Back in June 2017 I wrote about the new email subscription service arriving in PowerBI. At the time, I called out how this would be super helpful in an education context:
In an education context I can see this being super helpful for Executive and Enrollment Teams where they need to track time sensitive data e.g. how many beds remain in the boarding house? What is the gender split in Year 10? How many students have passed their internal assessment before the end of the year?
I see that there is an enhancement made to this feature this week that allows for time based policies for emails – in other words, set the day/time you want the report to show up in someone’s inbox and it will appear. Previously, this was only happening when the data set was refreshed, so this added functionality provides significantly more flexibility in terms of getting the data in front of the key decision makers when they need it.
Personally, I think the real value of PowerBI is the interactive nature of the dashboards, allowing the end user to interrogate the visualizations to understand more deeply what the data is telling them about their business. In saying that, I recognize that many senior leaders who are very busy simply want an overview to appear on a routine schedule in their inbox to provide the top level insights they need to process.
This new feature allows for precisely that, along with a setting that optionally grants the recipient of the emailed report access to the underlying dashboard. This is probably the best of both worlds and by serving the content up via email on a routine schedule, it may encourage the recipient to further investigate the data themselves – helping them on the journey to become “data curious!”
If you dig through some of the questions at the bottom of the announcement, you;ll notice there are a few additional features coming soon too:
- Ability to schedule monthly reports (not just daily/weekly)
- Making the reports contextually aware of saved filters
- Excel / PDF formats coming (not just the current HTML emails)
It’s great to see the continued evolution of this service.