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  • Ulrik Carlsson

Manage Data Security When Using Power BI for Dynamics 365

Naturally, many organizations now want to take advantage of using the industry leading enterprise analytics application Microsoft Power BI to show their Dynamics 365 data. Power BI can give you great insights and make ad hoc reporting a breeze, but there is a catch for the organizations that have stringent access requirements to data.

Our customers in manufacturing tend to have strict requirements around security and access to customer & distributor data inside Dynamics 365. The privileges can be related to the regional sales hierarchy or standard business hierarchies. Rules around security are generally mapped out when Dynamics 365 is implemented.

When a Power BI report and dataset are created, it is usually done by an administrator or someone who has unrestricted access. This report is then shared with the individual sales representatives who may be restricted to access only parts of the data included in the report. However, the Power BI report is showing Dynamics 365 data, it is actually looking at a separate dataset, which does not apply any of the security restrictions from Dynamics 365. While the source of the data might be secured, the data shown in Power BI is not. At least not unless the report maker ensures that security is applied properly.

Join us at the UG Summit where we go over the best practices for how to manage Power BI security in the context of Dynamics 365 data. I’ll take you through the data and security between the two applications, and how those differences can be used to show us more details and insights within the confinements of the security roles.

Finally, we will look at how we can use Row Level Security in Power BI to vary the record access on a per user basis. This includes taking a look at how you can create advanced Dynamics roles that query the user’s security settings from Dynamics 365, and apply to similar roles in Power BI dynamically. This significantly reduces the amount of role management needed when users change roles, new users are added, and others leave.

My colleague, Matt Lamb, and I are presenting several sessions at this year’s UG Summit on the use of analytics and AI specifically for Dynamics 365 users. You can see the full list here. Please reach out if you want to meet us at Summit, or are interested in talking about best practices around Power BI and Dynamics 365. Look forward to connecting with you!

Ulrik Carlsson: | Matt Lamb:

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