Power BI Information Management through Lineage View
Microsoft recently added a welcome edition to Power BI. Power BI now provides end to end visibility into entire metadata. We can see everything going on in Power BI. It provides a visual representation of how the information is flowing from dashboards to the dataset to dataflow to data sources to the gateway to source systems.
As Power BI adoption grows enterprise-wide and the number of users, workspace, reports, and dashboards grows to a large number, managing the environment can be challenging for report creators and admins. Tools like lineage view allow admins to identify impact analysis very quickly. The feature is a welcome edition for enterprise governance and monitoring.
The lineage view provides metadata for all objects in a workspace. It also allows for shifting to a different workspace lineage if a report is using objects from a different workspace.
Some of the features the view allows:
- Identify Certified and promoted datasets (more on this in a future article)
- Last refresh time of the dataset
- Ability to refresh a dataset
- Entities inside a dataflow or dataset
- Show lineage of any object
- Launch the object
The lineage feature allows performing impact analysis when something needs to change. Simply show the lineage of the impacted object will highlight the entire upstream and downstream dependencies.
The lineage view also allows diagnosing to refresh issues in reports and dashboards. Which dataset refresh failure is causing stale data in the report can easily be identified.
Power BI is continually adding new features to the product every month. A similar lineage view was earlier introduced with dataflow. Now Microsoft extended the functionality for all objects in Power BI.
Hopefully, Microsoft will not stop here and take it further to integrate with Azure Data Catalog. Azure Data Catalog is an enterprise data governance tool to provide visibility into metadata. With a future integration, Power BI will be able to go beyond Power BI metadata and show lineage with the system of records. That view will be genuinely empowering the data owners, data stewards, and Power BI developers.