Content Endorsement in Power BI, Part 1, The Basics

Content Endorsement in Power BI, Part 1, The Basics

As you may already know, Power BI is not a report-authoring tool only. Indeed, it is much more than that. Power BI is an all-around data platform supporting many aspects you’d expect from such a platform. You can ingest the data from various data sources, transform it, model it, visualise and share it with others. Read more about what Power BI is here.

One of the key aspects of users’ experience in Power BI is their ability to collaborate in creating and sharing content, making it an easy-to-use and convenient platform. But the convenience comes with a cost of having a lot of shared content in large organisations raising concerns about the content’s quality and trustworthiness. It would be hard, if not impossible, to identify the quality of the contents without a mechanism to identify the quality of the contents. Content endorsement is the answer to this.

In this series of blog posts, I answer the following questions:

  • What is Content Endorsement?
  • What contents support endorsement?
  • Who can endorse the content?
  • What is Certification?
  • How to endorse the supported content?
  • What are endorsement processes?

But before we start, we need to know what content means in Power BI.

What does Content Mean in Power BI?

When we use the term Content in the context of Power BI, we refer to the objects we create in Power BI Service. We currently have the following contents in Power BI:

You may ask, is a Workspace also content?

The answer is no; a Workspace is a container for the contents enabling users to collaborate within the organisation.

What is Content Endorsement in Power BI?

After adopting Power BI in an organisation, the number of contents the users create and share grows, which can gradually become an issue: the quality of the contents. Imagine an organisation with hundreds of reports, datasets, and apps. It would be confusing and rather time-consuming for the users to identify the trusted resources without a proper mechanism. Power BI provides the Content Endorsement feature to enable organisations to represent the level of the content’s trustworthiness, so the users can confidently use them to gain insights.

There are currently two levels of endorsement available in Power BI Service:

  • Promoted: the content that is in good shape and has an acceptable level of trust. The business has used the content long enough to prove the provided information and insights are correct and very close to reality. The promoted content is identifiable by the Promoted tag. For instance, the following image shows a promoted report:
A promoted report in Power BI Service
A promoted report in Power BI Service
  • Certified: the content is highly trusted, containing high-quality information and insights. The content has gone through extensive certification processes, including (but not limited to) auditing, quality assurance, security, and privacy compliance. The certified content gets a Certified badge to make it identifiable, as shown in the following image:
A certified dataset in Power BI Service
A certified dataset in Power BI Service

What Contents Support Endorsement?

Currently, we can endorse the following contents in Power BI Service:

  • Datasets
  • Dataflows
  • Reports
  • Apps

Unfortunately, the content endorsement currently does not support dashboards.

Who Can Endorse the Contents?

Depending on the endorsement, different users can endorse the content in Power BI Service.

Who Can Promote the Content?

Everyone who has “write” permission on the Workspace containing the content can promote it. Therefore, the users or security groups with one of the Admin, Member, or Contributor roles in the Workspace can promote the content.

However, one should not promote the content just because he/she can. The organisations usually have a content promotion process to follow, but the boundaries around promoting the content are often much more relaxed than certifying it.

Who Can Certify the Content?

Certifying the content is a massive responsibility. The organisations often have strict certification processes including but not limited to code review, quality assurance, data stewardship, privacy and security compliance, and more. Therefore, only authorised users can certify the content, while others can request content certification. The Power BI administrators can grant users or security groups to certify the contents. The organisations often have a specific security group created for content certification that the Power BI administrators can use to grant the certification within the Power BI Admin Portal. While content promotion often has pretty relaxed processes, the organisation tends to have more strict rules and processes for certain content.

In the next part of this series, I explain:

  • How Power BI administrators grant certification rights to users or security groups.
  • How to endorse the contents.

So stay tuned for that.

What do you think? Did you know about the content endorsement? Do you see the benefits of such a feature? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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