How Can You Organize Work In Workspaces Using Power BI?


In Microsoft Power BI, workspaces are the places that are used to collaborate specific content with colleagues or other users. Workspaces are basically created by Power BI designers to manage collections of Power BI reports and dashboards. Power BI designers can share these workspaces with their colleagues. In fact, a bunch of Power BI reports and dashboards can be assembled into an app and then it can be distributed to the entire community, groups, organization and also to specific users. These type of apps are called ‘Template Apps’ and they can be created when Power BI apps are installed in your system.

When you are using Power BI service, you will be using ‘My Workspace’, which is basically your personal sandbox which enable you to create content. If you want to see your Workspaces, you simply need to select Workspaces from you Power BI navigation pane.

What Are the Types of Workspaces?

‘My Workspace’ is designed to store all your content that you either create or store. You can simply think of it as the personal work area or sandbox where you store all your created and owned content. For Power BI Business Users, the sections most of the time empty, as their jobs do not involve creating any content. Because ‘Business Users’ are mainly the one that consumer data that is created by other, and drive insights from it to make business decisions. However, the one that created content in Power BI falls within the category of Power BI Designers.

Considering Workspaces, they contain content for a particular app. Because, when an app is designed by a Power BI Designer, he bundles up all the content that can be potentially utilized within an app. This content may include Dashboards, Reports, and Datasets; however, it is not necessary that every app contains all the three content types. An app may contain a single dashboard, couple of datasets or may be only 25 reports. So, it all depends upon the choice of Power BI designer that what he includes in his app. Generally, workspaces for business users does not include any data sets. For example, have a look at a Customer Profitability workspace which is comprised of a report, a dashboard, a dataset and a workbook.

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Workspace Permissions

The foremost are the ‘Access Permissions’ in Power BI Workspace, because they actually determine your role and capacity of every team member. In simple words, it determines what you can do in your workspace. While granting access, Power BI Designers can add groups or individuals to one of the defined workspaces i.e. Member, Viewer, Admin or Contributor.

If you are a Power BI Business User, you will be usually assigned to the Viewer Role in workspaces. Within this role, you can only interact and view with the content (apps, reports and dashboards) that is shared with you and created by others. Also, being in a ‘Viewer’ role, you cannot hurt or interact any dataset, so it’s completely safe to use. However, it is not a hard and fast rule and you can also be assigned to a role of Contributor or Member.

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Roles & Permissions In Workspaces

When it comes to Power BI capabilities, there are mainly four roles in workspaces i.e. Admin, Member, Viewer and Contributor. All these roles requires you to have a Power BI Premium per User (PPU) or Power BI Pro License, except you are only viewing and interacting with a single item.

  • Apps that are associated to workspaces can be updated by ‘Contributor’ if the permission is granted by the Admin. However, they cannot publish or change an app even if they are granted the permission.
  • Viewers & Contributors – both can share files in workspaces if they are delegated with the ‘Reshare’ permission by the Admin.
  • You are required to have ‘Build Permission’, if you want to copy or create a report with your workspaces based on a dataset. People who are assigned to the roles of Admin, Contributor and Member automatically get the ‘Build Permission’ since it comes along their workspace role.
  • Also, don’t forget that you will need permissions on gateway and these permissions are self-regulating and have no dependence on your workplace permissions and roles.
  • Also, remember that you can always interact and view items with the Premium Capacity of the workspace, even if you don’t have Power B Pro License.


Licensing, Capacity & Workspaces

Licensing also plays an important role in determine your capacities and abilities of what you can and can’t do within the workspace. There are many features that require you to have Power BI Premium per User License or at least have Premium Capacity within the workspace. Business User often get free license, but they can’t access the content if they their content is not stored within Premium Capacity.

However, Business Users can interact and view with all the content within workspace if it is stored in Premium Capacity. To identify the workspaces that are stored in Premium Capacity, you can find the Diamond Icon in front of them.