Module 5: Get Started with Power BI

Lab: How to build a simple dashboard


Bellows College is an educational organization with multiple buildings on campus. Campus visitors are currently recorded in paper journals. The information is not captured consistently, and there are no means to collect and analyze data about the visits across the entire campus.

Campus administration would like to modernize their visitor registration system where access to the buildings is controlled by security personnel and all visits are required to be pre-registered and recorded by their hosts.

Throughout this course, you will build applications and perform automation to enable the Bellows College administration and security personnel to manage and control access to the buildings on campus.

In this lab, you will build a Power BI dashboard that visualizes data about campus visits.

High-level lab steps

We will follow the below steps to design and create the Power BI dashboard:

  • Connect to Dataverse
  • Transform the data to include user-friendly descriptions for the related rows (lookups)
  • Create and publish a report with various visualizations of the campus visits information
  • Utilize a user natural language query to build additional visualizations
  • Build a mobile view of the Power BI dashboard


  • Completion of Module 0 Lab 0 - Validate lab environment
  • Completion of Module 2 Lab 1 - Introduction to Microsoft Dataverse

Things to consider before you begin

  • Who is the target audience of the report?
  • How will the audience consume the report? Typical device? Location?
  • Do you have sufficient data to visualize?
  • What are the possible characteristics you can use to analyze data about the visits?

Exercise #1: Create Power BI Report

Objective: In this exercise, you will create a Power BI report based on data from your Dataverse database.

Task #1: Install Power BI Desktop / Prepare Power BI service

  1. Follow the below instructions to setup Power BI:

    • If Power BI Desktop is already installed, please skip to Task #2.

    • If you do not have Power BI Desktop installed, complete Step #2.

    • If you do not have required permissions or encounter issues with running Power BI Desktop, continue to Step #4.

  2. Navigate to to download and install Power BI Desktop.

    [!IMPORTANT] If you experience issues installing Power BI Desktop using Microsoft Store, try standalone installer that can be downloaded from

  3. If you successfully installed Power BI Desktop, you can now skip to Task #2; otherwise, continue to the next step.

    If you do not have required permissions to install desktop applications or experience difficulties in running or configuring Power BI Desktop, complete the task steps below.

  4. Download visits.pbix and save on your computer.

  5. Navigate to and click Sign in.

  6. Click My Workspace.

  7. If presented with the Get Data page, click Skip.

  8. Expand +New and select Upload a file.

    [!IMPORTANT] If you don’t see +New, you may need to activate the new look for Power BI. Be sure to toggle the New look to On at the top of your screen.

  9. Select Local File.

  10. Locate and select visits.pbix file you’ve downloaded earlier.

  11. Once data load is complete, select visits report (notice that the Type is set to Report).

  12. Click Edit. If Edit menu item is not visible click and then select Edit.

  13. You have now setup Power BI service to use for your labs. Continue to Task #3, but use the online Power BI service at instead of Power BI Desktop throughout the lab.

Task #2: Prepare Data

  1. Find out your organization URL

    • In a new tab, navigate to Power Platform Admin Center at

    • In the left navigation page, select Environments, and then open your Practice environment.

    • Right mouse click Environment URL on the Details panel, then select Copy link address.

  2. Open Power BI Desktop, sign in with your provided credentials if prompted.

  3. Select Get data.

  4. Select Power Platform on the left, then select Common Data Service, and press Connect.

  5. Paste the environment URL you copied earlier into the Server URL field, press OK.

  6. Expand Entities node, select bc_Building and bc_Visit entities, click Load.

  7. Click Model icon on the left vertical toolbar.

  8. Drag bc_buildingid column from bc_Building table and drop it to bc_building column in bc_Visit table. That will create a relationship between the two tables that Power BI will be able to use to display related data.

  9. Select Report icon on the left toolbar.

  10. Expand bc_Visit node in the Fields panel.

  11. Click beside bc_Visit and select New Column.

  12. Complete the formula as following:

    Column = RELATED(bc_Building[bc_name])

    and press ENTER. That will add a new field with the building name into the visits data.

  13. Click next to the Column field that you just created and select Rename. Enter Building as the field name.

  14. Click next to the bc_visitid field and select Rename. Enter Visit as the field name.

  15. Click next to the bc_scheduledstart field and select Rename. Enter Start as the field name.

  16. Save work in progress by pressing File | Save and entering a filename of your choice.

Task #3: Create Chart and Time Visualizations

  1. Press the pie chart icon in the Visualizations panel to insert a chart.

  2. Drag the Building field and drop it into Legend box.

  3. Drag the Visit field and drop it into Values target box.

  4. Resize the pie chart using corner handles so that all chart components are visible.

  5. Click on the report outside of the pie chart to deselect it and select stacked column chart in Visualizations pane.

  6. Drag Visit field and drop it into Values target box.

  7. Drag Start field and drop it into Axis target box.

  8. In the Visualizations pane, click x next to Day and Quarter to leave only Year and Month totals for the Axis.

  9. Resize the chart as desired using the corner handles.

  10. Test the report interactivity:

    • Select various building slices on the pie chart and observe changes on the time report.

    • Click on the column chart. Press the down arrow to turn on Drill down mode, then press the column to drill down to the next level (months). Another way to do this is to click Data/Drill | Expand next level on the ribbon.

    • Drill up and down and select various bars on the time column chart to observe changes on the pie report.

  11. Save work in progress by pressing File | Save.

Exercise #2: Create Power BI Dashboard

Task #1: Publish Power BI Report

  1. Press Publish button on the Home tab of the ribbon.

  2. Select My workspace as the destination, then press Select.

  3. Wait until publishing is complete and click Open <name of your report>.pbix in Power BI.

Task #2: Create Power BI Dashboard

  1. You should have the report open from the previous task.

  2. Select Pin to a dashboard on the menu. Depending on the layout you may need to press to show additional menu items.

  3. Select New dashboard on Pin to dashboard prompt.

  4. Enter [Your Last Name] Campus Management as a Dashboard name, press Pin live.

  5. Select My workspace at the top, select [Your Last Name] Campus Management dashboard.

  6. Test interactivity of the pie and bar charts displayed.

Task #3: Add Visualizations Using Natural Language

  1. Within your Campus Management dashboard, select Ask a question about your data bar at the top.

  2. Enter buildings by number of visits in Q&A area. The bar chart will be displayed.

  3. Select Pin visual.

  4. Select Existing dashboard, select your [Your Last Name] Campus Management dashboard, press Pin.

  5. Click Exit Q&A.

Your [Your Last Name] Campus Management dashboard should be displayed. You may have to scroll down to see the new Q&A visual.

Your dashboard should look similar to the following:

Power BI Dashboard

Task #4: Build Mobile Phone View and Share a Report with a QR Code

  1. In the Dashboard, select Edit | Mobile View.

  2. Rearrange tiles as desired.

  3. Click Phone view at the top right and change the View to Web view.

  4. Select My Workspace at the top, and select your Report.

  5. Select Edit and then select … | Generate QR Code.

  6. Optional: If you have a mobile device, scan the code using a QR scanner app available on both iOS and Android platforms, or the camera app if your phone supports it. Log in to your account if prompted. Navigate and explore the report on a mobile device.


  • Dashboards and reports to include your campus and building plans
  • Report and analyze visiting patterns and trends
  • Overstaying visualization
  • Streaming Power BI for near real-time processing for a large campus