Many enterprises across the globe have adopted Power BI and rely on it as the key solution for analyzing data and deriving business insights. We continuously work with our customers to understand how they use our BI platform, what makes them successful in adopting Power BI, and what challenges they still face. These large scale data-driven enterprises require oversight and governance on their business data, while empowering their employees to easily and efficiently generate insights from massive amounts of data and complex analytical solutions.
Our goal is to help them succeed in this journey with the most robust BI platform possible: a platform that allows managing large numbers of data assets, tracking data journeys, protecting sensitive data, and governing according to company policies . A platform which allows Enterprise Information Management (EIM).
To that end, two new major updates, Power BI data protection enhancements and Power BI data lineage capabilities, solidify Power BI as a first-class platform for EIM.
Power BI data protection enhancements – public preview
To address the enterprise challenges mentioned above, new enhancements for organizations to protect and govern their data, while empowering employees to easily derive valuable business insights, are now in public preview.
These enhancements take advantage of Microsoft’s massive, world-class security capabilities, enabling organizations to:
- Classify and label sensitive data in Power BI – data owners can apply Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels to their Power BI artifacts, thus snapping to organization-wide governance policies and aligning with the same labels and protections enforced in Office 365 files and emails. Sensitivity labels can be applied on dashboards, reports, datasets, and dataflows.
- Protect sensitive data upon export from Power BI – Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels and policy persist even when data is exported to Excel, PowerPoint, or PDF, ensuring that label-specific permissions and restrictions are enforced even after leaving Power BI, and data remains protected.
- Monitor and protect user activity on sensitive data within Power BI – leveraging Microsoft Cloud App Security, Power BI sessions and user activity can be monitored and controlled in real time, either blocking certain operations with real time controls, or gathering alerts and respective information for offline examination. For example, administrators can leverage MCAS to investigate alerts on suspicious sharing or Power BI reports, or alternatively they can define real time controls to govern when sensitive data can be exported based on device, location and sensitivity.
- Provide oversight on sensitive data within the organization [coming soon]: Power BI will soon offer protection reporting in the admin portal to provide oversight on sensitive data in the organization. Power BI administrators will be able to deepen their investigation by directly using the MCAS experience and leveraging its rich tooling to examine alerts and information gathered for Power BI user activities.
Power BI data protection capabilities light up when Power BI is paired with Microsoft Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security.
Use these new data protection capabilities, to provide consistent policies and labels across Office 365 and Power BI, help ensure sensitive data remains protected, improve oversight of sensitive data and access, while better meeting privacy and regulatory requirements.
Power BI data lineage – public preview
Nowadays, enterprise analytical apps are more advanced than ever before; leveraging multiple data sources and BI artifacts, reusable components, and cross workspace dependencies. Understanding the flow of data in these projects, from source to destination, is a challenge. Sometimes questions like “What happens if I change this data?, “Where is the data in my dashboard coming from”, or “Why isn’t this report up to date?” can be nearly impossible and very time consuming to understand.
To address these challenges, new data lineage capabilities are natively available within Power BI. Our new lineage view visualizes the entire data journey within a given workspace, making it easy to determine upstream and downstream dependencies of artifacts, examine artifact information, and take action. Even more-so, for reusable assets such as shared datasets or linked dataflows, users can easily track their lineage cross workspace and navigate accordingly.
Customers on our private preview program have already expressed how the new lineage view is helping them better manage their data assets and increase productivity. Sharon Matthews, Reporting and Analytics Manager at Veolia, shared that “Lineage view has helped us maintain multiple workspaces whilst ensuring that we can clearly see how one change in one dataset can impact multiple reports and dashboards. We can easily identify reports that haven’t refreshed and kick off refreshes from a friendly interface and also remove unused datasets easily. As a central team managing power bi reports this has proven to save us a lot of time”.
Use these new lineage view capabilities, to gain further confidence in their data, increase troubleshooting efficiency, avoid data duplication, analyze impact of components on their workspace dependencies, capture a project lineage for documentation or training, and ensure data compliance. To top it off, Power BI admin APIs also provide an automated way to extract workspace data lineage.
That’s it, with our new data protection and data lineage updates, now you’re on the fast track to easily manage and protect your organizational data. Stay tuned as we add more and more invaluable capabilities to data protection, data lineage and impact analysis, data discovery and cataloging, and many others, in our quest to empower our data-driven enterprises.