Power BI System Governance is a key component of any Power BI deployment, although the goals for what data assets are being governed, and how these data assets are governed, vary depending on which of the three deployment modes that’ll applies to the solution.
The distinction of mode depends on individual solution. For instance, a marketing datamart may fall squarely in the area of Corporate BI whereas some types of finance reports may easily be classified as Business-Led Self-Service BI. Therefore, becoming familiar with different governance approaches, based on mode, is very important.
For Corporate BI, Power BI is governed to ensure data quality, security, and adoption. As you will recall, adoption is a critical component of deployment success.
Each may establish different rules and processes, however they both benefit from implementing environment consistency and visibility.
Power BI System Governance is given in two ways:
- Environment Consistency: By dividing environments into functional areas. A common definition used by IT is development, quality assurance (QA) and production.
- Reporting Consistency: Defining strategies to address consistent data for refresh schedules and definitions for metadata and calculations.
Environment visibility is gained by patterns that’ll tracking system usage. Governance efforts in either of the self-service BI modes attempt to identify asset growth potential. In other words, track items that could be better suited if ownership transfer to IT were to occur.
Regardless of the deployment mode used, there are some elements that we recommend tracking in a Power BI governance program:
- Including user access frequency, as well as popular datasets, models and reports. Also includes auditing of publishing actions.
- This information can be used for security and compliance, identification of support needs, identification of critical reports, and/or potential ownership transfer opportunities.
- At the time of this writing, full auditing of system usage is not available in Power BI. Some system usage statistics can be obtained from the other gateway. Also, depending on the underlying data source and how it is being audited, some usage metrics may be available that way.
Power BI System Governance Security:
Report sharing activities and row-level security defined in the Power BI Service, as well as ownership of datasets, reports, and dashboards. This information is most important for validation of security and compliance.
There are three important approaches to sharing with others:
- Sharing a read-only dashboard from a workspace,
- Including a colleague as a member of a group, and
- Including a member as a recipient of an organizational content pack.
- A critical main feature is to enable adoption is report rendering speed. In many cases, a well-designed, accurate report is so slow that the perceived value to the users is diminished.
- At the time of this writing, auditing and collection of report execution statistics is not available in Power BI.
Data Source Usage:
- Including data sources utilized, data refresh operations, data model sizes, as well as calculations. This information can be used to rectify potential flaws in data integrity or even overlap in effort.
- It is also important to monitor growth of models which have data imported, given the maximum size limit of 250 MB.
- At the time of this writing, full auditing of data source usage is not available in Power BI. Some usage data and refresh history is provided via the enterprise gateway. Usage of cloud sources, or data access via the personal gateway is not yet available.
There are several governance-related settings of interest to a Power BI System Governance administrator:
- Disable publish to web
- Disable content pack publishing to an entire organization
- Disable sharing to external users
Locus IT has hands-on experience in Power BI Governance Services including Power BI Governance Training and Power BI Governance Support as well as Power BI System Governance Upgradation. For more details please contact us.