Note: This guide will walk you through publishing Power BI dashboards on digital signage using the Fugo TV Dashboards feature. If you are looking for instructions, you can skip to section 2: How to share a MS Power BI dashboard to your digital signage screens.
Drive performance with digital signage & data insights
They say there's strength in numbers. At Fugo, we like to amend that idea a bit. There's strength in the numbers - important truths and insights can be found in your data. Today data can be collected, analyzed, and visualized into dashboards with easy to use tools like Microsoft Power BI. The visualizations make it easier to understand the trends and the whole story around your data. Congrats, you now have actionable information. So what next?
Creating a beautiful dashboard isn't enough. You need to get your insights and KPI's in front of the right people in order to drive action. This is where we see the opportunity for TV screens - they can be placed in any physical environment, in close proximity with the teams they're intended to lead, bringing data out of hiding behind logins and into the open where it can remain front of mind for anyone in your organization.
Power BI & Fugo TV Dashboards
MS Power BI is one of many powerful business intelligence tools that integrate with Fugo’s new TV Dashboards feature. This allows your Power BI dashboards and reports to be shown on office TV screens without having to create a public URL or decrypt encrypted credentials on your media player or screen device.
With Fugo handling all encryption in the Cloud, you no longer need to risk your data being lifted from a plug-in device (or that device being walked off with), or network traffic being intercepted. It’s truly one of the most secure ways to show any data on any digital signage screen.
Let's dig into how to do that.
1. Best Practices for using Power BI with Fugo
Before we show you how to set up your BI dashboards in Fugo, we recommend following a few suggestions:
1. Create a service account:
We've worked hard to develop the TV dashboards feature so that your sensitive data is completely secure. But as an extra precaution we highly recommend using a 'least privileged' service account when setting up your dashboards - this is usually an account that has read-only permissions for the dashboards you want to display on your screen(s.) You can read more about how to set up a service account with Google here.
2. Allow incognito mode
Your browser stores information with Cookies and local storage that allows you to automatically log into websites, remember pages you've recently visited, and even keep your browser theme preferences. All of this makes your browsing experience much better.
The feature Fugo has created to display your dashboards relies heavily on your journey in your dashboard tool having been recorded on a clean slate. So, rather than asking you to delete all your browsing history for a particular site, you can simply allow the Fugo Dashboard Recorder to run in incognito mode.
3. Start with your dashboard URL
It's often the case that you can navigate directly to your target dashboard's URL when creating a new dashboard in Fugo. This will require you to log in, and then you’ll be redirected back to your destination. This is the quickest and most reliable journey you can make in Fugo Dashboards as it cuts out unnecessary steps in your journey.
4. Search for your dashboard
Most dashboard services have search capabilities. Instead of clicking through multiple menus, you can get to your target content quicker and more reliably by searching for it. We recommend searching the full name of the content you want to display, as partial search terms may return more items you'll have to sift through.
2. How to share a MS Power BI dashboard to your digital signage screens
Connect your screens to a Fugo account
2.1 Log into your Fugo Account. If you don’t have an account yet, you can start your 14-day free trial here.
Note: TV Dashboards are a part of Fugo's Business Plan. During your free trial, you can create one dashboard. To create any more, you will need to upgrade your plan.
2.2 Make sure your screen(s) are connected to Fugo CMS. If you haven’t connected your screen(s) yet, you can find the instructions for that here.
Create a new dashboard
2.3 Click Dashboards in the top navigation bar to go to your Dashboard library. If you have not created any dashboards yet, this page will be empty.
2.4 Click Create Dashboard to get started. This will take you to the New Dashboard recorder page where you will follow the instructions to capture and preview your dashboard before publishing it to screen.
Note on 2FA: If you are using Microsoft Account, you will need to configure your account so that it uses 2 Factor Authentication (2FA.) You can find instructions for that here.
2.5 First, you’ll need to enter your target Power BI URL in the URL field and click Go.
Note: In the side panel to the right you will see instructions, as well as the steps that are being recorded inside your dashboard service account.
2.6 If this is your first time creating a TV dashboard, a popup guiding you on how to configure your Chrome browser to allow the Fugo recorder to run in incognito mode will appear. You can find our instructions for allowing incognito mode here. If this is not your first time, you can skip this step.
2.7 A Power Bi web page will appear in a pop-up window prompting you to log in; navigate to the sign-in page and enter your username and password. If you are asked to enter the TOTP Code as part of the Two-Step Verification process, you can do as well.
If you have Single Sign On (SSO) set up with your account, the recorder will work automatically without any additional configuration. However, if you use Microsoft's 2-Step Verification then you will need to input your 2FA key in the recorder when prompted. You can find those instructions here.
2.8 Once you’re signed into Microsoft, you can browse through and select the exact dashboard, report, web page, or data you’d like to show from within your account. You will notice how your clicks are reflected in the right-hand side pane, logging a chronological history of your steps taken throughout the recording process.
💡 Tip: You might also notice that the dashboard recorder is in 1920×1080 resolution. This is the default resolution that should match your digital signage screen resolution. We plan to add other resolutions in the near future, but please get in touch with us if you need to add a different resolution now.
2.9 Once you’ve reached your destination and navigated to the dashboard you’d like to display, click Capture Dashboard, and this will capture the entire screen and display it on your digital signage.
If you want to publish only one portion of your dashboard, you can click on the Camera icon and hover over the portion you’d like to capture.
💡 Tip: You have to be a bit careful when selecting a portion of the page using the camera icon: it might not always be intuitive. Essentially, you will need to hover over the HTML element that represents the portion. We are still working on a better way to implement capturing dashboard portions in the future. If this is a priority for you, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
2.10 You will be asked to enter the Secret Key from your Microsoft account. If you're not sure how to get your secret key, you'll find instructions in our guide here.
2.11 The recorder will now close and take you to the Fugo dashboard window. Here you will see an animated icon while your dashboard preview loads. This will eventually load a preview of your dashboard exactly as it will be shown on your TV, so check it carefully to make sure you are happy with it.
Please be aware that preview may take several seconds or minutes to load depending on the data and the service you are using - some dashboards use a lot of computing power and will take a bit longer to initially load.
💡 Tip: If you see an error message you can read the reason for the error and see the screenshot of the last step where the recording process failed. This can give you valuable information where step recorder might be failing. Try re-recording the steps again.
2.12 Now you can either click the Save button to publish later, or hit the Publish button to display your dashboard directly on any existing screens, a channel, or to an existing playlist. Once selected just follow the publishing steps and your dashboard will now be shared on your digital signage screen.
Power BI Dashboard Design Tips
In case you're optimizing a dashboard specifically for TV display, it's important to keep in mind that TV dashboards don't function exactly the same way 'regular' desktop dashboards do. Audiences will be viewing them from farther away and looking for quick insights rather than in-depth analysis, which will necessitate some design considerations.
Here are some our tips for optimizing your Power BI TV dashboards:
Set clear objectives for your dashboard. What is your BI dashboard trying to achieve? What insights are most important to the team that will be viewing them on screen? Once you've set the main objective, figure out the logical progression of your data and exactly what needs to be pulled in order to achieve that goal.
Only show what's most important. Keeping your dashboards simple & to the point will allow for quick decision making and a reduction in cognitive load. We're not aiming for deep analysis here, we want dashboards that are immediately actionable.
Be consistent. Using the same visualizations & layouts makes comparing data easier. And if you’re showing multiple dashboards, keep the views consistent. Show data that is easy to cross-reference and navigate using tags, dashboard links or data links. Again, you want to make it easy for your team to immediately derive benefit from what they’re seeing.
Create a visual hierarchy. Adjust the size and position of certain metrics to show a clear hierarchy. Just by glancing at the dashboard, your audience should be able to see which numbers are the most important.
Give your data context by showing historical data, a goal, or how the numbers have changed over time. This way your audience knows what numbers are good, bad, or require action.
Group related metrics together. This makes it easier for your viewers to find the metrics they need fast.
Give your metrics labels that your audience will understand. They should be short and self-explanatory.
Round your numbers. Too much detail could make minor changes seem more major than they are.
Review them regularly. Dashboards are meant to spark action, so keep checking that they’re doing what you need them to!
You can find this brilliant overview by Power BI themselves on creating effective reports.
If you have any additional questions or feedback on using the Dashboards feature, please feel free to reach out to our support team at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always happy and quick to help!