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Power Bi Governance Best Practices

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Power Bi System Governance

Power BI Governance: Workspace Management

System governance is one of the most important components of any Power BI deployment. Structuring goals for what data assets are being governed and how they are governed. When structuring corporate BI, Power BI is governed to ensure data quality, adoption and security. Adoption is the most crucial component for the success of your deployment. The reporting layer in the Corporate BI mode is not owned by your organization so your ability to enhance reports is not available so a more trimmed down governance approach can be deployed here more than other modes. In an IT Managed Self-Service BI mode, Power BI needs a more complex governance structure do to the co-ownership nature of the platform. Governance is led by two key roles: Your Power BI Architect / Administrator owning the technology layers and your Power BI Power Users for the business-owned layers. You may also have additional teams involved as well. Each key role may establish different rules and processes, however they both benefit from implementing.

This is implemented in two ways:

  • Environment consistency: Separating out environments into different functional areas. The common way to refer to this is development, quality assurance and production
  • Reporting Standardization: Developing and implementing strategies to ensure a consistent and governed set of data refresh schedules | Key definitions for custom calculations and reporting related metadata

There are 3 main strategies around sharing reports:

Power Bi Governance: A Quick Background

Governance is the business practice that defines and manages strategies for people, processes and technologies to ensure that valuable data assets are formally protected and managed throughout your business.

Your IT team leverages governance and change management strategies with updates to the data sources and target systems and implements new practices with the goal of accelerating sustainable long-term user adoption. Power BI makes this possible by giving these rules and processes a place to reside, while living along-side your data and reporting services.

Users looking for newer sources for data discovery and analytics dont want to have to wait for new data to be incorporated into the existing data warehouse. Cloud-based data sources are becoming much more popular because users need access to a wider variety of data. However, most of the time these sources are not governed properly and not consistent. Businesses will need to take a hard look at their current BI governance strategies and ensure they are properly prepared to scale their business intelligence needs.

Power Bi Governance Good Practices Part : Multiple Environments Data Source Certification And Documentation

Power BI is taking off, and its fast becoming the most popular business intelligence platform on the market. Its easy to engage with and get professional results quickly, making it the perfect tool for organisations looking to beef up their BI prowess and make data driven decisions through-out the organisation.

Did you know that Gartner named Microsoft as the 2020 leader in their Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence Platforms?

In this post were going to look at three good practices for implementation and give you the tips you need to make sure you avoid common pitfalls so you are on the fast track to success with Power BI on your organisation.

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Not Organizing For Effective Development Lifecycle And Release Management

This is an area that has traditionally been lacking in Power BI, but recently they have made some strides in resolving with deployment pipelines. The deployment pipelines tool enables BI creators to manage the release lifecycle of Power BI content. Deployment pipelines enable authors to develop and test Power BI content in the Power BI service before the content is released to end users. The content types include reports, paginated reports, dashboards, and datasets.

Deployment Pipelines Demo

The deployment pipelines are only available with Premium licensing, but even without Premium you should consider the development lifecycle and how you will handle releases. Depending on your deployment model this could be very simple and there may not be a need to overcomplicate it.

Enrollment And Cost Information:

Power BI Governance and Development Best Practices ...

The cost for the course is $1795 . That includes on-demand access to all video content , downloadable session materials, customizable templates & checklists, and live Q& A calls the first & third week of each month to get your questions answered.

You’ll have access to everything for 6 months with a single-user license. This includes access to all content updates and enhancements I publish during that period.

If youre ready to roll up your sleeves and take action, Im ready to help you get the information you need to help you focus your efforts and put a plan in place for managing and governing Power BI.

The time is now for you to get a better handle on your growing Power BI implementation. Id be delighted to help you with your efforts.

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Building A Power Bi Team

Power BI team roles vary depending on whether the organizations goal is pursuing a Bottom/Up or Top/Down approach. One thing to keep in mind is that one key role must be present regardless of the deployment strategy: The Power BI Super-User is typically passionate about the possibilities of a data-driven culture and is a technically very skilled in end-to-end Power BI development. This includes Power Query, Power Pivot / DAX, dashboarding best practices and Power BI deployment strategies. The Power BI Super-User supervises and assists the more technically inclined departmental Power Users with implementation, communication with stakeholders, collaboration and best practices as well as offering mentoring and training when needed. Ideally an organization would have one single Power BI Super-User with departmental Power Users.

Finally, Power Users, and the Power BI Super-User must all collaborate during the ownership transfer process from their IT Partner post implementation. EPC Group can help you organize and streamline this process.

Self Service Bi Best Practices 9

Users can be guided through BI by features such as Web browsers, interactive graphics, wizards, drop-down lists, and prompts. This frees up IT experts from dedicating too much time on responding to requests for new data and developing reports. This gives the information consumers some form of control and adds to the flexibility of the overall BI environment.

Care need to be taken that what is intuitive to a BI professional is not necessarily intuitive to an unsophisticated user. BI developers have to think expansively honestly comprehend what business users who want Self Service Business Intelligence really need.

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Introducing Governance To Your Organization

There are three primary timing methods organizations take when introducing Power BI governance to an organization.

The methods in the above diagram include:

MethodStrategy followed
Roll out Power BI first, then introduce governance: Power BI is made widely available to users in the organization as a new self-service BI tool. Then, at some time in the future, a governance effort begins. This method prioritizes agility.
Full governance planning first, then roll out Power BI: Extensive governance planning occurs prior to permitting users to begin using Power BI. This method prioritizes control and stability.
Iterative governance planning with rollouts of Power BI in stages: Just enough governance planning occurs initially. Then Power BI is iteratively rolled out in stages to individual teams while iterative governance enhancements occur. This method equally prioritizes agility and governance.

Choose Method 1 when Power BI is already used for self-service scenarios, and you are ready to start working in a more efficient manner.

Choose Method 2 when your organization already has a well-established approach to governance that can be readily expanded to include Power BI.

Choose Method 3 when you want to provide the greatest degree of flexibility and agility. This balanced approach is the best choice for most organizations and most scenarios.

Provide A Single Source Of Truth For Effective Decision

EPC Group’s Errin O’Connor on Power BI Governance Best Practices | The Microsoft Business App Summit

Marcus Merchant is the Director of IT at Olde Thompson and he shared the following data governance best practice based on his organizational experiences

From a data governance perspective, we believe in using data and data science to enhance user experience and empower our people to perform their duties easier and more efficiently. For these things to happen, we make certain the data we provide to our users is the single source of truth, so we can be confident that everyone has the same baseline to make a quick effective decision.

In todays data-driven environment, its difficult to navigate various resources that are readily available to any of our users, especially in the manufacturing and ERP space. It is our duty as leaders to provide the proper resources so teams make accurate decisions and trust the data that drives those decisions. Olde Thompson uses Power BI to provide this single source of truth to our staff in an efficient and user-friendly experience.

We have also opted to partner with an experienced third party to manage this data, allowing industry experts to guide us in making best-in-class decisions. We run a lean technical staff internally and find that working with industry experts allows us to concentrate on growing and managing our businessnot spending massive amounts of time keeping up with an industry that changes at an exponential rate.

The Collectiv team is ready to help you improve your data governance process.

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Power Bi Chargeback Model

Implementing a Power BI Chargeback Model is key to ensuing the costs of Power BIs licensing as well as the related Power BI consulting services your organization procures. This ensures that each department or operating company within your organization bears the cost of this powerful and industry leading platform.

A Power BI Chargeback Model insures the following:

How To Build A Power Bi Governance Model

A governance model is all about defining the best practices, procedures, and responsibilities for efficient and secure usage of your Power BI platform. Microsoft already has valuable information on data governance that you can use as a starting point. But, youll also need to consider pointers that are relevant to your organizational needs.

This is how you build your own Power BI data governance model to get the most out of the platform.

1. Identify Deployment Approach

Power BI can be used in three different modesBusiness-Led Self-Service BI, IT-Managed Self-Service BI, and Corporate BI. The control over data and the way information gets handled will depend on these installation modes.

All of these modes can co-exist, depending on the business requirements and user base. So, its essential to know data governance methods for each mode.

2. Define Roles

Two fundamental types of users access the self-service Power BI platformpower users and casual users. Power users need access to advanced features to create insightful reports. Casual users require flexibility to modify existing reports, such as drill-down and field selection.

Identifying these differences, and providing the right access according to roles, ensures that users have access to information without compromising security. Power BI offers tools that help you set up access permissions per data source, per user, and individual dashboards and reports.

3. Publish and Monitor

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Best Practice One: Standardize The Bi Lifecycle

At TARGIT, we see BI governance best practices in the context of the following closed loop BI lifecycle to ensure consistency and quality:

Insight discovery

The insight discovery stage is where self-service BI takes off . Here, Business Analysts create BI content for their own use. This can be based on authorized data sources and/or combined with any data source that that could be useful for the Business Analysts.

Skilled Business Analysts can determine whether a measure in the given context makes sense and is accurate or accurate enough for the specific context. This is BI governance, as opposed to data governance which relies on IT test mechanisms, data protection, and accessibility.

Insight testing

These new insights must be tested on the potential users before being released for general use throughout the organization to determine viability and usefulness. In other words, break up small, isolated groups to produce, experiment with, and share data before considering wider adoption. These groups should be intra-department to help better shape how this data would affect the greater company.

This is the insight testing phase of the lifecycle. The BI governance is performed by users participating in this testing. In other words, sandbox analytics. In this phase, Business Analysts must also weed out the unnecessary data and clean up any duplicates and overlaps before promoting data to the next phase of the lifecycle.

Execution

Make Data Accessible Through A Single Environment

Power BI Governance and Development Best Practices ...

Carlos Rivero is the Chief Data Officer at Commonwealth of Virginia. This is his top data governance best practice

Data is everywhere. In order to leverage it for actionable intelligence, it has to be made discoverable and understandable before being distributed or shared.

The Commonwealth Data Trust was developed to establish consistent requirements through a standardized data sharing agreement process while also providing a scalable alternative to multiple point-to-point sharing. Following this data governance best practice reduces technical costs by making data accessible through a single environment.

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How To Get Started

Depending on your organizations current situation with Power BI the answer to this question is very different.

If you are just starting the journey to make your organization data driven with self-service BI tool, like Power BI, we highly recommend using this opportunity to really evaluate the current situation and where you want to be 2 to 5 years from now.

There is a ton of material to support you with this. Microsoft has a learning path Administer Power BI and a whitepaper Planning a Power BI Enterprise Deployment from Microsoft. Note that the product development moves so fast that these materials are not always 100% up to date. So it is also good to leverage the expertise of other organizations and partners at this point to learn from the ones who are few steps ahead in the journey. The Power BI blog is another great resource to know the most up to date information.

We are always happy to help in big and small questions. To make contacting us easy, we have just introduced a new way for you to access our years of experience working with Power Platform with the possibility to book a 30 minutes consultation session with one of our experts.

If Power BI is already in use in your organization you will definitely want to read the part 2 of this blog series. In that post we will go through all the most relevant Power BI governance tools Microsoft is currently offering out of the box.

Framing The Critical Discussions

When starting efforts to build and implement a Power BI governance plan, it is important to identify touchpoints across key areas that will be impacted by a governance process. Working with customers in drafting their own governance plan, we at Visual BI Solutions frame the discussions across these three pillars:

Each of these is critical to allow cohesion of the Power BI governance plan across the organization.

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Power Bi Governance: Sharing And Deploying Power Bi Content

By: |September 15, 2020

In my previous blog in this series, I reviewed some Power BI delivery strategy options and how they might inform your licensing choice. We also touched on the importance of sharing content. In todays blog, we are digging into the question, How do you want to design the way your organization shares content, and what are the different ways to do that within Power BI?.

Use Security Groups For Apps And Workspaces

Top 10 Power BI Best Practices

It is strongly encouraged to use security groups, not only for app distribution but also for workspaces. Its important to note that, in order to do that within workspaces, you need to be using the version 2 workspace experience instead of the legacy or version 1 experience.If youre using version 2 workspaces, there are two additional roles compared to the version 1 experience. Make sure you understand what access each workspace role gives users.

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Other Sharepoint Online Features

There are some other features available from SharePoint Online. In this section we look at two of them which are more relevant to version control and governance.

Alert me

You can setup alerts so you are notified as soon as a file is changed. In SharePoint Online:

  • Hover-over a file
  • Setup an alert

Compliance details

If you already have some security and compliance policies in place you can apply some of those to your files in SharePoint Online. For instance, you can apply Retention policy to the files so if someone accidentally deletes a file you can later recover that file from Recycle bin folder. Or you may have a policy to totally prevent file deletion. The files that are protected by retention policies remain in SharePoint for a certain period of time. For instance in the below example the file retains for 7 years, after that time it must be audited by an admin before deletion. To set add retention labels to the files follow the steps below:

  • Open the folder in SharePoint Online
  • Hover-over a desired file
  • Apply a label from the dropdown list
  • Leveraging dataset automatic refresh from OneDrive
Cons
  • It is not a proper source control supporting code merge and branching strategies
  • Not all features directly supported within Microsoft Teams. It is sometimes quite confusing to switch to SharePoint Online to do some activities like restoring an older version

Tip:

I Am Ready To Set The Tenant Gateway Policies Now How Do I Do This

As we mentioned earlier, admins can use UI in Power Platform Admin Center to explicitly define users with Enterprise gateway installer rights.

Quick Tip:

  • Currently groups are not supported so you will have to list individual users for this. All members of Data-Gateway-Admin group seem about right.

But what about data gateways running in personal mode?

Power BI Service interface makes it somewhat confusing for the end users and encourages them to install the personal gateway. We frequently see a proliferation of unmanaged personal gateways every time we come it to advise on existing Power BI Implementation, even though, it many cases, they were completely unnecessary.

Depending on the gateway governance policies established for your Power BI implementation you may want to restrict that as well, or limit to a certain number or Power BI power users running custom R and Python scripts, who have been through training and understand all the implications and limitations.

The only way to do it currently, is via specific commandlet in a DataGateway PowerShell module.

Quick Tips:

  • This module requires PowerShell 7.0 and above for the full functionality.
  • Changing the policy to Restricted will not remove or disable previously configured and running gateways in both modes for users that are not on the list. You would need to remove those either manually, in the Power Platform Admin Center, or by using PowerShell .
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