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Data driven subscriptions in Power BI

Updated: Dec 1, 2022

With the standard Power BI subscriptions, you can subscribe yourself and your colleagues to the report pages, dashboards, and paginated reports that matter most to you.

Power BI e-mail subscriptions allow you to:

  • Decide how often you want to receive the emails: daily, weekly, hourly, monthly, or once a day after the initial data refresh.

  • Choose the time you want to receive the email, if you choose daily, weekly, hourly, or monthly.

  • Set up 24 different subscriptions per Power BI report or dashboard. There is no limit to the number of subscriptions you can set up for paginated reports.

  • Have a mail sent with an image of the report and link to the report in the service. On mobile devices with Power BI apps installed, selecting this link launches the Power BI app, instead of opening the report or dashboard in the Power BI web site.

  • Include an attachment of the full report.

  • Send email to users outside your tenant, if your Power BI content is hosted in a Premium capacity. Administrators can control access to who can send email subscriptions to external users by leveraging the existing external sharing control settings in the Power BI admin center.

Now let's look at the highlighted text... What if you don't want to receive the subscription at specific days? What if you want your subscription to be sent only when specific KPIs reach certain limits?

Once again, Power Automate is an excellent tool to customise this type of automations for you!

We will be using two Power Automate connectors:

  • When a data driven alert is triggered

  • Export to file for Power BI Reports

We will be building a flow in Power Automate that will check either a specific KPI has reached a certain limit. If the limit was reached, the flow will be triggered, which will then send a personalised subscription to a group of users.

1) Set up a data driven alert in Power BI Service

First of all, we need to set up a data driven alert on a Dashboard Tile in Power BI Service. To do this, check the video below:

You can also have a look at the official documentation to learn more about how to set up a data driven alert in Power BI:


  • Alerts aren't supported for card tiles with date/time measures.

  • Alerts only work with numeric data types.

  • Alerts only work on refreshed data. They don't work on static data.

  • Alerts only work on visuals of the type KPI, card, or gauge report visual

2) Create a flow in Power Automate

Next, we will create our flow in Power Automate. To do this, on the same tile where you just defined your data driven alert, click on the three dots on the top right corner and then select Manage alerts:

On the Manage Alerts window, on the bottom, click on "Use Microsoft Power Automate to trigger additional actions":

This will open a window like the one showed below. Don't forget that you need to validate the connection to Power BI (if you see the green check in (1), it means the connections was successful). Once you're finished, click on Continue.

3) Set up a trigger for your Power Automate flow

It's time to get our Flow to do some some cool stuff!

The first thing we need to do is to select the alert we want to use as the trigger. In my case, I chose my newly created alert "Alert for Sales".

4) Set up actions for your Power Automate flow

We will now add a new step, or in other words, an action to our flow. We will be looking for our Export to file for Power BI Reports connector:

Wow, that step looks scary! So many different fields to fill!

To simplify our lives, I'm going to fill only the essential fields, so we don't have to worry about each one of them:

  • Workspace: The unique identifier of the workspace (name of the workspace the report you want to export is)

  • Report: The unique identifier of a pbi report (name of the report you want to export)

  • Export format: format in which the Power BI report needs to be exported in (Standard options are: PDF, PPTX (Power Point) and PNG (Image)

  • Include hidden pages: A flag indicating whether to include hidden pages when exporting the entire report (when passing specific pages this property will be ignored). If not provided, the default behaviour is to exclude hidden pages

Finally, we will add a final action to our flow. After the report is exported, we want to send it by email to a group of users. To do this, we need to add a new action called "Send an email (V2)":

Once you're finished, just Save and Test your flow!

+Go the extra mile+

There is also a connector that allows you to export paginated reports: Export to file for Paginated Reports. Check in the link below how you can build a similar flow using this action instead:

About licensing:

1) Currently, the Export to file for Power BI Reports action only works on reports in a Premium Capacity (Premium per user and Pro are not supported)

2) Both the When a data driven alert is triggered and the Export to file for Power BI reports connectors are currently in preview. This means you can use them as long as you have an O365 or Dynamics License!

In summary, you probably won't have any licensing issues with Power Automate, but you will have with Power BI as this connector only works on reports published in a Premium Capacity.

To read the complete documentation about this connector, please visit this page:

This connector is based on the Power BI API, check here the documentation:

Interested in learning more about Power BI Report Design? Then the Power BI Report Design Bootcamp is for you!

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