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Questions and Answers from our “What You Need to Know to Unlock the Promise of Power BI” Webinar

Power_BI_6.pngMissed the live webinar? Click here to view the webinar recording.  Dale Tuttle, Chief Operating Officer, and Laurent Teyssere, Senior Project Manager, of Portal Solutions, as well as special guest Brian Rush with JBS Custom Software Solutions hosted a great session and got so many questions and great feedback during the “What You Need to Know to Unlock the Promise of Power BI” webinar that we needed more than just 60 minutes to cover it all. We rounded up the questions and answered them all for you here.

Here’s what Dale, Laurent and Brian had to say:

Question: Can Power BI integrate with on-premises SharePoint?

Answer: Yes, there are points of integration such as SharePoint lists and SharePoint folders that are available as data connectors.

Question: Our organization has personal health information data in our databases. How would Power BI handle security when datasets are published in the cloud?

Answer: If you must be HIPAA/HITECH compliant, the good news is that Office 365 (and Power BI) are compliant. You will need to create a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with Microsoft. This provides details on your specific responsibilities to remain HIPAA compliant.

More generally, data can be encrypted at rest in both Azure and Office 365. In many ways, your data is more secure within Office 365 that it is in many on-premises locations given the robust security measures Microsoft employs. More info can be found here.

Question: Can descriptions be added to data elements so that end users can create their own reports?

Answer: Yes, Power BI allows a great deal of flexibility when creating reports and dashboards. As discussed in the Webinar, you can actually mash up data from different repositories and shape it in any way you like.  Your data is stored in the cloud so you always have access.

Question: Can you bring Power BI dashboards into a SharePoint site?

Answer: Yes, you can; there is a pre-built SharePoint integration to make embedding Power BI components directly into SharePoint (both on-premises and SharePoint Online).  Moreover, Power BI lets you embed reports and dashboards directly into any website to give you maximum flexibility when distributing information.

Question: Is it possible to get/fetch content from SAP?

Answer: You can connect to SAP HANA by downloading the SAP HANA ODBC connector (directly from SAP). Please see this URL.

Also bear in mind there is nothing preventing you from leveraging existing APIs to create your own SAP connectors and Content Packs to share within your own organization.

Question: Can you search for specific data on the dashboard? For example, if you wanted to see only data pertaining to Company A out of Companies A-Z, is that possible?

Answer: Yes, this is possible by having filters applied at the report, page or visualization level. In addition, a slicer can be added to a report, allowing the consumer of a dashboard to filter themselves (if using the live tile feature).

Question: Are there any functional differences in the different Power BI versions (web app, desktop, mobile)?

Answer: The mobile app is made for the consumers of data. It doesn’t allow you to create reports. The desktop client is more robust and is recommended for those who are creating the data sets and reports. The web client is more oriented towards the consumers of data, although it does allow you to create/edit reports and dashboards.

Question: Can Power BI dashboards be setup to display to a public kiosk for presentation data (standup areas for shift change information)?

Answer: Dashboards and reports can be embedded in any website. So as long as the Kiosk is accessing a website, the answer is yes.

Question: Does Power BI work with certain types of services (i.e. odata queries specifically)?

Answer: Yes. Power BI has an ODATA connector.  Here is an exhaustive list of all the services for Power BI as of June 28, 2016:

Question: Are published Power BI dashboards accessible by anyone on the web?

Answer: No. There is a security mode around Power BI in which you have complete control over who can see what.

You can learn more here about administering Power BI. To learn more about permissions, click here.

Question: Are PostgresSQL and MongoDB supported as data sources?

Answer: Yes. PostgresSQL is supported natively.  MongoDB is supported through ODBC connectors. Connectors are being added very frequently to Power BI. Keep checking back for new connectors added at the Power BI site.

Question: Can dashboards display different sets of reports to different users, depending on permission settings?

Answer: There are users and roles.  Access to reports can be granted to roles and then users can be placed in roles.  This is a similar concept to Active Directory user management.  Here are more details.

Question: Does Power BI support other reporting options beyond charts (i.e. pivot tables, and normal listed reports)?

Answer: Yes. Table reports are supported along with a host of other display formats.  Here is a list of visualizations supported.

Question: Can a Power BI report/dashboard change, based on a user’s context? (i.e. change from USD to Yen or something like that).

Answer: It is only supported for Analysis Services based reports (i.e. only if cubes have been defined with user context).

Question: What about on-premises data and not having data in the cloud?

Answer: Power BI Pro supports a concept called Enterprise Gateway that allows Power BI to connect to data hosted on-premises.

Question: What about data refreshes in Power BI?

AnswerHere is a summary about Data Refreshes and Power BI.

Question: What is Power BI Pro Content?

Answer: Power BI pro content falls into the following categories:

Question: Can I mashup data from different data sources?

Answer: Yes, you can.  In Power BI this is call shaping and combining. This is done through the Power BI desktop tool.  Here is a tutorial on how to shape and combine data.

Question: Can I create my own content packs for my organization?

Answer: Absolutely. This is the part of the intent behind content packs. Here is more documentation on how to do this.

Question: Where is data stored in the Power BI App Service?

Answer: Data can be stored either in the cloud or on-premises.  The Power BI Pro has something called an Enterprise Gateway that allows for data to be housed on-premises.

Question: Can custom visualizations be added to Power BI?

Answer: Yes, they can. Find out how, here.

Ready to join disparate data, visualize it, and glean transformational insight? Click here and we’ll visualize your data for free.

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