Distribute PowerBI Dashboards… Simply

Dashboards can be very powerful tools for a business leader.  Dashboards allow business leaders to quickly digest large amounts of data very quickly, often, at a glance.  In data mature organizations, users are used to logging into a web portal and calling up their dashboards.  However, in a organization that does not have that level of data maturity, users often resist learning new tools such as PowerBI or SQL Server Reporting Services web portal.  In this case, how do we distribute the dashboards?

The Delivery System

In this solution, our delivery system will be a WordPress site with a slider that allows us to embed <iframe> objects.  PowerBI will  house the dashboards (and by dashboards, I mean reports with multiple visualizations) and the interal web server with the WordPress site will act as the portal.  Finally, we will use the browser home page setting to bring users to the dashboards automatically when they open their browser.  The slider will allow multiple boards to rotate automatically so that users won’t even have to click, they just need to look at them.

Setting Up PowerBI Dashboards

To set this system up, create a single page report in PowerBI.  I find the single page report to work the best over a multi-page report as we will be automatically rotating the boards on screen.  Once the report is created, click File, then Publish to Web.  Copy the <iframe> code and embed that in your slider configuration on your WordPress site.

A Caveat

Once you initially generate the embed code, the URL never changes.  However, any changes to the report may take up to an hour to be visible on our private site.  If you need it to refresh faster, you will need to delete the embed code and re-generate it, then update the slider configuration in the WordPress site.


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