Data Classification in Power BI

Power BI Data ClassificationIn many corporations depending on the type of data is being used there could be different types of the sensitivities that should be applied to that data. Data Classification fulfills in Power BI Service this matter very easily. In today’s post you’ll learn how to setup Data Classification in Power BI Service.

First of all I want to inform you that Data Classification is NOT a sort of security or privacy setting. It is only a TAG which is all about informing Power BI users across a corporation to take extra care when they want to share data with other people inside or outside of that corporation. For instance some data might be OK to be shared externally outside the company, but, the other data might not be shared with groups of people even within that corporation.

Depending on your corporation you might have different levels of sensitivity like

  • High Sensitive Data
  • Medium Sensitive Data
  • Low Sensitive Data

So depending on what level of sensitivity, for instance for High Sensitive Data, the Power BI users should be really careful of who they share Power BI Dashboards and data with. In Power BI Service we can easily setup data classification on our dashboards so anyone who is looking at that dashboard is able to understand how sensitive that dashboard is and who they can share it with.

Requirements

To be able to setup Data Classification in Power BI Service you have to:

In case that you want to add another admin user,and if you already integrated your on-premises Active Directory with Azure Active Directory (AD) then you can either grant necessary admin rights to that user from your Azure portal in Azure AD or directly from Office 365 Admin Centre.

The user needs to be an Office 365 “Global Administrator” to be able to setup data classification in Power BI Service. A global administrator will have access to “Admin Portal” panel within Power BI Service which includes data classification and many more other important settings.

Make a User Global Administrator in Office 365

After you signed into your Power BI Service account,

  • Click “Admin” tile from the app launcher

Office 365 Admin Centre

  • Click “Edit a user”
  • Find the desired user from the list and click on the user name

Office 365 Admin Centre User Settings

  • Click “Edit” for Roles setting
  • Click “Global Admin”
  • Enter an alternative email address then click “Save”

Office 365 Admin Centre Global Admin

Make a User Global Administrator from Azure Active Directory Shortcut from Office 365 Admin Centre

Another location have access to the user settings and you can grant “Global Admin” rights to a user is from Azure Active Directory Shortcut from Office 365 Admin Centre. You’ll see the shortcut if you integrated your Active Directory with Azure AD.

  • In Office 365 Admin Centre expand “Admin centres” from the left pane
  • Click “Azure AD” this redirects you to Windows Azure Portal (old Azure Portal)

Office 365 Admin Centre Azure AD

  • Click “ACTIVE DIRECTORY” from the left pane
  • Click the desired directory

Office 365 Admin Centre Azure AD User Settings

  • Click “Users”
  • Click desired user name

Office 365 Admin Centre Azure AD User Settings

  • Scroll down and find “Global Admin” from dropdown list in “role” section then click “SAVE”

Office 365 Admin Centre Azure AD User Settings Global Admin

Make a User Global Administrator from Azure Active Directory

As mentioned before if you already integrated your on-premises Active Directory with Azure AD you can grant a user “Global Admin” rights from Azure Portal.

  • Login to your Azure Portal
  • From the left pane click “Azure Active Directory”
  • Click “Users and groups”
  • Click “All users”
  • Find and click a desired user

Azure Portal Active Directory

  • Click “Directory Role”
  • Click “Global administrator” then click “Save”

Azure Portal Active Directory User Settings

Setup Data Classification in Power BI Service

So far you learnt how to grant global admin access to a user from several locations. So it is time to setup Data Classification.

  • Login to Power BI Service using the Admin account
  • Click settings gear icon (image) on top right of the page
  • Now you should see “Admin Portal” in the menu. If you cannot see it then you’re still not a global admin

Power BI Admin Portal

  • Click “Tenant settings”
  • Scroll down and find “Data classification for dashboards” and switch it “On”
  • Click “Add classification”
  • Type in your corporation data classification and their abbreviations
  • Tick/un-tick the tags you want to be shown on your dashboards
  • If you have a sort agreement page that explains the what different levels of data classifications means to your corporation then put that URL link in the “URL” text box
  • Select a default classification  then click “Apply”

Power BI Data Classification Settings

  • Now if you browse a dashboard you’ll the classification tag on top of the dashboard only if the “Show TAG” option ticked in the settings

Power BI Data Classification on Dashboards

How to Change Data Classification for Dashboards

It’s very easy to change dashboards’ Data Classification. By default all dashboards will be classified based on the default classification you set as default in the settings. You can change that classification for each dashboard in that dashboard settings.

  • Click ellipsis of a desired dashboard
  • Click Settings

Power BI Change Dashboard Data Classification

  • Scroll down and find “Data classification” section
  • Select a desired sensitivity level from drop down list
  • You’ll get a warning that you’re changing the classification set by admin
  • Click “Apply”

Power BI Change Dashboard Data Classification

Considerations

There are some important point to remember when setting up data classification or whenever you change it.

  • If for some reason you switch data classification off, all of the tags will be gone. So if you want to re-enable it, you’ll need to start from scratch
  • If you delete a classification type, any dashboards assigned the deleted one will be automatically assigned to the default until the dashboard owner sets it again
  • If you change the default data classification, all dashboards that weren’t assigned a data classification type by their owner will change to the new default

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