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Allow Multiple Users to Enter Data in a Blank Table/Form in Power BI

by Inforiver | Aug 22, 2022 | , ,

Let us consider a requirement where a blank table or a form in a Power BI report needs to be populated by multiple users in an organization. This table will have fields of various types - numeric values, text, date values, and more.

Such a 'distributed data entry' requirement can have several practical applications. For example, a Sales Manager may want the sales reps to not only input sales forecasts but also provide additional context and supporting information. A FP&A Manager may want all stakeholders to enter budget requirements in a table and substantiate it briefly with the business case and ROI.

Given the nature of Power BI, we also prefer users to enter data in reading view, as giving edit rights to multiple users may compromise report integrity.

Given that the native table or matrix visuals in Power BI do not support this, how do we implement this in Power BI?

Blank Table Form for User Data Entry PowerBI

One option is to use PowerApps within Power BI to allow data entry. However, as we explored in a previous blog, using Power Apps along with Power BI may not work for everyone for several reasons.

Is there a way to allow distributed data entry without using Power Apps?

Yes. Absolutely. Using Inforiver.

Inforiver allows you to enter the following types of data directly into a table – both in editing & reading modes.

  • Numeric values
  • Text (with multi-line support with word wrap)
  • Dropdown (in single select or multi select modes)
  • Date

We will take a quick look at how your users can populate the blank table or form once the report has been published, in reading view.

1. Numeric Values

Double-click and start typing values in directly into a cell. Press enter.

Enter data blank Power BI table - numeric data values

This captures the value in the cell.

Enter data blank Power BI table - numeric data values completed

2. Dropdown values

The next column – Confidence Level – has some pre-set values assigned to the column, which shows up as a dropdown.

Enter data blank Power BI table - dropdown Power BI

We will go with 50% for the projected sales for Coffee Machines.

Enter data blank Power BI table - dropdown completed

3. Date

We’ll then add a validation date from the calendar / date picker. Click on the cell, and a date picker appears. Choose a date.

Enter data blank Power BI table - date calendar picker

Note that you can opt for different types of date display formats. We are going with mm/dd/yyyy here.

Enter data blank Power BI table - date calendar picker completed

4. Multi-line Text

You can start typing in text values in the last column.

Enter data blank Power BI table - text

The text value automatically word-wraps depending on the column width. The final output is shown here.

Enter data blank Power BI table - text entered

As you go ahead & fill in the other rows, this is how the table looks.

Enter data in a published Power BI report

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can multiple users enter data in a single published report?

Yes. When you use Inforiver Enterprise, multiple users can enter data in the same form in reading view. Using the audit module, you can also keep track of changes made to your table made by different users.

Enter data in a published report - audit log

2. Will a user be able to see data entered by other users?

By default, yes. But if you enable row-level security, users will be able to see only the records they are authorized to see.

3. This is too good to be true. Is there something specific I should set up or configure so that my users can enter data?

Nothing. Just add Inforiver Enterprise visual to your report, and use the 'Data Input' feature to add fields of various types.

4. All of this is great. Can I write back this data to a database?

Yes. You can write back data to a destination database or shared drive storage. Inforiver supports destinations such as SQL, Snowflake, Azure, BigQuery, MySQL, Sharepoint, OneDrive and more. You may also simply export the data to a PDF or Excel file.

* * *

The Inforiver Matrix (available for purchase in Microsoft AppSource) supports entry of numeric values. If you need data entry support for all types (numeric values, text dropdown, multi-line text and date), use Inforiver Enterprise.

Learn how Inforiver's writeback capability can transform your Power BI reports.


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