Microsoft Launched Power BI Report Integration for SharePoint Online

Posted by Sophina Dillard on Thursday, 2 March 2017 0

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As marketers, we love the idea of data discovery and presenting it in a way that can be easily understood. For the past year or so, Power BI has allowed us to effectively prepare data and turn it into interactive visualizations. However, for us SharePoint users it has been agonizing to integrate these Power BI reports… until now.
As per a Microsoft Blog posted in early February, “The new web part we are releasing today enables SharePoint authors to embed Power BI reports directly in SharePoint Online pages with no code required!”

What’s Power BI?

Released in July of 2015, Power BI is a dynamic cloud-based service that gives report analysts the ability to distribute insights from their business’s data through visualizations. It’s essentially Microsoft’s way of allowing users to transform information into graphs and other powerful ocular representations.

And Microsoft Did This Because...

Well, Microsoft did this because SharePoint Online is an essential managing platform for a large amount of enterprises. The fact that users couldn’t effortlessly consolidate visualizations from this software also persuaded Microsoft into realizing this may be something to explore. All of this in an attempt to continue making Microsoft SharePoint a simple yet powerful platform to work with.
With no further ado, let’s go over some of the key benefits from this update.

How is This Done?

Microsoft shares the exact process of embedding on their official blog post. For a quick run down, the procedure is pretty straightforward. It’s as effortless as publishing a report, adding the Power BI web part to your SharePoint Online page, and pasting the URL of your report when directed to do so.

To the Rescue

The ability to not only visualize data but to also share it with your organization in a seamless user experience is exactly what this integration is all about. Microsoft is giving every SharePoint-using corporation the insight it needs to strategically communicate and disseminate vital information.

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Another accessibility feature that’s mentioned within the article is this idea of convenience through a single sign-on. Taken straight out from the official release blog:
“…a core focus of our web part is seamless integration with SharePoint Online to achieve a single sign-on experience. The web part works with new authentication features in SharePoint Online available now within the 365 First Release program. The new authentication capabilities enable the Power BI web part to use single sign-on – so by default users will not be prompted to sign-in to Power BI. Multi-factor authentication may require the user to sign-in again, if they didn’t use a security device when signing in to SharePoint.”
This is just frosting on the cake of simplicity. In addition, Microsoft has ensured that all security checks are applied to reports. This includes enforcing data security through Power BI itself, almost guaranteeing secure internal portals for the enterprise to show data. With highly sensitive information being displayed, it only makes sense that reports won’t be automatically available for everyone.
There is one drawback, however. According to Microsoft: “The Power BI report web part requires all the viewers to have a Power BI Pro license. If your users don’t have a Pro license, they’ll be directed to where they can enroll or start a Pro trial.”
If this stays this way, it can mean fewer users who get to experience this new feature from Microsoft.

The Wrap Up

These latest SharePoint updates lead us to believe that Microsoft is attempting to make our lives simpler, one renovation at a time. If they can change the Pro license requirement, this web part can and will be an integral part of our data representation techniques.

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