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I Bet You Think This is a Picture, Don’t You?

Yeah, this is the place in most posts where you will find a picture…  but aha!  It is anything BUT!

That’s not a picture, it’s a fully interactive Power BI dashboard embedded into this page!
(Click, zoom/pan, hover – try it out)

(And check Back EVERY HOUR for the latest stats – it updates automatically!)

(If you’re looking at this in email and can’t see it, try this link instead.)

Can you see yourself on the map?  You will in an hour!

Yeah, that’s a DAX-powered, Power BI dashboard, right here in our website – a website that runs on WordPress, which is Linux for crying out loud.  Don’t know what Linux is?  No worries, just translate it as “there’s zero Microsoft software behind, and yet – BAM!  Power BI, right here!”

And the dashboard in question is a near-real-time view of the traffic on this very site!  Check back in an hour and you will be able to “see” yourself on the map (especially easy if you use one of the “rarer” browsers.)

How Does it Work?  Via Three VERY Cool Things.

1 – now supports embedding anywhere!

Well first of all, this is powered by a brand-new feature of, one that was unveiled yesterday in fact, thus immediately hijacking the topic of today’s post.  Yeah normally I am slow to jump on new things, but no, not this time.  THIS is something else altogether.  Live, interactive embedding in our site has been the Holy Grail for a very long time, and it just materialized yesterday out of thin air!  It was a drop-everything moment.

You just publish from PowerBI Desktop:

Power BI Desktop

And remember, PowerBI Desktop is 100% free, you can download it right now, and the version of that I am using here is also 100% free.  That’s right, I’m not paying a dime for any of this.

2 – The Google Analytics Connector, and Good Old DAX (Power Pivot) Formulas!

In order to build the dashboard in question, I merely launched Power BI Desktop and imported data from Google Analytics for our site:

Power BI Connects to Google Analytics!

This is Awesome.  (Yes, it then prompts me for my Google Password, and it’s super-clear after that)

And then I added some DAX formulas, just like I would in Power Pivot – because remember, Power BI Desktop is Power Pivot under the hood!

Power BI Calc Column is in the same language (DAX) as Power Pivot

Power BI Measure is in the same language (DAX) as Power Pivot

A DAX Calculated Column (Top), and Measure (Bottom), Just like in Power Pivot

If you’d like a closer look at the Power BI Desktop file that I built for this, you can download it here.  (No, it won’t refresh, cuz you don’t have my Google password, but you can inspect the DAX, the visuals, the query, etc.)

3 – Power Update refreshes it every hour!

Power Update: Auto Refresh and Re-Publish Power BI Dashboards at No Charge Power Update: Auto Refresh and Re-Publish Power BI Dashboards at No Charge

Power Update: Auto Refresh and Re-Publish Power BI Dashboards at No Charge Power Update: Auto Refresh and Re-Publish Power BI Dashboards at No Charge

Power Update is Pretty Self-Explanatory, I Think Smile

Quick notes here:

  1. I’m running the perpetually free version of Power Update, so there’s again zero cost for any of this.  (You can get it here or here or here).
  2. I set the refresh to run every 15 minutes, even though the embedded view feature only updates every hour, just because I can.
  3. In this case, I have Power Update running on a spare computer – I do this when I’m running a Power BI desktop workbook, but when I’m automatically refreshing an Excel Power Pivot (and/or Power Query) workbook, I just run that on my main computer.  (PBI desktop lacks programming interfaces, so Power Update has to “drive” the UI by grabbing the mouse and keyboard temporarily – this is not the case with Excel/Power Pivot files.)
  4. does charge you for auto-refresh if you exceed once per day, but with Power Update, is not running the refresh, so we don’t tax their servers, and we stay in the 100% free zone – and no need to worry about the 10K rows per hour limit of the free version of PowerBI either.
  5. Power Update remains free as long as you’re only automating the refresh of one workbook/dashboard, which is true here.


Culmination of MUCH Progress

There’s a lot going on here.  A lot of things have been building up for a LONG time in order for this to become so simple and inexpensive.  BIG kudos to Microsoft for their persistence and hard work, and a hat tip to the folks over at Power Planner (who make Power Update).  I can’t stop smiling.

Questions?  Thoughts?

Even more than usual, we’d love to hear what you think about all of this.  Curious about PowerBI desktop?  Or  Or Power Update?  Or…  none of the above?  Confused?  Irritated?  Hungry?  Let us know Smile with tongue out

(I’ll be monitoring comments closely today just in case).

And don’t forget to come back and refresh this page during the day to see the stats change – they will update automatically every hour.

Rob Collie

Rob Collie

One of the original engineering leaders behind Power BI and Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, Rob Collie founded a consulting company in 2013 that is 100% devoted to “the new way forward” made possible by Power BI and its related technologies. Since 2013, PowerPivotPro has rapidly grown to become the leading firm in the industry, pioneering an agile, results-first methodology never before seen in the Business Intelligence space. A sought-after public speaker and author of the #1-selling Power BI book, Rob and his team would like to help you revolutionize your business and your career.

This Post Has 33 Comments
    1. Yes it’s an iframe. It works on smartphones if you open the blog post itself on though, at least for me.

      1. Yes Indeed I needed to visit the webpage, as the email was reading :
        “I Bet You Think This is a Picture, Don’t You?”,

        So while I was reading the email I was expecting to see the picture (without giving it much thoughts).

        Actually I understood after visiting the blog post.

        Regarding the iframe, with a Dev account we already were able to export reports to a web page (that was a bit technical though), my limitation regarding this feature was that we are actually dealing with Iframes which means this does not goes well with responsive websites.

        That’s a good thing though that Microsoft has extended this feature to the general public.


        1. Hi, I’m not a developer, I’m trying to embed a powerbi report and that works fine BUT I would like now is to embed a FILTERED report (for e.g the url looks like this: eq ‘Fund1’)
          And that doesnt work.. I still get the unfiltered report i.e I get the full list of items to choose from instead of it just being on Fund1

  1. We’ve been expecting this feature from the begining of PowerBI … share outside organisation, but I haven’t seen any “protection” before sharing a report. Have you seen any?

    1. Hi this feature if remember correctly is to share dashboards publicly. This is without anyone requiring to provide any credentials. There is a similar one to share with users outside the organization. As currently can only share with users inside your office 365 organization. Allowing verified users to access reports is part of that change which has been started no eta though 🙁

  2. Can someone post instructions or a link to how you show this in SharePoint OnPremise. I tried putting it in my PowerPivot library and my only option is to download it, then open it.

  3. Great post. The potential of this is awesome. Are you able to limit or restrict the people who are able to view the data? Or once you’ve published it, anyone can see it? Also, are people able to download the data?

    1. @George, it seems to me based on our testing that this feature is so popular that there is a delay from when Power Update pushes the file, until Power BI finds the time to refresh the Web Cache. It has varied from 15 mins and up today. I am sure this will fix itself soon.

      All you should have to do is to set it up in Power Update, and let it run it, as PU will publish it too.


      1. Actually Microsoft tells me that they only pick up changes once per hour for this embedding service. So even if Power Update is refreshing and publishing it every 15 minutes, we’re seeing once per hour. Roughly.

        But George, to answer your question, PU (as we fondly call it) pushes the updated PBIX to after every refresh it runs. It’s all taken care of 🙂

  4. This is great and can really help us to showcase PowerBI with our clients.
    (hopefully I’ll be the first Perth Australia dot to appear)

    1. Frank, Power Update supports Office 2010, 2013 and 2016. There is a free version for one workbook, and the paid version you can buy software maintenance and you can enjoy new features, email support, and updates for Power BI Desktop, Excel, SharePoint and OneDrive. If you have further questions, email [email protected]

    1. I just drilled down in the Google Analytics portal, and it appears to be coming from comcast ip services l.l.c. – no idea if that’s residential service or some sort of commercial/biz hosting, but it does prove that it’s legit 🙂

  5. I embedded a 3 page report and then realised I wanted to re-order it, However, after doing this I re-generated an embed code but this still resulted in a a view showing the original order of the report. Nothing I did seemed to force it to look at the new layout.

    1. Just wait an hour. It will update. (It confused the heck out of me, too. They only refresh the embedded version once an hour).

  6. One of the tremendous benefits of being able to embed a Power BI dashboard is simply to help promote the product.

    In an app I’m working on, the source is a web page with a table that is updated daily. In ExcelI want to Power Query this data each day and add append it to the data model. Is there a way to do this without having to append an Excel Table? Because the source changes daily a simple refresh with a Connection only property overwrites the existing Data Model. I need to add to it.

    As always, thanks so much in advance for any help.

  7. Hi,

    Is-there a way to pass an argument in the embedded URL ?

    Say for example you would like to display data only for USA?


  8. This is even easier, and I think you get way more information using the new built-in Power BI content pack for Google Analytics. I did a write up on it over the weekend. It’s pretty impressive, what you get OOTB from the content packs. Take a look at my post and give it a try. It saves a lot of time and you’re not limited to the 7 Google Analytics Dimensions per query, etc.

  9. This is actually publishing a report rather than a dashboard – am I correct or missing something? My reports look terrible but dashboards look great so it’s these I want to embed. – no publish to web option on the dashboard as far as I can see and the ‘share’ links require PowerBI log in (so not public)

  10. I believe that the standard GA to PBI connector will only pull aggregates and will also be exposed to sampling.

    May I suggest using instead of the connector. Scitylana will pull all raw data unsampled from GA (free edition) into Power BI. This expands the possibilities of web analytics in Power BI dramatically and enables integration with your own backend data.

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