7 Microsoft Power BI Tips for Developers

For businesses wanting to make the most out of their company data, Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the most intuitive methods of gaining access to insights that providing all of the information that you need to know by simply glancing at a dashboard. For developers working to create these tools, here are a few tips to consider while you develop your dashboard and set up your automated reports.

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Limit Visuals On Dashboards and In Reports
Data Visualization | Microsoft Power BI

The more visuals have, the slower reports are able to display data. By limiting the amount of widgets, grids, titles, and other elements to improve report performance and create a fluid experience that is easy for any end user to navigate. According to Microsoft, limiting yourself to eight widgets and one grid per page is an ideal benchmark – limit yourself to no more than 30 points per card.

Use Row-Level Security (RLS)

With Row Level Security, developers are able to restrict access to specific rows in each database based on the permissions assigned to specific users. Once this extra level of security is in effect, Power BI only imports data that each user is able to access to create notable performance increases without sacrificing access to data the user may need.

Only Use Microsoft AppSource Certified Custom Visuals
New Power BI features available for preview | Microsoft Power BI ...

Certified custom visuals are the simplest way to ensure that every element of your Power BI plan falls into place. These custom visuals have been heavily tested by the Microsoft team to create an experience for developers and users that is bug free and just simply works. By sending each visual element through a rigorous series of in-house tests, the majority of potential bugs are able to be worked out before they go to market to create an experience that is more polished from start to finish.

Align Your Power BI Report and Its Data Source

By assigning the report and its data source to the same region, network latency is slashed to create faster data transfers and report creation. When this strategy is paired with the rest of the tips that we've gathered, users are able to amplify the speed of their experience and create a smooth operation for their end user.

Separate Power BI Gateways for Scheduled Data Refresh and Live Connection
How to Get Started | Microsoft Power BI

When the same gateway is used for both of these elements, Live Connection performance will suffer. Creating separate gateways for both Live Connection and Scheduled Data Refresh allows both elements to keep running at their peak efficiencies. With an optimized approach to data management and retrieval, there is no sacrifice made to report or dashboard functionality while still maintaining the speed that keeps users engaged and receptive to the content they're analyzing. 

Keep the End User in Mind

Taking easy measures to simplify reports and dashboards can go a long way in improving their overall utility. Scaling large numbers with the use of decimal points and creating a unified naming system that is designed with your audience in mind can speed up production and create dashboards and reports that are easily readable and understandable outside of your internal development team.

Never Stop Testing man sitting facing monitor

Testing the performance of each visual allows developers to experience loading times for themselves to see what the end user experience will be like. If the custom visuals aren’t speedy enough, it may be worth considering a shift towards a different visual that creates a smoother overall reporting experience.

For developers, diving in and experimenting is a fantastic way to explore the power of Power BI and get a better handle on ways to optimize the end user experience for your clients or your organization.

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Written by Samuel Adams

As a lifelong fan of technology, Sam has always had a deep interest in learning about the latest innovations and how they are revolutionizing the worlds of business, marketing, and entertainment. As Social Media and Content Specialist at SeedSpark, he spends time chasing the newest trends and breakthroughs pushing the digital transformation in our personal and professional lives.

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