Simple tricks for BI site visualization

Some of our clients use their BI sites to develop PowerView reports for more than one user with different permissions.

For example, BI site for company, which has 5 different sales department.
SharePoint BI sites have a good feature, called PowerPivot gallery, which you can use to host your reports. Today we’ll speak about interesting approach, how we can extend its capabilities, using simple “Promoted Links” app.

Imagine the situation.
We have:
1. Single SharePoint 2013 BI site.
2. 5 different departments which should access BI reports only for their department. As example “RegionName Sales Departments”.

The simple solution is to create 5 separate sub-sites and put links to the main site. But if you want to create an illustrative site this is not enough. We can use “Promoted Links” app to make BI site more expressive and focus users directly on the required information to increase their efficiency.

“Promoted Links” app allows you to show links to other location on the page, but the main point is the possibility to assign pictures and description to these links. So the end user will see the nice logo with floating description instead of a strict link.

Let’s start:
1. Open your BI site.
2. Click Settings icon and click add an app, select “Promoted Links” app.
3. Click new item. Here you can specify the Title, the link to preferred logo, and a brief description for the link.

Picture1Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Now the interesting part goes.
Here we can put not only the links to the sub-sites, but direct links to the PowerPivot galleries of the department or even links to the single reports. This is good, because you can show the entire sub-site for the user from the larger department (with bigger amount of data) and show only one needed report for the smaller one.
This is the good way to focus the attention of the end users just on their information.

Also we can use RSDS reports to hide all “excel signs” if necessary. You can read previous post about it.

Let’s proceed and setup links.
4. Create 5 items for 5 departments. In our example they are “RegionName Sales Departments”

Picture2Nice view, isn’t it? I think that this approach will make your BI site more “human friendly” and at the same time more efficient.
5. Now let’s define the “Landing Page”, where we want to show these items. For example, let’s show it on our home page.
Also we can hide this app from the quick launch menu. To do so go to -> list -> List settings -> List name, description and navigation.
6. Open home page and click edit page. Click “Insert”, then “App part”.

Picture37. Select “Promoted Links” app.
8. Set the proper title size etc. for this web part.
9. Click Save, and Stop editing on the upper ribbon.
We’re done, you will see the webpart on your home page.

Picture4The last part is to configure the proper permissions for users and grant them access to their pieces of information. This is something that depends on your company structure.

Hope this article was interesting for you.