed on SharePoint Server 2016 on-premise but when I click on an Excel document I don't get a preview of the document or the ability to edit it.
A: Document preview for on-premise SharePoint Server 2016 requires that you have Office Web Apps Server installed along side the farm.

Privacy and Security

The privacy and security of your organizations data is extremely important to us and is always a central focus during development. Though the following is covered in our Privacy Policy it merits an explanation of finer detail. There are several components we use that requests permissions to access data on your behalf that provides you with the functionality in the Power BI Collaboration add-in. We request permissions with the least privileges possible that are necessary for the operation of the add-in.

  • Power BI Collaboration SharePoint Add-In - The SharePoint add-in itself needs only basic information to customize the end user experience. This permission level, for example, allows us to add items to lists, read the title and URL of the host website and manage licensing.
  • Power BI API App Service - When you click 'Reload List' in the SharePoint ribbon menu you are redirected to a page that requests permissions on your behalf to access the Power BI API. Though all the permissions are needed to enable the advanced functionality of the add-in, they are used in a very limited way. For example, the write permissions for datasets is needed to be able to schedule a refresh with the Power BI Server, none of the actual datasets reports or dashboards are modified in any way. You can read more about the Power BI API permissions here on the Microsoft website and their meanings.
  • Outlook Group Notifications App - When you choose to send a notification to your Outlook Group you are redirected to a Microsoft site that prompts you to select the group you wish to send the notification. We use that information to send a JSON payload to the Outlook server which then processes the message.
  • Microsoft Teams Notifications App - To setup Teams notifications an administrator goes to the Teams application online or the desktop and configures the connector for the team. While setting this up the administrator is directed to a web page that requests permissions for delegated access to return the user's Team's membership and organization ID. These are needed to send the JSON payload containing the notification information.

Our approach to data governance, architecture and security is to industry standard and continuously monitored for accuracy, confidentiality and compliance. Below are some of the extensive measures we use to safe guard our infrastructure and your data.

  • Principal of Least Privilege - As mentioned above any APIs that are used are configured to use as little permissions as possible while still being able to provide the functionality in the application.
  • Transport and Storage Encryption - All communication between SharePoint, our API or Microsoft servers use secure encryption or SSL to send and receive data. Data essential for the application is stored using Transparent Data Encryption or TDE so that information is stored securely at rest.
  • Data Access and Use - When you load your Power BI report and dashboards or send notifications, only the meta data about these items are read or used by the application. For example, when your Power BI items are loaded to SharePoint we read the display name, embed and display URL and what group they belong to be able to populate the list or provide details about the notification. At no time do we read or access or transmit any actual document data, only meta data information about the item. When you create a data annotation, that information is stored securely on your SharePoint instance and nowhere else. On our servers we store some obfuscated and encrypted information solely for support and licensing use and never any personally identifiable information or PII.

News

Version 1.8 is now available! With this upgrade there are significant performance improvements and added functionality.

  1. White label your Power BI Collaboration site with your own logo and favicon.
  2. Stability and performance improvements

Ask your SharePoint admin to upgrade the app today!

Do you need additional Power BI or other licenses? See our hosted software subscription prices on our site. Competitive prices and discounts on Power BI and other Microsoft development with qualified plans.
Microsoft Business Subscriptions

Contact

Schedule Support Meeting
support@atairaanalytics.com

Please call or email to let us know of any questions, comments or ideas for future enhancements. If you are notifying us of a bug or problem with the application be sure to include the location where the add-in is installed, the steps to reproduce the problem and the contact information for you and your SharePoint admin in case a patch is needed.

Video Demo

Sample Group Connector Card

Connector Card

Sample Team Connector Card

Connector Card

Connector Card You can now setup a connector to keep your teams up to date on your Power BI collaboration activities. To do this, go to the Teams application and select on the channel connectors configuration. Cursor down till you see the Power BI Collaboration Teams Connector and select 'Add' and then 'Install' and then 'Visit Site to Install'. This will take you to the configuration page. Click on 'Administrator Consent' to authorize the connector to collect limited information when items are sent to the Teams application. This step must be completed by an Azure administrator. Now when you got to 'Send Notification' from the SharePoint add-in you will be able to send to Microsoft teams.

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