Administrators Can Now Visualize Azure AD Insights With Power BI

A new Power BI integration enables Azure Cloud administrators to get deeper insights into their organization's use of Azure Active Directory with charts, graphs and other visualizations.

Microsoft Azure Cloud 2

Microsoft has enlisted Power BI to provide enterprise organizations with more insights into Azure Active Directory (AD), the cloud-based version of the company's identity and access management platform.

Youssef Shoukry, a Microsoft Power BI program manager, took to the company blog to announce that Azure AD Premium customers can now use the Azure AD Content Pack for Power BI to supplement the activity and usage reports in the Azure Admin Portal.

"With this integration of Azure Active Directory APIs with Power BI, you can easily download pre-built content packs and dig deeper into all the activities within your Azure Active Directory," he wrote.

Users can drill down into the various charts, graphs and other visualizations produced by the new content pack. They can monitor sign-ins on a map representing the world, view a rolling total of sign-ins and gauge which apps are most popular among their workforces.

"You can create your own dashboard and share it easily with anyone in your organization," added Shoukry, highlighting one of Power BI's hallmark collaboration capabilities.

Other recent updates to the cloud-enabled business intelligence suite includes the addition of email subscriptions.

Power BI Pro users can now have Power BI report pages delivered to their inboxes when changes to the data occur. Sent once a day, the emails contain a screenshot of selected report pages along with a link to the report itself. If no changes occurred within a given day, the email is not sent. Conversely, users that are permitted to edit Power BI data sets can trigger a new email by refreshing a selected data set.

Microsoft plans to expand on the feature throughout the year. Among the upcoming updates is the ability for users to subscribe other users to Power BI emails.

For developers, Microsoft announced the version 1.4 release of the Power BI Visuals API (application programming interface), which enables coders to create custom visualizations. The latest version features localization support, allowing developers to craft charts and other visuals with content that adapts to a user's language and location. A list of supported locations is available on the Power BI Visuals GitHub page.

Also new is a Power BI reporting template for business users tasked with keeping tabs on their SAP Accounts Receivable (AR) data. Microsoft teamed with SAP software specialist Simplement to produce the SAP Accounts Receivable Solution Template.

Aimed at comptrollers and other financial managers, it allows businesses to connect Power BI to their SAP AR solution. Once installed and linked to either Azure SQL or an on-premise SQL Server, users can monitor the state of their monetary inflows and get a clearer view of the total AR balance, problematic customers and other factors affecting their AR operations.

The template allows users to analyze historic trends, find underperforming receivables and generally inform businesses of which of their customers require attention. The template is free for the first month, after which users must register with Simplement for a license.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the Internet.com network of...