Tour and use the Power BI service


The common flow of work in Microsoft Power BI is to create a report in Power BI Desktop, publish it to the Power BI service, and then distribute to consumers to view through the service or mobile app.

Power BI service allows you to create apps for easy distribution and clutter-free consumption. An app is a way to group related reports and dashboards and distribute to the appropriate audience(s).

We go into more detail about apps (and the service) in upcoming modules, but let's walk through the experience to understand how apps benefit your organization.

Explore built-in sample reports

Easily explore built-in samples to get familiar using the Power BI service. Built-in samples are each a bundle of one or more dashboards, datasets, and reports that you can use with the Power BI service.

From the Power BI service, open the Learning center from the left navigation pane. Pick one of the available built-in samples, which opens in Reading mode. Power BI then imports the sample and adds a new report and dataset to your My workspace.

Screenshot of Power BI service Learning center with built-in samples

After you've chosen a sample report, you can see the direct report sharing experience for consumers. Take note of the Power BI service navigation pane and header, as shown in the following screenshot. You can see the report navigation and the filter pane, both of which are collapsible.

Screenshot of the built-in Human Resources sample report

Explore template apps

Now that you understand how a report can be shared through Power BI service, let's look at the app experience. To replicate the experience, we're using the GitHub template app.

Screenshot of Power BI Template apps


To access template apps, select the Apps icon from the left navigation pane > Get apps > Template apps.

In the following screenshot, you can see that the Power BI service left navigation pane and header that were visible with the direct report are gone. Also note the dashboard and a multi-page report in the app navigation pane. The app provides a cleaner look with only the relevant content. It's also customizable with app color and thumbnail. Apps also allow you to configure multiple audiences if you need to limit access to certain pages in a report, for instance.

Screenshot of the Github app

All of the visuals are interactive and interacting with one visual filters the others accordingly. For example, when you select on mihart in the donut chart on the Top 100 Contributors report, all other visuals only show related data for mihart.

Screenshot of the filtered Top 100 Contributors report page

Refresh data in the Power BI service

Likely, your data changes regularly, so Power BI accounts allows on-demand and scheduled dataset refreshes. From the app workspace, you manually refresh or schedule up to eight refreshes per day at minimum.


For more information about all refresh schedules, see the Refresh data documentation.

The Datasets tab is selected on the Settings page that appears. In the right pane, select the arrow next to Scheduled refresh to expand that section. The Settings dialog box appears on the canvas, letting you set the update settings that meet your needs.

Screenshot of Datasets setting tab with Scheduled refresh section highlighted

The Power BI service provides a simple and interactive user experience to take your data analytics to the next level.