How to send different data from the same Power BI report to multiple people

In previous posts, we showed our readers how to use two of PowerBI Robots’ key-functions: scheduling and sending Power BI reports by email and displaying said reports on a smart TV (or any device supporting a browser, really).

This time, we’ll be addressing a not so obvious function: sending different data from a single Power BI report to multiple people. In other words, how you can apply individual filters to Power BI reports in your PowerBI Robots playlist to ensure some people only see the data you wish them to see.

When implementing SPAR’s Power BI solution, the company needed to send the newly created business intelligence reports to their 100+ store managers scattered across Portugal. SPAR wanted to keep managers up to date on several metrics but didn’t want to overwhelm them with useless data concerning stores they didn’t run.

SPAR's store performance report on Power BI
SPAR’s store performance report on Power BI

Since Power BI doesn’t include a way to filter a report and send a static image of the result (yet), we implemented that function in PowerBI Robots, our Robotic Process Automation (RPA) tool with which users can schedule and send high-definition screenshots of Power BI reports.

Sending filtered data from the same Power BI report to more than one recipient is not an overly complicated task with PowerBI Robots, but we often get some emails asking how to do it. The following is a step-by-step guide on how to apply individual filters on a single Power BI report that you wish to send to a list of recipients.

If you haven’t registered for PowerBI Robots yet, you can do it here.

The first thing you need to do is go to the PowerBI Robots web agent and, on the Playlist menu, click the green Create button (or Edit from the drop-down Action menu if you already have a created playlist).

In the General tab, after filling in the necessary information, select either Email, File System or SharePoint on the Send To field. We’ll be using Email as the delivery method, although the same steps apply to the other two. Click Next and, on the Recipients tab, add as many email accounts as you wish.

Proceed to the Visuals tab and click AddPowerBI to connect your Microsoft Power BI account to PowerBI Robots. A window with your Workspaces will pop up and prompt you to select the Dashboards and Reports you wish to add to this PowerBI Robots playlist. If you wish to apply global filters to any of your reports (so ALL recipients receive data filtered this way), this is where you do it. Select the report on the left, and click the filter icon accompanying the PBI Url field. A window with your report will pop up. Open the Filter pane and apply whatever you wish.

Filter report data from Power BI reports
With your report selected, click on the blue Filter button

However, given that you clicked this article to learn how to apply individual filters, proceed to the last tab, aptly named Filters.

Select the report you want to apply individual filters to and click on the filter icon next to the recipient’s email address. A window will pop up displaying the previously selected report along with the filter pane.

Filter report data from Power BI reports
With your report selected, click the Filter icon next to each email. To remove all applied filters, click the yellow button next to it.

Apply the filters you wish and click the blue Save Filters button. Repeat this step as many times as necessary for the other recipients and/or reports on your playlist. Click Create (or Update), and your playlist is ready.

Open the PowerBI Robots Desktop agent, click Synchronize and you’re done. Your recipients will now recurrently receive the same Power BI report but with individually filtered data.

If you haven’t registered for PowerBI Robots yet, you can do it here.

Send Emails, PDFs or broadcast from Power BI with PowerBI Robots