Power BI & Collibra: A match made in heaven?

10 May 2021
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With the quick rise and development of Power BI many data enthusiasts have embraced this new data visualization tool. In this quick ‘how to’ guide we will take you through some of the synergies between Collibra and Power BI. While Collibra can document the different reports you have built in Power BI, Power BI can display the usage of the Collibra tool.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a business intelligence tool that provides users with tools for aggregating, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data. It can be considered as one of the main competitors of Tableau. The main positive with Power BI is obviously that it integrates seamlessly in your Office 365 and Azure environment, the key trademark of Windows.

What is Collibra?

Collibra is a Data Governance tool that helps organizations understand their ever-growing amounts of data. Collibra establishes a shared business language for data assets and makes it possible to maintain them over time so that teams can trust, find and understand their data to improve business decisions.

Why build a Collibra and Power BI integration?

Collibra can of course be used to document metadata of your reporting solutions implemented in Power BI. From the different dashboard and data elements in those dashboard to the visualization of how your data flows from source to report. As Power BI is an open BI platform and integrates with different sources, it can also be used to report on Collibra’s data. That way you're able to follow-up on your metadata, metadata quality, usage of Collibra and how the platform is embedded in your organisation.

“Combining the power of data science with the force of data engineering.”

If you are using both of these platforms next to each other without any connection you should surely read this case to find out the synergies and how to obtain them. If you are only using one of these tools it will show you how the one could benefit the other. In the steps below we will show you how these tools interact with each other and how to set it up.

How to ingest Collibra data into Power BI

Let's start off with how to report on the usage of Collibra in Power BI. Through the available REST API in Collibra this is easy to implement and automate:

  1. User that wants to use the API needs to have log in credentials in the Collibra environment.
  2. In a browser, go to https:///docs/index.html
  3. Next, go to the CORE REST API: https:///docs/restv2/index.html
    You should see this:
    how to ingest collibra data into power bi integration step 1
  4. Construct the REST APIs as you prefer to retrieve the requested data.

    For example, in the assets you're able to select which type of assets to export. These assets can be filtered using multiple dependencies. Once you have constructed the URL needed, copy this URL.
  5. Now we can switch over to Power BI where we can ingest this data. To add this data source simply go to “Get Data” and choose “web”, then paste the link you just created right there. Power BI will ask you for your credentials of Collibra which you obviously need to fill in. At the end of this you should see the following screen:

    how to ingest collibra data into power bi integration step 2
  6. Click on “List” which is displayed in yellow:

    how to ingest collibra data into power bi integration step 3
  7. In the top left corner click “To Table”:

    how to ingest collibra data into power bi integration step 4
  8. Now click the two arrows next to the column “Column 1” to expand the table and see the values:

    how to ingest collibra data into power bi integration step 5
  9. Once you have completed this process a few times for the different resources you want to use from Collibra you are ready to create connections between the data and visualise your Collibra usage in Power BI.
  10. Now that you have your reports regarding Collibra, your data analysts can publish this data to the Power BI company server to share the results with the right stakeholders.

Here are some examples of relevant reports based on this data:

  • Amount of business terms you have documented and how they are consulted (in a period of time)
  • Amount of users in Collibra
  • Which assets are most often consulted?
  • What are the changes that a user submitted in Collibra (in a specific time period)?
  • What attribute of your data assets are mostly left blank?

How to ingest Power BI metadata into Collibra

There are multiple ways to do this so we won't go into detail for each method.The end result you should expect is an overview of all your Power BI reports and dashboards along with the specific columns they are constructed of in Collibra. One solution is to directly use the Power BI REST APIs. Information regarding these APIs is available here: https://app.swaggerhub.com/search?type=API&owner=microsoft-rs

Collibra has also built an automatic connector between Power BI and Collibra to facilitate this ingestion. The ingestion can be done directly through the Collibra platform. In an upcoming blogpost we will go into detail on how to use this connector to ingest the Power BI metadata.

If you have any questions regarding the connector or the use of REST API’s, feel free to reach out.

Here are some examples of the the expected results in Collibra:

how to ingest power bi metadata into collibra integration example 1
Example 1
how to ingest power bi metadata into collibra integration example 2
Example 2

Need a hand?

We hope that this overview of the synergies of Power BI and Collibra helped you understand some of the methods in which they can operate next to each other. Both platforms will strengthen each other.

Collibra will help you keep an overview of the different reports in Power BI and how they are constructed. Power BI will help you visualize and assess the usage, adoption rate and completeness of Collibra.

In case you have any additional questions feel free to reach out at any moment.