Enabling the Office 365 Adoption Power BI Content Pack

I’m a big one for driving Office 365 adoption through the complete suit of applications. I have spoken previously about developing adoption strategies:

Driving Office 365 adoption

Stop making your users feel stupid

Ownership is the key to adoption

Office 365 adoption spreadsheet

SharePoint Online migration – Start up is key

Rule of three

A very important part of any strategy is being able to measure the results of your adoption tactics. Microsoft has just made that measurement a whole lot easier with the release of the Power BI Adoption content pack for Office 365. Here’s how you enable it for your tenant.


You’ll need to login to the Office 365 Admin center and locate the Service settings. The easiest way to do this is to use the Search functionality.


You’ll then need to locate the Reports section as highlighted above.


In here turn on the option to Make data available to Office 365 Adoption content pack for Power BI.

This initiates the data collection. This may take between 2 and 48 hours depending on the size of the tenant.


When the data collection has initialised you will find an additional tile in your Admin reporting area as shown above. The tile will contain your Tenant ID which you’ll need to record for the next stage.


Next navigate to Power BI and select the Get Data option in the lower left of the screen.


At the Get Data screen select Services.


Locate the Office 365 Adoption Preview as shown above and select it.


At the next screen, select the Get It Now button on the left.


You’ll now need to enter the Tennant Id you recorded above. The other ways you can get your Office 365 Tennant Id are covered here:


Choose oAuth2 as authentication method

You’ll then need to Sign in.


In a moment or two you should then be able to access the adoption dashboard as shown above. Now you have all the functionality of Power BI at your finger tips, directly linked to Office 365 usage data. This makes measuring Office 365 adoption much easier.

The Office 365 content pack is still in preview at this point in time but will update going forward.

February Webinar Resources


Our February webinar event is all done. You can see the slides either above or download them directly from here:

February 2017 Need to Know Webinar

If you are not a CIAOPS patron you want to view or download a full copy of the video from the session you can do so here:


you can also now get access to all webinars via:


for a nominal fee.

Thanks to everyone who attended and I hope to see you again next month when the focus session will be on Microsoft Teams.

Need to Know Podcast–Episode 135

More interviews with speakers at the upcoming Microoft Ignite Australia. This time we feature Gino Barletta and speak about his two sessions:

What you need to know about Windows Server 2016 Security

Windows Server 2016 introduces more security features than any previously released Microsoft server operating system. Making your organization more secure is one of the big benefits of Windows Server. In this demo heavy session you’ll learn about new features included Credential Guard, Device Guard, Privileged Access Management (Just in Time Administration), Just Enough Administration, DNS policies, Guarded Fabrics, Shielded VMs as well as the security benefits of Nano Server, Windows Server and Hyper-V Containers. You’ll also learn how you can integrate Advanced Threat Analytics into your on-premises Windows Server deployment.


Azure Financial Management, Reporting and Subscription Hygiene through Power BI

This session, helps you understand your current Azure subscription, resources, billing and spend. Controlling spend through analytics and leveraging Microsoft Power BI to visually see your spend / consumption via powerful GUI dashboards.

Don’t forget to send us your feedback at feedback@needtoknow.cloud

You can listen to this episode directly at:


or on Soundcloud here: 

Subscribe via iTunes at:


The podcast is also available on Stitcher at:


Don’t forget to give the show a rating as well as send us any feedback or suggestions you may have for the show. Resources






Power BI adds Cortana integration


One of the regular Power BI demos that i do involves using the natural language query engine at the top of the dashboard. The above example is from a spreadsheet I uploaded to my Power BI environment that contains information about all the Olympic medal winners.


So if I now type total medals by country into the query Power BI automatically provides me with the visualisation as you see above.


But if I wake Cortana up by saying “hey cortana” and then asking “total gold medals australia by sport” you’ll see from above that it comes back with some Power BI suggestions.


If I now select one of these you’ll see that it pulls the information from that same spreadsheet I was just using in Power BI.

That now means Cortana is integrated with Power BI! Pretty cool eh? So how do you configure that?

The first step in the process is to integrate Office 365 and Cortana. I have detailed that previously at:

Connecting Cortana to Office 365

Next, you’ll need to go into the Power BI Dashboard for the data set you wish to integrate with Cortana.


Select the COG in the top right corner of the dashboard for the dataset and then the Settings option from the menu that appears.


Ensure you have the desired dataset selected on the left. Then on the right ensure option Enable Cortana to access this dataset is checked.

Now users who have access to that Power BI dataset and have Cortana enabled and linked to their Office 365 account can query data by voice or simply by typing into the search box.

Another REALLY impressive new features is Quick Insights. Here I’ll use the Chicago Crime Statistics spreadsheet that I’ve also uploaded into my Power BI environment.


Select the ellipse (three dots) to the right of the data source under the Datasets heading in the lower left of the Power BI screen.

From the menu that appears (shown above) select View Insights.


You’ll now see a list of discovered “insights” displayed as shown above. But how are these “insights’ generated?

Power BI’s new Quick Insights feature allows you to run a variety of analytical algorithms on your data to search for potential insights with the click of a mouse. Through a partnership with Microsoft Research, we’re honing a growing list of algorithms to discover and visualize correlations, outliers, trends, seasonality, change points in trends, and major factors within your data, automatically, within seconds.

It gets even more impressive than that as detailed here:

Announcing Power BI integration with Cortana and new ways to quickly find insights in your data

Aside from all the new cool Power BI stuff the integration with Cortana illustrates another benefit of the Microsoft platform and how services like Cortana are being integrated across everything!

This stuff just keeps getting better!

Power BI adds Bing content pack


Power BI is a free (yes the basic offering is free) tool from Microsoft that allows you to analyse and report on data from all sorts of sources. You can upload your own spreadsheet for analysis and you can use the built in contents packs as you see above.

Microsoft has just release the Bing content pack for Power BI allowing you to analyse search terms.


To configure, all you need to do is all the Bing content pack from the Data Sources option. You’ll then need to enter a search term you wish to track (here “Office 365”.


Then you’ll get a dashboard you can start configuring.

The only limitation at the moment for the Bing Content Pack is that it doesn’t support the natural language query that the other content packs do. Hopefully, that feature will be coming in the future because that would really be a killer addition.

In the mean time, if you haven’t had a look at Power BI head over to:


and sign for a free account and start making your data visual.

Talking Power BI

While recently at Office 365 Nation in Seattle I did a short podcast with Karl Palachuk all about Power BI and its how it can provide benefit to even small businesses.

You can download the MP3 to listen to at:


If you haven’t as yet taken a look at Power BI I would strongly encourage you to do so. At the very least you should be connecting Power BI to Google Analytics to analyse what’s happening on your web site.

Look out for more information about Power BI coming here soon.

Office 365 Nation wrap up

Well I am back (finally, phew) from Seattle and being part of Office 365 Nation hosted by the one and only Harry Brelsford.

First, a shout out to Harry and his staff for putting on another great event. Everything ran very smoothly and everyone I talked to had a great time.

Next, I also have to thank all the attendees that came to my sessions (even those I was a tad under the weather for). Also to those who made time to come up and chat or just say hello. This is what community is all about and the main reason I’ll endure over 24 hours or travel door to door to be in attendance. That also doesn’t cover all the great new contacts I made during the time.

To these and everyone else who helped make the trip worthwhile I say thanks.

I have posted all my presentations from the event up at my DOCS.com site (which also has plenty of other interesting free stuff from me), in the Presentations collection:



Across the Isle


Understanding Microsoft Cloud Identities


Office 365 security, privacy and compliance


Office 365 Identity Management


Riding the Big Data Wave with Excel and Power BI