Today Microsoft announced an exciting preview of public Power BI report publishing for data storytelling. New Power BI Publish to Web unlocks visual analytics everywhere. With YouTube-like embed link creation simplicity, anyone around the world can now publicly share interactive data stories with Power BI in websites, blogs, email or social media posts. Check out the official blog and launch video.

The LIVE embedded demo below is using my public Climate Change inspiration example. Note that I am using a narrow dynamic view since my blog space is limited. Power BI’s HTML5 dynamic rendering capabilities do allow it to automatically scale to the space available or a predefined size. (NOTE: Right now my existing report design is not optimized for dynamic display. I am still learning about these new features. Setting a specific size on the PowerBI.com report or using a fixed aspect ratio in Power BI Desktop for the target medium might provide a better user experience depending on your design.) Here is another LIVE full-screen view of the same report that is not embedded.

One of the publishing features in Power BI is the ability to choose different report sizes and layouts. You can set a specific size on a PowerBI.com report or set a fixed aspect ratio in Power BI Desktop. During report authoring, you can define or restrict final published report sizes. You can adjust the height and width of the embed link iframe tag as needed. To ensure your report fits exactly within a given screen area, you should set a View Mode: Fit to page on each page of your report.

  • View Mode: Dynamic: Dynamic may not always be the best option for you depending on your report design. Be sure to test that your report scales nicely to fit within a specific desired viewing size. Your report will scale to fit the exact dimensions of your iframe. In this mode, your report might stretch. It is best used with small display sizes. This setting does avoid scroll bars from appearing. You can also adjust the exact height and width in your iframe tag.
  • View Mode: Fit to page: Fit to page will respect the page height and width of your report. fit to page to keep aspect ratio; but grey borders will appear. This mode is best for large iframe displays. When embedded in an iframe, this option will add a border surrounding your content. This option is desirable when you would like your report to maintain aspect ratio when embedded and not stretch your content on the screen.
  • View Mode: Fit to width: Fit to width will ensure your report content fits within the horizontal area of your iframe. This option will add a border surrounding your content.
  • View Mode: Actual size: Actual size will ensure your report preserves specified report size settings. This option can display scroll bars if your report content does not fit within the iframe area.

Getting Started with Power BI Data Storytelling

To easily embed interactive Power BI visualizations in your own blog, website, email or social media posting, you begin by creating an embed link. To create an that link, you merely navigate to your published PowerBI.com report and choose Publish to Web in the File menu.

Storytelling

You will then be prompted to choose your desired embed size settings and other options. After making your selections, an embed link is created for you to copy and begin sharing your report externally.

Storytelling

After a Publish to Web embed link has been created, you can see it listed under Settings > Manage embed codes on PowerBI.com. In the Manage embed codes screen, you will see a list of your published reports by date and status. You also have additional options such as deleting the embed link to remove external access to your report.

When you first share a report using Publish to Web, it is immediately available for external viewing. After the initial Publish to Web action, any report updates or data refreshes can take approximately one hour to be visible to the external report users. If you need immediate report updates, you can use the Report > Save As menu to save a copy of your report as a work-around. Note the Save As process will generate a new embed link for publishing.

When you use Publish to Web, reports are available to anyone on the internet via anonymous access.  Please ensure that you only share reports with public ready data. If you are looking for public data sets, check out My Favorite Public Data Sources article.

Don’t publish sensitive data, data that has financial implications, data that must remain confidential, or data that you do not have the license rights to publish. Check with your Human Resources or Legal departments if you are unsure whether the data you’d like to post on a blog or website is approved for public usage.

If you come across a report that should not be public, please report your concern by using the Flag icon at the bottom bar of the embedded Power BI report. Microsoft will evaluate the published content based on the Power BI terms of use and take appropriate action.

Note: On February 10, we also added sharing Dashboards with external users.

Even More Amazing = Power BI + Sway

Sway is a free storytelling app from Microsoft Office. It lets you easily create and share fully interactive web reports, presentations, personal stories, newsletters, photos and so much more.

Sway Storytelling

For truly phenomenal data storytelling combinations, you can now embed Power BI reports within your Sway presentations with the new Publish to Web Feature.

Power BI + Sway opens up truly innovative ways for anyone to easily design and tell creative, impactful digital stories with data.

Sway currently supports embedding content from the following sites: Power BI, Docs.com, Flickr, GeoGebra, Giphy, Google Maps, Infogram, Mixcloud, Office Mix, OneDrive (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF documents), Poll Everywhere, Sketchfab, SoundCloud, Channel 9, Vimeo, Vine and YouTube.

Here is my first Power BI + Sway demo using the previous Climate Change inspiration example along with additional content from NASA’s fantastically designed climate data storytelling website. I am still learning about these new features so my example might not be perfectly optimized right now.

Power BI + Sway

Power BI + Sway data storytelling epitomizes
“Experience your data. Any data, any way, anywhere.”

Please note that I’ll be writing a more detailed article on Power BI + Sway soon. In the meantime, check out the other examples hidden at the bottom of the Sway’s web page. There are also video tutorials to help you get up to speed on design options. A really nice perk within Sway is a public content search for supplementing your data story with related content.

Power BI: What is New Lately

Don’t forget that we will be having the next Power BI: What is New Lately webinar this coming Thursday, February 4. In that not-to-miss session, I will share even more good surprises. If you can’t make it, no worries. We do keep on-demand webinar recordings buried within our Power BI online documentation.

Each and every week more wonderful features get released to the growing Power BI community. Public internet sharing of Power BI reports has been a top request since day one. Now that we finally have it, I can’t wait to see what gets shared out there in the wild. On that note, check out the Best Reports Contest finalists and vote for your favorite one.