Power BI implementation strategies - how to start?

Power BI as an ecosystem is very adaptable and can be employed in a dozen ways. This article presents some of the most common implementation scenarios to draw a picture of how we can expand Power BI functionality depending on the company’s needs. Each example showcases different Power BI components and their end users.

Personal BI

A scenario ‘Personal BI’ answers user’s personal needs such as creating simple databases, performing calculations, and visualising them on the report pages. Usually, a user starts working with data for their own purposes, which gives them a lot of creative and functional freedom. They share their findings and methods of work after they change to the Power BI Pro license. Power BI for personal use
The components used in this scenario are:

  • Power BI Desktop: to create queries, datasets, and reports
  • Power BI Service free account: to publish reports and datasets to My Workspace
  • On-Premises Data Gateway: Personal: to refresh datasets uploaded to Power BI Services; Personal Gateway is installed on the user’s machine
  • Power BI Mobile: to view a mobile version of Power BI Service reports

Small Team Collaboration

‘Small Team Collaboration’ solution aims at users working within small teams. Thanks to App Workspaces users can share content and cooperate seamlessly on the same file. Power BI for small team
The components used in this scenario are:

  • Power BI Desktop: to create queries, datasets, and reports based on data sourced from e.g. OneDrive
  • Power BI Service Pro account: Pro license allows to share reports, refresh data on a schedule, or send them via e-mail
  • Power BI Service Live Connection and Analyse in Excel: to connect to Power BI Service datasets from within Excel and Power BI Desktop – it increases the number of datasets and lowers the risk of unsynchronised datasets; users can bring datasets stored in Power BI Service into Excel and analyse them with e.g. pivot tables, filters, etc.
  • On-Premises Data Gateway: Enterprise: to securely refresh corporate datasets in Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile: to view a mobile version of Power BI Service reports

Large Team Collaboration and Distribution

The ‘Large Team Collaboration and Distribution’ scenario is recommended for growing teams when collaboration just through App Workspaces becomes impractical. In addition to creating content in App Workspaces users can use Apps to distribute that content globally to many users in their company. Power BI for small-medium size company
The components used in this scenario are:

  • Power BI Desktop: to create queries, datasets, and reports based on data sourced from e.g. OneDrive
  • Power BI Service Pro account: Pro license allows to share reports, refresh data on a schedule, or send them via e-mail
  • App Workspace + Power BI App: Power BI App Workspaces serve as a space to store interconnected reports, datasets, or dashboards allowing for collaboration whereas Power BI Apps serve as a distribution tool to a large audience. In bigger teams, a good practice is to give access to App Workspaces only to those users who are responsible for the development of the company's reports to maintain the highest standard
  • Power BI Service Live Connection and Analyze in Excel: to connect to Power BI Service datasets from within Excel and Power BI Desktop – it increases the number of datasets and lowers the risk of unsynchronised datasets; users that have access to App Workspaces can bring datasets stored in Power BI Service into Excel and analyse them with e.g. pivot tables, filters, etc.; especially in case of developing teams it is vital to minimize datasets duplication and maintain the single source of truth practise
  • On-Premises Data Gateway: Enterprise: to securely refresh corporate datasets in Power BI Service
  • Power BI Mobile: to view a mobile version of Power BI Service reports

Enterprise Level Collaboration and Distribution

‘Enterprise Level Collaboration and Distribution’ is a scenario suited for a large group of read-only users and a relatively small group of authors. Users can use Power BI Premium capacity to assist in corporate level reporting. Power BI full deployment
The components used in this scenario are:

  • Power BI Desktop: to create queries, datasets, and reports based on data sourced via Direct Query (in case of BIG DATA analysis)
  • Premium Capacity in the Power BI Service: Power BI Premium is more cost-efficient in case of a large group of read-only users and it also comes with bigger capacity allowing for larger datasets and data warehouse as well as a more frequent scheduled refresh
  • App Workspace + Power BI App: Power BI App Workspaces serve as a space to store interconnected reports, datasets, or dashboards allowing for collaboration whereas Power BI Apps serve as a distribution tool to a large audience. In bigger teams, a good practice is to give access to App Workspaces only to those users who are responsible for the development of the company's reports to maintain the highest standard
  • Azure Active Directory B2B (Business-to-Business) or B2C (Business-to-Consumer): It gives us the possibility to invite external users from other companies such as clients, partners, or providers. We can invite them through Azure Active Directory even if they do not have a corporate account - we can use @outlook.com or @gmail.com
  • Power BI Mobile: to view a mobile version of Power BI Service reports

If you want to find out more about the particular components of Power BI ecosystem, you can read our article on Power BI licensing and subscriptions.

Are you interested in Microsoft Power BI?

Antdata Company is an official partner and reseller of Microsoft products and licenses. Check our offer of Power BI Implementation and Power BI Trainings. You can also contact us directly, by phone +48 518 748 589 or by e-mail bi@antdata.eu.