In our previous post we looked at the built-in reporting options available in Dynamics. These are a great starting point, but you may find that you need more sophisticated reporting. This is where Power BI comes in.
What is Power BI?
PowerBI is a reporting tool which is part of Microsoft’s Power Platform. People use PowerBI to create data visualisations, reports and interactive dashboards combining data from many sources.
Power BI is separated in to 2 versions:
PowerBI Desktop is the main report building app. This is where you choose and combine data sources, then create reports based on the data. Once the report is built, you publish to the cloud.
PowerBI Online this online app is designed for sharing and collaborating and basic report editing. You’d use this app to share reports and dashboards with colleagues and Dynamics 365.
How do I get PowerBI?
The details are on Microsoft’s PowerBi pricing page
You can download the desktop version for free using your work email address. You can access the online version for free also. There are some limitations with the free version, but you can
- connect to data sources
- create reports and
- share reports
This will give you enough functionality to decide whether PowerBI works for you.
You get a PowerBI pro licence included with some Microsoft enterprise licences.
Enable PowerBI reporting in Dynamics 365
- You’ll need administration privileges to do this
- Click the cog icon
- From the settings menu choose Administration then System Settings
- From the System settings pop up, choose the Reporting tab
- Select Yes in the Allow Power BI visualization embedding setting.
Connect PowerBI to Dynamics 365
- Open PowerBI desktop
- Choose Get Data
- From the Power Platform menu choose Dataverse
- You may need to enter your username and password
- From the Navigator window, choose the Dynamics environment you’d like to use, then chose one or more entities (tables) which you’d like to report on
Make a simple report in PowerBI
There are many more PowerBI report building guides available on the web, so we won’t cover it in detail here.
To simplify, this step is to create charts and visualisations using the data sources you chose earlier.
Publish to PowerBI online
- Once you’re happy with your report, save it, then choose Publish to PowerBI from the file > Publish menu
- Choose a workspace to publish to
Prepare your PowerBI Dashboard for Dynamics
- In PowerBI online look for your newly created report in the workspace you chose earlier
- Open the report
- Select Pin to a dashboard
- Choose an existing dashboard or create a new one, then click Pin live
Embed your PowerBI dashboard in Dynamics 365
- In Dynamics 365, click the entity (table) you’d like the dashboard to appear on
- From the New menu select PowerBI Dashboard
- Choose your dashboard and save
- Your dashboard will appear in Dynamics