Power BI Usage Metrics – A quick start

I had previously written a post on how you could go about building your own Power BI usage metrics solution. However, if you would want to get started on your own custom  usage metrics very quickly, there is a way.

Here are the steps on how you could quickly get started:

  1. Open up your favorite report or dashboard on the Power BI portal, and click on the  Usage Analysis button, which would bring up the usage analysis report:

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  2. Then all you have to do is save a copy of the report from the File menu:

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  3. You can now edit the report and make it look the way you want it to, including using new fields from the usage metrics data set, as if you would work with any other Power BI report.

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If you need to go for a more complete usage analysis solution, then you could use the method described in my previous post: Report and Dashboard Usage Metrics in Power BI.

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Report and Dashboard Usage Metrics in Power BI

One thing we tend to overlook as technical folk working in the business intelligence arena is the importance of analytics about analytics. However, to business folk, it is quite important that they know how valuable their reports and dashboards are to others, if not what’s the purpose in them doing what they do if nothing is being used. The same applies to reports and dashboards in Power BI.

Power BI Usage Metrics Location

Power BI offers something known as Usage Metrics for each report when you access reports or dashboards off the Power BI portal. You can find it above the top left of each report, which when clicked on gives you a summary of how your report or dashboard has been used.

Power BI Usage Metrics

It includes quite a few useful insights as to the main report’s usage. However, as humans can never be satisfied, the business user naturally will ask for more analysis on top of what they see on the summary. For instance, “I need to see at-a-glance which user looks at which page of the report more often”. That’s when you wished you had a way of providing users with customization options of report usage metrics. But there is actually a way.

Each app workspace gets its own report usage metrics data set, it’s just that you don’t see it when you are in the portal. In order to access it (at least for now) you need to use Power BI Desktop. When you open Power BI Desktop, you need to sign-in with the appropriate login, and then choose Power BI service from Get Data menu item. You then get listed with a set of app workspaces; within each you would find a list of all the datasets that were every published to each of the workspaces. Additionally, Power BI will also give you two more datasets: Report Usage Metrics Model and Dashboard Usage Metrics Model. However, these data models will only show up if you had attempted to view usage metrics at least once on one of the reports of the app workspace. The moment you click on the Usage Metrics link and the following happens; that is when the model is created:

Usage Metrics Generating

Usage Metrics Generated

And now, it’s your playground, a whole new data model that gives you analytics on the produce of another data model.

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