Lukas Lötters

In June 2015, Microsoft released the new Power BI platform, Power BI 2.0. Since the release many cool new features have been added. However, one of the most important user features is still missing, a Microsoft Office integration. Based on the status of the community site the feature is planned. Until the feature is official released, users can use a third party Office addin to show Power BI tiles in Power Point, Word or Excel. On their development blog, the Power BI team wrote about this little Office add in, which was created by Devescope-Solucoes Sistemas Tecnologias. This Office addin is free to use and can be downloaded from the Office addin store.

How to get Power BI Tiles?

To get there, simply open any Office App, for example Power Point. Then click on “Insert Ribbon”, screenshot 1. I only have the german version of Office 2016, so the names in the screenshot might not look familiar.

Open Add-Ins Store of Office

Open Add-Ins Store in Office

Then use the search bar to search for “Power BI” and click on the showed “Power BI Tiles” app,

Search for Power BI Tiles App

Search for Power BI Tiles Addin

Next, you have to accept the term of use and install the addin. Then, you can click on “My addin” and click on “Power BI Tiles”.

Open Power BI Tiles Addin

Open Power BI Tiles Addin

How to use the Add in?

The handling of the “Power BI Tiles” addin is very intuitive. First, you have to click on Login in (1)

Login in Power BI

Login in Power BI

The addin will then try to establish a connection to the Power BI webservice to authenticate your user ID. Depending on your security Settings, the internet explorer security will ask you to accept or reject the connection. Next, you have to log in with your Microsoft account. Now you can see all dashboards that are pinned to your default workspace.   With a click on “Default Workspace” you can switch between your workspaces.

Select Workspace

Select Workspace

If you choose one of your dashboards, the addin will show you the first tile on that dashboard. With a click on the navigation arrows on the left and right, you can change the tile. Like every Office addin you can resize the add in.

Change Size of Tile

Change Size of Tile

However, there are a few drawbacks. To see the tiles you have to be logged in to Power BI with your user account. So if you create a Power Point presentation and hand it over to your colleague, you won’t be able to see the live tiles. For that purpose the tool has an option to store the live tiles as a fixed picture inside the Office document. This kind of screenshot won’t refresh, but now you can hand it over to other people.

Conclusion

The Power BI tiles addin is a very simple way to integrate single dashboard tiles into your Power Point or Word documents. Sure it is not a perfect soultion, but nevertheless I hope that Power BI will get a native integration to Office. Go for it Power BI Team.