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Announcing new contact lists for reports and dashboards in the Power BI service

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski

When using data in reports and dashboards, end users frequently need to ask authors and experts questions, raise issues about the data they see, or seek confirmation that conclusions are sound. All too often, it’s unclear who to ask these questions or the answers don’t come quick enough. The new contact list makes it easy to support end users by providing a list of contacts that can include multiple users or groups for reports and dashboards in the Power BI service. When used with the New Look for the Power BI service, end users can quickly find and contact someone to make timely data driven decisions.

The contact lists for reports and dashboards described in this post have already rolled out to the Power BI service.


How to configure a contact list for reports or dashboards

When you publish a report and or create a dashboard, in the settings pane for the item you’ll now see a Contact box. Below we’ll show the UI experience for reports, but it works the same for dashboards.

You can use the content list for the workspace and open the settings pane. It’s under the Gear icon —> Settings

Screenshot showing the contact setting for reports available in the report’s settings pane.

The default contact for the item is the person who created it.

You can customize the contact it in several ways. You can replace the initial author with another person. If your author changes job roles, you can now ensure the current author is listed. You can add more people. Often, reports are supported by multiple authors, all of them can be added to contact list. This helps end users because the contact is up to date and if you provide multiple people, there’s always someone around to answer question even if the primary author is on vacation.

Additionally, you can put Office 365 Groups, distribution groups, and email enabled security groups in the contact list. This is great for teams who manage many reports and dashboards. It helps them centralize help requests, can give visibility on which items get the most help requests so they can be improved, and fosters a more responsive and faster data culture.

Lastly, you can remove the contact from the item entirely. When you do, the workspace’s contact information is used instead. The new workspace experience provides a workspace level contact list  that allows the same customization as the item contact list.  For classic workspaces, the Office 365 Group is used. This means that if you want to manage contact information centrally for your entire workspace you can, just by removing the item specific contact.

How do end users use the contact list

For users who are using the New Look for the Power BI Service, the item information card shows the contact information.

Screenshot showing the contact list is available in the item info card that is part of the New Look for the Power BI service.

When the user clicks the contact information, an email is created with the contact email addresses. It’s perfect for when the data just doesn’t seem right, and the end user needs to quickly ask the right people for help. It’s also a great way to send feedback to the authors to help improve reports and dashboards.

Screenshot showing an email that is automatically created when a user presses or click the contact list in the item info card.

Additionally, those on the contact list for an item get emails related to that item. For example, when a user requests access to the item, everyone in the contact list is notified. Lastly, we’ve started to display the contact list on our error dialog in some cases where the author can resolve the issue. Altogether, this will speed up how quickly end users can get help using data to make more effective and timely decisions.

The item level contact list doesn’t get pushed into apps when they are published. The new app navigation experience provides a support URL you configure to help manage feedback from large number of app users.

As always, we’re eager to hear your feedback on how the new contact list feature. Drop a comment below or make feature suggestions on our User Voice page.


Next steps

Read the contact list documentation

Learn about New Look for the Power BI service

Learn about the New workspace experience