What You Need to Know About Power BI Embedded (With Examples)

The Power BI Embedded analytics feature is undeniably a hot topic these days.

Organizations are looking to shift to self-service reporting models. Managers are looking to maximize the value of their tech spend. Product teams are looking to roll out better reporting. Not all—but lots of roads are leading back to Power BI Embedded.

Whichever reason brings you here today, we are going to walk you through a few examples of how some of our customers are using Power BI Embedded and how we are helping them quickly realize the value of the feature.

What is Power BI Embedded?

Power BI Embedded is a premium feature that enables you to embed Power BI workspaces and dashboards within a web page or an app. Power BI Embedded empowers you to share meaningful dashboards and reports with your customers or employees where it makes the most sense for them to consume them. Power BI Embedded is a Microsoft Azure Service.

What is CSG Pro’s Embedded App Template?

The CSG Pro Embedded App template is a ready-to-install Azure Web application designed for sharing Power BI reports and dashboards. Think of it as a jumpstart for your embedded analytics use case, enabling you to get to V1 on Day 1.

Benefits

  • Empowers your company to quickly deploy a fully functional Power BI Embedded app
  • Enables you to share Power BI content (internally and externally) without requiring additional Power BI Pro licenses
  • Defines and manages user audiences (companies, and users)
  • Assigns Power BI Workspaces to companies, enabling content curation for specific users
  • Enables Row-Level-Security (if required) to ensure that data is appropriately filtered based on user identity

Embedded Analytics Example: Simplify Power BI User Experience

Power BI Embedded

Microsoft wants PowerBI.com to be the central hub for your report consumers. Users need to have at least a baseline knowledge of Workspaces, Apps, Reports, and Dashboards—something we do entire trainings around at CSG Pro.

Additionally, many organizations have spent years guiding their employees to their intranet or portal. Adding another site just adds another layer of complexity for the user and the administrators.

This Power BI Embedded app template allows you to push the same reporting wherever you want your users to go, with the experience you want them to have.

Benefits:

  • Reduces training time and costs
  • Increases adoption
  • Reduces internal user support

Embedded Analytics Example: Simplify License Administration

Power BI Embedded is currently available as a premium feature. This means that all of your users will be able to consume reports without requiring Power BI Pro licenses. Report authors or builders will still need to have Power BI Pro licenses. But that is generally a much smaller subset of your organization.

We have seen clients struggle in keeping up with the administration of 100+ Pro licenses—getting bogged down interviewing and collecting justifications for each licensee, reconciling the licenses monthly. Administration challenges can quickly snowball.

Benefits:

  • Reduces administration support time
  • Increases user experience (right capabilities for the right users)

Embedded Analytics Example: Self-Service Reporting

We all know somebody who has to churn out numerous, nearly identical reports for different users. Every month—or every week—this lucky human delivers the same updated Excel workbook or PDFs with charts. Some of us are those “lucky” humans.

Embedded analytics enables you to truly set up self-service reporting. Now you create one report using Row Level Security, which only allows data consumers to view reports on the data they have permission to see.

Some of our savvier, data-rich clients are even using this template as a way to monetize or productize the data they offer their clients.

Benefits:

  • Increase revenue through monetization
  • Decrease labor costs through automation

Embedded Analytics Example : Optimize Licensing Spend

Let’s be bold for a moment. Microsoft’s licensing is confusing. Some might even say…intentionally so.

Whenever we present these slides, we invariably field the most questions here. For this table, we created an imaginary company of exactly 500 Power BI report consumers—with 25 Power BI report authors or builders. Then we ran them through a few different licensing scenarios. For the sake of simplicity, we left out the cost of Azure DB and Azure App Service (combined, they would run sub-$300/monthly at the A1 and A2 levels).

Let’s take them one by one.

1. Power BI Pro (500 Pro Licenses)

If you’re a 500-person organization, don’t do this—unless your entire business model is dependent upon 100% of your workforce churning out reports. You also are not able to do embedded analytics in this scenario. (Ironic, since you’re really deep into an article on embedded analytics to be considering this.)

We recommend that you take a hard look at the Azure A SKUs (coming up…) once you have 50-100 internal Pro licenses. If you’re looking to have external-facing reports, the business case might be there if you only have one Pro license.

2. Power BI Premium (P SKUs)

In this scenario, we’ve bought 25 pro licenses for our report authors and everyone else will be covered as report consumers under the P1 SKU. You can also start embedding analytics to your heart’s content.

The challenge with the P SKUs is that you’re making a minimum annual commitment of $59,940 (or $4,995/mo). Your organization will also not have the flexibility to manage your cloud usage by pausing or turning off servers in non-peak times.

Our word of caution is don’t lock into a P SKU unless you’re sure you need one.

3. Power BI Premium (A SKUs)

Here’s where things get really interesting.

Using the Power BI Embedded A1 or A2 SKUs, we’re roughly at 20-33% of the cost of the other options (for reference, A4 is where the expense surpasses the P1 licensing cost). Where the P SKU was looking at ~$63k minimum spend, A1 and A2 are ~$12k and ~$20k maximum spends.

This is because the A SKUs are “pay-as-you-go.” You can shut down or pause the servers in non-peak times. Basically, you have the same embedding capability at a fraction of the price.

One of the great questions we always get asked right here is: How do I know how much capacity my organization will use? Alternative phrasings: Which A SKU does my company need? How do I plan and budget for this?

Our answer is that consumption depends on a lot of factors. Start with the lowest SKU you think will meet your needs, then test it, moving up or down as you learn.

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As you can see, there are multiple ways to buy the Power BI Embedded capability. Make sure you’re optimizing your spend and using these capabilities in a way that fully supports the unique goals of your organization. If you need help along the way, the CSG Pro team will support your team.

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Gavin McLaughlin
Gavin McLaughlin
gavinm@csgpro.com


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