Navigating the Power BI Site in Office 365

Overview:  This post includes links for getting around Office 365, specifically as it pertains to the use of Office 365 for the Power BI Preview (i.e., not all O365 menus will be explored here).  Intended audience is the system administrator.  Purpose of this blog post is not to discuss functionality, just links and locations within the O365 portal.

Please note that this was published on 9/2/2013 – the look and feel of the menus and page structure will undoubtedly change as O365 progresses.  All screen shots below presume you have administrator privileges to the site, so you may see less things based on your O365 plan and your permissions.

Office 365 Contextual Menus and Links

Power BI is delivered using SharePointOnline within Office 365.  You can think of it as SharePoint in the web using HTML5.  A lot of SharePoint concepts will be very familiar.  However, navigating around is a bit different.

Depending on where you are at in the site, all menus are not visible.  The menus are contextual (i.e., they change based on current context - where you are located in the portal).  Also, breadcrumbs are only minimally used.  So until you have figured out the site and bookmarked some key pages, you might feel like you are hunting around for where you were or where you need to get.  The remainder of this blog entry outlines some of the key places I’ve located while working with the Power BI Preview in O365.

All links below need “YourDomainName” replaced with your valid name for them to work properly.

Admin Centers and O365 Site Settings Links

The Power BI preview uses the E3 (Enterprise 3) plan, which has nearly all features.

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Since I have the E3 business plan, I find the following Admin & Settings links to be relevant for my purposes (i.e., testing out the Power BI Preview):

Power BI Admin Center https://YourDomainName.itadmin.clouddatahub.net
SharePoint Admin Center https://YourDomainName-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/SiteCollections.aspx
Site Settings https://YourDomainName-my.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/settings.aspx
Site Contents https://YourDomainName-my.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx
Office 365 Admin Center https://portal.microsoftonline.com/Admin/default.aspx
Office 365 Settings https://portal.microsoftonline.com/EditProfile15.aspx

(Note that I omitted the Exchange and Lync Admin pages because they aren’t relevant for what I’m doing with the Power BI Preview.  They are of course very important for an Enterprise implementation of Office 365.)

Power BI Admin Center

https://YourDomainName.itadmin.clouddatahub.net

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SharePoint Admin Center

https://YourDomainName-admin.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/online/SiteCollections.aspx

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Site Settings

https://YourDomainName-my.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/settings.aspx

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Site Contents

https://YourDomainName-my.sharepoint.com/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/_layouts/15/viewlsts.aspx

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O365 Admin Center

https://portal.microsoftonline.com/Admin/default.aspx

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Office 365 Settings

https://portal.microsoftonline.com/EditProfile15.aspx

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Accessing Sites, Document Libraries, and Documents

The previous section covered accessing various pages for setting up the system.  Now let’s focus on where we will store our content.

Use the “Sites” menu option located in the top toolbar of some higher level pages.

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All Sites

The launch page displays sites you have permission to see. 

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Power BI Site Home Page

I created a new site called “PowerBISite” because for me it’s just for learning and doing a bit of playing around.  In reality you’ll want to think of it like any other site and give it a good name that suits its purpose.

https://YourDomainName.sharepoint.com/YourSiteName/_layouts/15/start.aspx#/SitePages/Home.aspx

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Power BI Documents

Documents within a Power BI-enabled site are displayed with a preview of the report which looks like this:

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Within the site, the contextual menus have additional choices.

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Tracking Usage Analytics and Queries

Within the Power BI-enabled site, there is a menu option called “Manage Data.”

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Manage Data

https://YourDomainName.datasteward.clouddatahub.net

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Additional Resources for Getting Started with the Power BI Preview

Office 365 – Getting Started with Office 365

Office 365 – Community (Blog, Forums, Wiki, Troubleshooting) 

TechNet – Power BI Forums

Office – Power BI Sites on Power BI for Office 365

Office – Power BI Admin Center Help