BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Jul 30, 2018

Planning a Power BI Enterprise Deployment

Matthew Mace Posted by Matthew Mace

A new version of the popular whitepaper, Planning a Power BI Enterprise Deployment, is now available as a resource for the community. This whitepaper was a joint effort between BlueGranite and Chris Webb of Crossjoin Consulting. Two of our solution architects, Melissa Coates and Meagan Longoria, were co-author and tech editor, respectively.

Planning a Power BI Enterprise Deployment

This revision of the whitepaper incorporates changes which have occurred in the 13 months since V1 was published. The evolution of Power BI continues to move at a fast pace, so updating the whitepaper involved a large number of edits and additional content. Some of the noteworthy content changes include:

  • Section 2: Power BI Usage Scenarios. This section has been expanded to provide ideas for how Power BI can be used in an organization.
  • Section 3: Power BI Architectural Choices. This is a new section that helps you understand what the best circumstances are for using the Power BI Service, Power BI Report Server, Power BI Premium, and/or Power BI Embedded.
  • Section 4: Power BI Licensing and User Management. This content has been expanded significantly to bring clarity to the user-based and capacity-based licensing options. We also share some ideas for how to manage user licenses and trials effectively.
  • Section 9: Power BI Collaboration, Sharing, and Distribution. These concepts are some of the most complex when it comes to planning a deployment. Therefore, we put a lot of time into trying to clarify the choices and suggestions for what to use in what circumstance.
  • Section 12: Power BI Limits and Feature Comparisons. This is a new section which serves as a helpful reference.
  • Section 13: Power BI Deprecated Items. This is a new section to clarify which features are currently deprecated or on a deprecation path.

A few specific things that we spent time clarifying in V2 include:

  • What is the difference between Power BI Premium (organizational embedding) and Power BI Embedded (external embedding)? [pg. 23-26, 39, 44, 178-180]
  • How does the Power BI product team define sharing, collaboration, and distribution? How do companies use each approach effectively? [pg. 111-115]
  • What techniques are available currently for handling deployments between development, test, and production environments? [pg. 118-121]
  • What features does Power BI Premium offer, and when is Premium capacity most useful? [pg. 36-42, 145-149]
  • What are the motivating factors for using Power BI Report Server? [pg. 35]
  • What are some techniques to monitor usage of Power BI? [pg. 134-139]

There were less significant changes to the topics like storage modes, data sources, data refresh, and gateways. Those sections did get some updates, and are still chock-full of great info and suggestions.

Power BIAs we know, Power BI evolves at a very rapid pace. That’s great from the perspective of getting new features regularly. Realistically, however, it does also mean that it’s very difficult to keep documentation current and complete. Therefore, please remember to verify the information presented in the whitepaper as some things will become out of date.

Enterprise deployments involve a lot of considerations. Some best practices are clear, while others can differ from customer to customer. BlueGranite can help you understand what it takes to succeed with a Power BI deployment. Contact us today.

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Matthew Mace

About The Author

Matthew Mace

Matt is the CEO of BlueGranite. He has nearly two decades of experience helping clients create competitive advantages through sophisticated business analytics. A Top 40 Business Leader Under 40 for West Michigan, Matt is a graduate of Western Michigan University and earned his MBA from the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

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