Power BI

Microsoft Power BI enables you to integrate, analyse and present your data more effectively through use of an extensive library of visualisation tools that can help bring your information to life.

A pilot is currently underway with a small number of departments specifically testing how reports work within Power BI and reviewing the training and support materials. Subject to the satisfactory completion of the pilot, Power BI will be rolled out across the University early in 2022 and there will be two sets of access available:

  • Report writer: if you purchase a Power BI PRO licence you will be able to share reports, dashboards and apps with other users (both report consumers and other writers) and decide the level of access they have. As a report writer you will be able to create datasets within Power BI, pulling data from multiple sources.  Most dataset creators will be report writers, but some report writers might only be creating reports based on datasets shared with them by others
  • Report consumer (business user): as a Nexus365 user you will have a free Power BI licence allowing you to view reports and dashboards that have been shared with you by a report writer, and you will be able to create and publish reports yourself but not share them with others

Further information about Power BI is outlined below, including how to access the software and where to get help and support. 

Report writers and dataset creators

Information of relevance if you need to share data with others or create datasets using Power BI.

Accessing Power BI

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  • You will need to submit a service request to get a Power BI PRO licence (a link to this will be added when the service is live)
  • Before doing so, please check with the budget-holder or your line manager that the budget is available
  • The annual charge includes the licence cost and an administration fee
  • This is currently £xxx (cost to be added when cost model agreed)

Desktop or cloud

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  • We recommend you use the desktop app for creating reports as it offers better data preparation and richer report-creation features
  • The cloud version is more limited but it is suitable for reading reports and some self-reporting, and does allow you to create and share dashboards
  • Most report writers create their reports on the desktop app and use the cloud-based service to collaborate and share their reports
  • Further information: Comparing Power BI Desktop and the Power BI service - Power BI | Microsoft Docs

Sharing my data with other users

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  • You can collaborate with other Power BI PRO licence holders at the University by creating a shared workspace 
  • As the workspace admin you will be able to add users and determine what access they have from one of the following roles:
    • Viewer
    • Contributor
    • Member
    • Administrator
  • Contributors, members and administrators will have access to the underlying data
  • When sharing data you need to be sure to follow the University's information security policy: 
  • To share content with University colleagues who are not Power BI PRO licence holders your workspace needs to be under the premium capacity licence
  • To create a premium shared workspace, or move your existing shared workspace to the premium capacity, you need to complete a service request (link to be added when service is available) 
  • To share reports from the premium shared workspace we recommend you create an first
  • To share content via an app, you will also need to set up a group and assign colleagues to this group
  • You will need to submit a service request to set up a group (link to be included when service available)
  • Recipients of content shared via a workspace app can edit their view of the data and filter what they see, but they cannot access the underlying data
  • See Publish an app in Power BI - Power BI | Microsoft Docs
  • See more information about sharing content at Ways to collaborate and share in Power BI - Power BI | Microsoft Docs

 

  • Each shared workspace should have more than one administrator to cover for absence and to ensure the workspace is managed should the administrator leave the University or change roles
  • In the event that a shared workspace ends up with no administrator, please submit a service request (link to be inserted)

  • As a shared workspace administrator you can manage access to your workspace and as a groups administrator you can manage access to the workspace app

  • To give a University colleague a Power BI PRO licence, or to remove or reallocate a licence, you need to submit a service request (link to be added here when available)
  • You can share data with people external to the University by using the 'publish to web' functionality
  • Publish to web cannot be done from My Workspace, but can be done from a shared workspace and premium capacity workspace
  • You will need to submit a service request (link will be available when service is live) in order to be able to publish to the web
  • When sharing data you need to be sure to follow the University's information security policy:

  • You can share reports, including visualisations of the data within them, easily in Power BI
  • A dashboard allows you to gather visualisations of data from different places within a report or from multiple reports into a single view

Power BI workspaces

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  • A workspace is a container for dashboards, reports, workbooks, and datasets in Power BI
  • Read more about the workspaces at Create the new workspaces - Power BI | Microsoft Docs
  • You should only use one shared workspace per dataset, but can create multiple reports and dashboards from that workspace
  • There are two types of workspace available to you as a PRO licence holder: My Workspace and shared workspaces 
  • All Power BI users will have access to My Workspace
  • As a Power BI PRO licence holder you also have the ability to create shared workspaces
  • To create a premium shared workspace, or move your existing shared workspace to the premium capacity, you need to complete a service request (link to be added when service is available)

My Workspace

  • This is the personal workspace for you to work with your own content in Power BI and you are the only person with access to it
  • You can create dashboards and reports from My Workspace for your own personal use

Shared workspace 

  • As a Power BI PRO licence holder you can create a shared workspace to enable you to share or collaborate on your datasets, dashboards and reports
  • The shared workspace administrator manages access to the workspace
  • In order to share and collaborate with colleagues who do not have a Power BI PRO licence, your shared workspace needs to be in premium capacity
  • To create a premium shared workspace, or move your existing shared workspace to the premium capacity, you need to complete a service request (link to be added when service is available) 
  • We recommend that you share content from your premium capacity shared workspace via an app
  • You can set up one app per workspace
  • To share content via an app,  you will also need to set up a group using a service request (a link will be added when the service is live)
  • Once your group has been authorised, the group administrator can manage access to the app
  • You have a single My Workspace
  • As a PRO licence holder you can have multiple shared workspaces (up to 1000) but it is recommended that you limit this to a manageable number 
  • You can assign a single app to each shared workspace

Data

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There is a central data warehouse which currently holds:

  • Undergraduate student data 
  • Graduate student data 
  • On-course student data 
  • Administrative research data 
  • Purchasing data 
  • GLAM sales data 
  • GLAM visitor data
  • Training data
  • HR data

As the University’s use of Power BI matures, some of this data may be made available to you via certified Power BI datasets.
 

A data warehouse is a central store of data that can be used to:

  • Track history
  • Create snaphots
  • Use agreed logic to filter and join data and present it in structures suitable for analytical reporting
  • Join data from different applications or domains
  • Regularly update data from source, generally overnight, and so remove the burden of analytical reporting from production systems
  • You should contact the DRAM (Date Reporting, Architecture and Modelling) team via bi-reporting@it.ox.ac.uk to discuss your requirements   
  • When you want to be able to link data across applications or domains
  • When you want to track history or create snapshots
  • When you want to store the logic for joining and filtering data in one agreed place.
  • When an old system is being archived but the data is still needed for analytical reporting
  • When you want to remove the burden of analytical reporting from a production system
  • Warehouse data is normally refreshed overnight
  • Although this frequency can be increased, the warehouse is generally not suitable for up-to-the-minute operational reporting
  • You should contact the DRAM (Date Reporting, Architecture and Modelling) team via bi-reporting@it.ox.ac.uk to discuss your requirements 
Report consumers

Information of relevance if you have a free Power BI licence enabling you to create reports for your own consumption, and view reports and dashboards shared with you by report writers. (Report consumers are referred to as business users in many Microsoft support materials.)

Accessing Power BI

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  • Once Power BI is made available to all Nexus365 users, you will be able to access it through Nexus365 waffle
  • If you want to create reports for your own consumption you should download the Power BI desktop app 
  • See more information at Nexus365: Getting started | IT Help (ox.ac.uk) 
Guidance and support

There is a generic library of getting started guides and how-to guides across the Power BI spectrum: Power BI documentation - Power BI | Microsoft Docs.  Information about the Power BI App can be found at Power BI mobile apps documentation - Power BI | Microsoft Docs

We have also developed resources specific to the University.

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Listed below are links to resources for report writers.

Links to University-specific materials will be added when the service is available.

User type Resource name Version (if appropriate) Date (if appropriate)
Report Writer Installing Power BI Desktop (Microsoft Stream mp4) 1 2 December 2021
Report Writer Power BI Desktop – Power BI | LinkedIn Learning     
Report Writer Creating groups in O365    
Report Writer Importing and connecting files from OneDrive (PDF)    
Report Writer Connecting files from SharePoint    
Report Writer Collaborate, share, and integrate across products with Power BI - documentation - Power BI | Microsoft Docs    
Report Writer Applying row level security to your data    
Report Writer Creating reports in Power BI desktop    
Report Writer Creating reports in Power BI app    
Report Writer Create reports and dashboards in Power BI - documentation - Power BI | Microsoft Docs     

 

Generic training materials are available for report consumers, also referred to as business users :

 

 

Links to University-specific materials will be added when the service is available.

User type Resource name Version (if appropriate) Date (if appropriate)
Report Consumer Locating the Power BI app in Nexus365 (Microsoft Stream mp4) 1 2 December 2021
Report Consumer Creating reports in Power BI desktop    
Report Consumer Creating reports in the Power BI app    
Report Consumer Viewing reports in the Power BI desktop    
Report Consumer Viewing reports in the Power BI app    

 

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