Microsoft Power BI

Power BI is a Microsoft application designed for complex data analysis and visualizations. Faculty and Staff are now eligible for Microsoft Power BI Pro.

Getting Started

How to get Power BI Desktop

Power BI is enabled for authorized users by default. Users can download the application by signing in to the Microsoft 365 portal and choosing to download the app.

Unfortunately, there is not currently a desktop application for PowerBI for macOS. We recommend using the online version using the Sign In button above or accessing a Windows-based desktop version through Apporto.

Security, Permissions, and Data Management

Please Note:
 All dashboards and visualization must comply with the Institutional Data Governance Policy 8.6.

Once you have access to the application, you have the ability to connect power bi to various data sources to create your visualizations. You will also be able to fully control permissions of the dashboard and underlying data. This is a powerful tool. Please make sure you are diligent in assigning permissions and managing any sensitive data that might be included in your report.

  • Reports are typically created and stored under your account. For departmental datasets, please assign an alternate owner.
  • Please always restrict access to your dashboards unless you intend for anyone to see the underlying data.

What is Power BI?

Documentation and Training

Microsoft Power BI Guides

Video Tutorials

IT Training

Other Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

Microsoft Power BI combines software, apps, and connectors to turn unrelated data sources into coherent, visually immersive, and interactive business insights. Your data might be an Excel spreadsheet, a cloud-based data collection, or on-premises hybrid data warehouses—Power BI lets you easily connect them all. You can then visualize your data sources, discover what's important, and share that with anyone.

Power BI consists of several components. These are the basic foundation:

  • Power BI Desktop, the Windows-only desktop application.
  • Power BI service, the online software as a service (SaaS) component.
  • Power BI Mobile, the mobile device apps for Android and iOS.

These three components—Power BI Desktop, the service, and the mobile apps—allow you to create, share, and review business insights the way you need to achieve your goals easily.

Power BI connects to data and creates reports and dashboards for the user's personal use. They can't use the Power BI sharing or collaborating features with others or publish content to other people's workspaces.

Power BI Pro lets users create content, like users of Power BI, but also reads and interacts with content that others have published to the Power BI service. Power BI Pro Users can share content and collaborate with other Power BI Pro users.

Unfortunately, students are not eligible for Power BI licenses under SMU's current license agreement. You can purchase an individual licenses, if needed.

Mac users have the option of using the cloud version of Power BI or accessing it via Apporto. Unfortunately, there is not currently a desktop application for Microsoft Power BI for macOS at this time.