MetaDAMA - Data Management in the Nordics

2#7 - PowerBI Governance (Eng)

November 21, 2022 Winfried Etzel VP Activities DAMA Norway Season 2 Episode 7
MetaDAMA - Data Management in the Nordics
2#7 - PowerBI Governance (Eng)
Show Notes

«If you do guidance correctly, people will follow it. People want to do the correct thing. Nobody wants to do things wrong.»

From fisherman on Island to Data MVP in Copenhagen! Asgeir has been through a fantastic journey and we had a great conversation around PowerBI Governance. Asgeir has his own blog about the topic.

Here are my key takeaways:

  • Think of platforms at a translation: You are own a journey and platform is where you stand on, from where you push off, start your journey.
  • A lot of organizations are only on maturity level 1 when it comes to Power BI, even though they think they range higher, or even if there are different levels of maturity in different parts of the organization.
  • Buzzwords help shape opinions, and to have discussions. With good help, these opinions can be shaped into actions.
  • If you have the possibility to do a green field approach to data mesh - consider it: It will not get easier than this.
  • The parts of Data Governance, that can be solved with a focus on technology, and process are much more mature and easier to handle than the softer parts, that are concerned with people.
  • It is easier to lock out intentional mistakes than unintentional.
  • Governance is changing focus, from being compliance driven to providing a framework of how we can get more value from our data, it’s about making people productive.
  • By making people more productive and efficient, you can pay off the cost of governance really fast.
  • If you use data more proactively, you are moving the power from people to the machine. But there needs to be a balance, its not either or.


  • In PowerBI implementations we should have talked Governance from the start.
  • PowerBI enables people in your organization to use data on their own. There is always value ion that.
  • To use self-service tools correctly, you need to either have people formally trained or/and have guidelines in place BEFORE they start doing things.
  • Not everyone in your organization will become a PowerBI expert or is a data person. Don’t expect everyone to go there.
  • Governance is about giving people a framework and a good chance to do things correctly from the beginning.
  • Most low hanging fruit: Build a report inventory!
  • Try to keep the usage of PowerBI to the M365 environment and meet people where they are.
  • Know your requirements before you start using tools.

The 5 pillars cover all of what your governance strategy implementation should cover:

  • The people pillar is about having the right roles in place and train people to perform in these roles.
  • Because PowerBI is a self-service tool the administrator role is often allocated randomly.
  • The processes and framework pillar is about what proper documents in place to make it work so users can use Power BI correctly and be compliant. This covers administrative documents as well as end user documents.
  • The training and support pillar is about making sure everyone that uses Power BI has gotten the required training. This is also about deciding what kind of support mechanisms you need to have in place.
  • The monitoring pillar is about setting up monitoring of Power BI. Usually, it involves extracting data from the Power BI activity log as well as the Power BI REST APIs for information about existing artifacts in your Power BI tenant. 
  • The settings and external tools pillar is about making sure Power BI settings are correctly sat as well as how to use other approved tools to support Power BI (extensions to Power BI).