The way we work is changing dramatically. It’s more connected, collaborative, and often done remotely. Organizations need tools to help everyone infuse data into every decision. We’re excited to announce new Power BI integrations for Microsoft Teams to make it easier to discover and use data within your organization.
Update 10/2/2020: The Power BI app for Teams is now available to commercial cloud customers. Try it out by pressing “…” on the Teams Left Navigation and searching for Power BI.
These capabilities enable you to:
- Find and view data faster without leaving Teams
- Collaborate with your colleagues and share insights
- Foster a culture of using data to make better and more agile decisions
Let’s start with a quick overview of all the capabilities and then then go into details below.
New capabilities we’re announcing today
We’re expecting to these capabilities will arrive in your organization in the next week or two.
- New Power BI App for Teams that helps you view and work with Power BI content
- New Teams Search experience to find and open Power BI content
- New Teams Chat experiences to quickly find and share Power BI content
We’ll take a little longer to release the item below, but it’s too cool not to mention here:
- New Dataset Discovery experience to help find data to create reports and Excel workbooks
These capabilities add to tools we’ve previously released:
- Start a Chat in Teams when viewing reports and dashboards: Send links to channels and chats, including the specific filters / views to speed up conversations
- Add a Power BI Tab to your channel and group chats: Make it easy to find reports your Team uses frequently
The new Power BI app for Microsoft Teams (preview)
The new Power BI app enables users to quickly discover, search and discuss data without ever leaving Teams. This central, personalized home for data in Teams will ensure that insights are always just a click away from where conversations are happening and where decisions are made.
The Power BI app for Microsoft Teams showing the home tab for the user with access to favorites, frequents, recently used, and featured content.
Now you can view and access all your Power BI content without leaving Teams. You can view reports, dashboards and apps right from Home. It includes pretty much everything that you can do in Power BI in a browser.
To use the app, search for it in the Apps experience in Teams.
- Click on “…” in the Teams Left Navigation
- Search for “Power BI”
- Select the Power BI app.
This opens the Power BI app in Teams. You’ll get access to all the Power BI reports, apps, and dashboards you have access to in Power BI.
To help you keep the app available, pin it to the Team left navigation bar:
- Right-click the Power BI icon on the left navigation of Teams
- Select Pin
Find your reports faster with Power BI in Teams Search
With the new search experience in Teams, you can quickly find recent reports, dashboards, and apps and open them within the Power BI app for Teams.
Here’s how to give the search experience a try:
- In Teams Search bar
- Type “@Power BI”
- Pick from the list or type something to search for
- Select the item
- Press Open
The first time you use this capability you’ll need to sign-in.
Mention @Power BI in the Microsoft Teams search bar to find reports, dashboards, and apps.
Initially the item will open in a web browser, but when the roll-out completes the links will open in the Power BI app for Teams.
You’ll need to sign-in to use the search capability and the message extension capability below. Just press the sign-in button and go through the wizard to start using the capability.
It is easier to share reports in chats, channels, and meeting chats
It’s easier than ever to send links to Power BI reports, dashboards, apps, and workspaces without leaving Teams.
- Find the Power BI icon at the bottom of the conversation
- If it’s not there, open the “…” and search for Power BI.
- In the menu that opens, search for the item you want
- You’ll see items you recently used in the list ready to be shared
- A rich preview card is added to the message for you
- Type your message or just press send so your colleagues get the link.
The first time you use this capability you’ll need to sign-in.
Finding and adding a Power BI report to a conversation using the Power BI app.
Until the roll-out has completed, you may see a very basic settings experience. Don’t worry, the new improved experience is on the way, so hold tight.
You can do this in meeting chats, too, here’s how:
- Open the meeting chat
- Select the “…” menu
- Select “Messaging extensions”
- Search for or pick “Power BI ” from the list
- Now you’ll see the Power BI search and picker experiences as shown above.
In the meeting chat windows you can use messaging extensions to find and share Power BI items.
Now you’ll see the search and picker experiences as shown earlier in the blog.
Start a Chat in Teams from Power BI
With Chat in Teams you can send links to reports and dashboards directly to specific people, channels, or meeting chats. The links keep all the filters and slicers you apply in your Power BI report, so that when recipients open the link, they see the exact data points you want them to see.
This capability has been available in the Power BI service since May 2020. Now, the links open directly in the Power BI app, so users don’t have to leave Teams to view the item.
- Open a report, app, or dashboard
- Press “Chat in Teams”
- In the Share to teams dialog, enter a channel, one or more people, or a meeting name.
- Press send.
- Recipients can then open the link.
Note: you may need to press ‘share’ first to give the recipients permission to the item so they can see it or grant them access afterwards.
Start chats or respond to questions with insights by pressing the Chat in Teams option in Power BI.
Pro-tip: The Chat in Teams button is also available on the “…” menu of a visual. When you use it, the visual will be spot lighted when users open the link. Another neat trick is to place the visual in focus mode and then press Chat in Teams. When your colleague opens the link, they’ll see the specific visual you wanted them to.
New dataset discovery experience for Power BI in Microsoft Teams
Lastly, we also announced a new dataset discovery in Microsoft Teams experience that will be coming a little later than the first release of the personal app.
It helps users discover available datasets from across the organization directly from the Power BI app in Teams. Power BI datasets are secured and governed, with permissions-based access, row level security, the ability to certify, and with full support for Microsoft Information Protection.
From there, users can quickly generate a Power BI report or choose to analyze and explore the data in Excel.
Add a Power BI report to your team channel
While this capability isn’t new, it’s worth a mention since adding a report as a tab to a channel helps your team keep data top of mind and makes it easier for everyone to use the same data when decisions are made.
- Open the channel in a Team
- Press the “+” button at the top of the channel
- Pick Power BI
- Pick the report
- Press Save
- Now your report is in the channel as a tab
Remember to give everyone permission to the report in your channel.
Add the Power BI app as a tab to a channel to keep reports handy.
Organizations can proactively roll out the Power BI app for Teams to users
Many organizations need to ensure users can quickly find the data they need. However, it’s often hard to teach users where to go to find the data that’s available to them. Now with the Power BI app for Teams, organizations can pin the app to the Teams left navigation by default for their users.
To do this, in the Teams Admin center, update the policies for the organization to pin the Power BI app for users.
- Go to the Teams Admin center and add or update an app setup policy
- In Pinned apps, press Add apps
- Search for Power BI and add the app to the policy
- Save the policy
- On the Setup Policies page, Manage Users for the policy to apply it to the desired users within your organization
Adding the Power BI app to a policy in the Microsoft Teams admin center.
Apply the policy using the manage users option to the people in the organization who need the Power BI app by default.
Tip and Tricks for helping your organization use data in more decision making
Teams work together in channels, chats, and meetings to achieve their objectives. There are several steps individuals and teams can take to foster a culture of using data in decision making to increase agility.
Add reviewing reports and dashboards to meeting agendas. Teams can spend time in meetings reviewing key metrics. By relating work being done by individuals to how the work affects key metrics you encourage the team to prioritize the actions with the greatest likelihood of the desired results. Keeping this top of mind and consistently reviewed in meetings helps the team work effectively with data.
Add reports to channels as tabs. Since individuals work and discuss in channels, adding reports to the channels helps everyone in the team quickly find the data they need. This is especially helpful when onboarding new team mates or stakeholders.
Leverage chat in groups and channels with Chat in Teams. It is hard at times to find the reports you need. However, it’s often easier to remember discussions you had about data. By sending links in chat during meetings and in group chat, it helps everyone access data and dig deeper to find their own insights.
Remember data is easy to find. The Power BI message extension lets you share links in chat with the press of a button. The search integration lets you mention “@Power BI” in the search bar to find your recent reports and open them.
We’re eager see how you use these new capabilities. Head over to https://ideas.powerbi.com to offer your suggestions on what we should work on next.