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istudent Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Data Storage and Refreshing in Power BI Online

I have been assigned the task of researching several different BI programs to find something that allows us to upload data in such a way that we can access it through the web and process reports on the go. I like that Power BI allows us to create reports in the desktop software and then publish them, but I am wondering if there is a way to upload just the data on a daily basis. The idea is to be able to share that with other members of the company and allow them to create their own reports for their specific needs. For example, we would want to upload data and then be able to share that with Jane Doe in a different state so that she can run a sales report for last quarter and then be able to manipulate it to see data based on several different variables such as Region, Company, or Project Manager, etc. Yes, we could create all of these reports in a central location and publish several different versions of the same report, but would we be uploading ALL of our data for each report, or only the data used for each one? Since there are filter options within the online interface, I believe that all of the data must be getting uploaded for each report, which is not efficient. My other thought is that we could install the software on each computer in the company and allow each user to create their own reports with direct access to the data, but that doesn't allow us to filter permissions to certain data based on the users accessing them, and would make each person have to pull data from our servers as opposed to it being processed once by our current solution. We are pulling from an Access database that is being created with third party software and saved in a network location, so much of the data is already processed and sorted, we just want to be able to find software that can manage the relationships between the data and allow us to input some variables and generate a report right in a web browser. Is this type of feature something that Power BI is capable of?

 

Just to recap, the main points are:

- Storing data online for access by specific users that the data is shared with.

- Accessing the data in a web browser and creating reports from a single data set that has already been processed into an Access file.

- Being able to filter which data is seen by each user (e.g., set parameters to certain tables/columns within the databases).

- How is the data uploaded and synced each morning?

 

 

All support with these issues will be greatly appreciated!

 

- Bryan

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Super User
Super User

Re: Data Storage and Refreshing in Power BI Online

On the contrary, loading all the data at once is the most efficient approach. If you split the data by person or region, at a minimum you need a starting report for each of them (let's say 10). Then you decided to add one more slicer (you have to do it 10 times - forever). Power BI is very efficient in compression and storage. You should creat a data model with all your data (I have 60million records in one of my reports and it is 300MB and takes 25 minutes to refresh each week. Creat a set of reports with slicers for different people/ regions. Where you want to limit what they see, use the inbuilt row level security. 

 

Users cna create there own reports, but I recommend someone create them centrally with slicers. If users want more they can create their own from there.

 

your access dB may or may not have data in the right structure. Regardless, power bi can handle it. 

 

To refresh you can either refresh with Power BI desktop locally and push it to the cloud each day, or you can use the gateway to do it automatically. 

 

Ive been around a long time, and in my opinion you won't find a better solution today, and I can almost guarantee it will be a lot better in another 6 months, then again 6 months later. This is probably going to be the subject of a blog article of mine shortly. 

 

Hope st helps



* Matt is a Microsoft MVP (Power BI) and author of the Power BI Book Supercharge Power BI.
3 REPLIES 3
Super User
Super User

Re: Data Storage and Refreshing in Power BI Online

On the contrary, loading all the data at once is the most efficient approach. If you split the data by person or region, at a minimum you need a starting report for each of them (let's say 10). Then you decided to add one more slicer (you have to do it 10 times - forever). Power BI is very efficient in compression and storage. You should creat a data model with all your data (I have 60million records in one of my reports and it is 300MB and takes 25 minutes to refresh each week. Creat a set of reports with slicers for different people/ regions. Where you want to limit what they see, use the inbuilt row level security. 

 

Users cna create there own reports, but I recommend someone create them centrally with slicers. If users want more they can create their own from there.

 

your access dB may or may not have data in the right structure. Regardless, power bi can handle it. 

 

To refresh you can either refresh with Power BI desktop locally and push it to the cloud each day, or you can use the gateway to do it automatically. 

 

Ive been around a long time, and in my opinion you won't find a better solution today, and I can almost guarantee it will be a lot better in another 6 months, then again 6 months later. This is probably going to be the subject of a blog article of mine shortly. 

 

Hope st helps



* Matt is a Microsoft MVP (Power BI) and author of the Power BI Book Supercharge Power BI.
istudent Frequent Visitor
Frequent Visitor

Re: Data Storage and Refreshing in Power BI Online

Thank you for all of the information. Just to clarify, we would have to purchase Power BI Pro in order to use the gatway to connect, correct? I have it downloaded and set up, but when I try to add it as a datasource I'm told that I need to upgrade to Pro. I like the idea of using slicers and row level security, and we may still do this but refresh the data manually each day. It would be hard to pay $6,000 per year just to have it done automatically (we have 51 users that all need to access reports). 

Super User
Super User

Re: Data Storage and Refreshing in Power BI Online

Yes, you need pro licences for everyone if you use a gateway. Anothe rapproach is to purchase power Update http://xbi.com.au/Update for $500 + maintenance and use that Instead to push a local copy to the service. 



* Matt is a Microsoft MVP (Power BI) and author of the Power BI Book Supercharge Power BI.

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