Today I will show you how to improve the user experience by setting up Apps in Power BI Service. I do think it’s a very confusing name, and perhaps Power BI could have named it something else, but here we are, and Apps, or whatever you call it, are awesome!
It’s a platform in the Power BI service that gives your users the capability to combine reports and dashboards in one place. Navigating Workspaces is not very user-friendly for viewing team members and Apps give a much cleaner and more pleasant experience.
Let’s get started.
How to create Apps in Power BI?
You have the option to add an app for any workspace, and any report or dashboard in that workspace with the added option of including or excluding any. Noting that you cannot add the My Workspace workspace.
In my example, I have 3 workspaces.
I want to add an app for the General Workspace. Go to the workspace and choose the Create App in the top right corner.
Your app set up page with open.
How to set up your app?
The App name will by default be called the same as the workspace, you have the option to change it. Then add a short description with some context about what the App is about. You can further personalize or customize your app by adding a logo and different colours.
In the second tab, 2. Content you choose which reports to include by clicking next to them.
Once you have them in, you have the option to add Sections to your app, if you want to group certain reports with a Section Header.
You can also customize the order of your reports, by clicking on the ellipses next to the report name and choosing Move up or Move down.
On the audience tab, you can show or hide app content for each Audience. And add a New Audience for different content.
Then click on Publish App
To access your Apps in Power BI, you go to Apps in the left-hand pane.
Go to Get apps in the top right corner.
A page will open with many apps, and your one will be the first one listed. Click on it.
This will open your brand new app. You will see the reports included in the left-hand pane. On the drop-down, the report pages will appear.
If at any time you want to change anything in your app, simply go to the workspace and click on update app in the top right corner.
Extra useful information: Make sure you explain to your users how to add the apps to the app section. The admin of the Power BI service does however have the ability to push apps to end users by switching it on under Tenant settings.
When you change a report, meaning something cosmetic, not the data. You need to update the app. I’m not sure if this is meant to happen automatically, but I have found that it does not. But it’s just 1 step. You Publish your report, overwrite the old one, go to the workspace, click on update app, and the update app again on the app page that opens. Done.
Setting up Apps for your users will make the experience in the Power BI service so much more professional and user friendly. Remember that you can also add dashboards to the App, elevating the experience even more. Read my latest blog on Embedding Stream Videos in Power BI, this can also be used in Apps.
I am passionate about telling stories with data. These I do using Power BI by creating interactive dashboards. I started my career in HR as Systems Administrator, followed as HR Analyst and eventually started a career in Business Intelligence as Report and Dashboard Analyst. I help answer business questions using data in creative ways.
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I recently attended the 2-day Power BI Course run by Johann. This was an intensive and extremely valuable course. Johann is a great instructor, he knows the subject well, and his pace is spot-on. There were many clear and easy-to-follow examples, and the emphasis on practical learning makes this a very worthwhile two days. I would recommend doing the three day course however, as there is so much content and I left wanting just a little more exposure to the final module. Many thanks Johann!
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A very worthwhile investment of time and money. I've been using Power BI for 6 months learning by trial and error. This course really provided the context I needed. Its a very well structured and hands-on course. My only regret is that I didn't sign up for the full 3 days as there was stuff in the 3rd day which would have been beneficial too.
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