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Power BI Activity Logs: New Workspace Metadata for Excel Scenarios

Headshot of article author Ikechukwu Edeagu

Last year, we released updates to the Power BI activity logs that help Power BI administrators monitor the usage of Power BI datasets in Excel. Today, we are announcing additional improvements that helps you and your organization easily track usage of live Power BI content in Excel based on where the content is saved.

If your users consume Power BI datasets from multiple Power BI workspaces, we have added new metadata in the Power BI activity logs that enables you to easily filter activity events by workspace name. This saves you valuable time while ensuring your organization continues to meet its compliance requirements and other data auditing needs.

Filtering Power BI dataset usage in Excel by workspace

In your organization, if you want to identify users exploring or refreshing Power BI datasets from Excel and filter the results by workspace name, you can do the following:

  1. Open PowerShell in administrator mode and login into your Power BI account
  2. Run the Get-PowerBIActivityEvent cmdlet to download event data for the AnalyzedByExternalApplication activity. The AnalyzedByExternalApplication activity identifies users who interact with datasets published to the Power BI service from an external application, including Excel. A sample cmdlet for a day’s activity data is shown below:
Get-PowerBIActivityEvent -StartDateTime ‘2023-02-08T00:00:00’ -EndDateTime ‘2023-02-08T01:59:59’ -ActivityType ‘AnalyzedByExternalApplication’

Power BI activity log script results in PowerShell

The image above shows the script results after running the sample cmdlet in PowerShell. In the script results, WorkSpaceName indicates the Power BI workspace containing the dataset being consumed in Excel and the ItemName indicates what Excel application the dataset is being consumed from. In the image, ‘Excel.exe’ and ‘Excel Online’ refers to the Excel desktop application and Excel for the web respectively.

We will continue to provide tools to help organizations better monitor usage of Power BI resources in Excel. If you have suggestions for additional improvements, please visit to suggest new ideas or vote on existing ideas.