Challenge 13 - Acing Documentation!

Hi All,

I trust you are all keeping safe.

Its that time again, Challenge 13!

The bar is raised with every challenge and challenge 12 provided some brilliant entries and encapsulated what the challenges are all about. The work on display was by far some of the best Power BI development being produced across the globe.

Those of you that haven’t be sure to check out the reports and writeups.

To find out more about the challenge please see the link below.

As always if you have any suggestions or comments, we are always happy to listen. Please feel free to reach out to myself or the Enterprise DNA team.

The Brief


What’s that?
Is it important?
How do you document a power bi project?

Hopefully, we can answer these questions over the course of the challenge.

Power BI has been revolutionary in the self-service BI game and for many the capabilities it provides are far beyond what they have had previously.

The benefits that a tool like Power BI can provide are well documented.

However with such tools as adoption across the business increases the management of solutions and governance becomes a more pressing issue.

For many early adopters creating a couple of reports and publishing them is easy and can be managed and if there ever was any questions around the model or calculations its easy enough to just open them and check.

However as teams grow and integrate with other departments in the business the need for clear and concise documentation becomes more necessary.

In many organisations IT teams will generally support the platform and deployment of reports so having documentation to support is essential.

In certain organisations different teams deal with different elements to a reporting solution. So some might create the model and calculations and then the visualisations are done by a separate member or team.

So how do we document a reporting solution that uses Power BI?

I’m sure there are a number of you who have to follow strict templates and populate that data but for others it might be a couple of lines of commentary along with the PBIX file.

So how can we consistently provide great documentation without the need for loads of additional work!

Easy lets get Power BI to do the work for us!

This week’s challenge is all about creating a report which documents another report!

This is just one method of documenting and I am sure there are several other ways which we will hopefully learn from in the solutions.

So how can I quickly document the relationships, measures and other important details in an effective manner.

This information must be available somewhere within power bi that doesn’t require any manual effort?

There is!

An amazing external tool known as Document your Power BI Model from Data Marc which can help automate a lot of your documentation.

I know there are few of us not allowed to use external tools so I have also covered how to get to this information without using the tool in the challenge 13 video.


So the ask this week is to document the Enterprise DNA financial report below.

I want us all to document the same report so that we can compare like for like between the entrants.

Ideally if possible, I would like us all to use the data documenter tool and then build on adapt the template that it spits out.

There may be areas that you would want to cover that are not included.

You could also want to represent the information in another format.

You might want to add some narratives.

It’s completely up to you and the task is all about understanding what we feel is important to document.

What the tool provides is a great template but there is nothing stopping us shaping this to suit our needs.

I know for some of us it might prove tricky to get the tool installed up and running. So I have provided the data in CSV and JSON format, and a copy of the output of the data tool so that if you wish you can recreate the model from scratch.

Remember the key ask is to provide a report which you believe effectively documents the above report so that anyone could just view this report and have a good understanding of what the report comprises of without the need to go to the specific report.

Imagine In most organisations there will be a specific workspace dedicated to documentation, which is looked after by the admin.

The report you create here will be the standard template used by your organisation going forward.

It needs to provide all the necessary information an admin would need without the need for them to go to individual reports.

I hope this makes sense as always, these challenges are all about learning and we encourage participation from everyone.

Hopefully with this challenge there is something for everyone to concentrate on whether you just want to focus on the visualisation side or want focus on the data side and create something from scratch the choice is yours.

All relevant files can be found here.

Power BI (6.5 MB)


Please can you all submit your PBIX files to

Best of luck!

Any issues or questions please reach out.


Enterprise DNA


Hi Haroon

Is the submission due date Sunday, 16th May 2021 or Tuesday, 18th May 2021?


I guessed is Tuesday, 18th of May

@haroonali1000 ?

Apologies all for the delay.

The revised Due Date is: SUNDAY 23rd MAY 2021 (PST)

Sorry for the confusion.

Have updated the post.


1 Like


I wanted to let everyone know that the First Time Participant Prize is back up for grabs this challenge. This is our equivalent of the “Rookie of the Year” award, and was when future Data Challenge stars like @Alvi, @bradsmith and @Neba first popped up on the radar screen. To try to encourage more members to jump in and participate in the Challenges, we are offering the following choice of prizes to the top member first-time entry, as judged by @haroonali1000 and the Enterprise DNA Team:

  1. a copy of the Definitive Guide to DAX, 2nd Edition (the indispensable "bible"of DAX) or your choice of any other book from the eDNA Forum Recommended List ; or
  2. a copy of SnagIt 2021, a do-it-all screen capture and graphics tool used by the members of the expert team for screen grabs, annotation, gif and video generation, photo editing, etc. @nick_m got me hooked on this, and it has a million and one uses for Power BI report development; or
  3. a four-month subscription to - this is an online service with millions of downloadable and editable icons that you can use to really polish your Power BI reports.

As someone currently in the midst of a job change, I can tell you that this Challenge is IMMENSELY practical. If you develop Power BI reports as part of your job, at some point you WILL need to fully document all your reports to successfully transition them to the next person responsible for development and maintenance. Even better, by developing great automated documentation reports using tools like the DataMarc documenter, you can document all your current reports in real time, rather than having to go back and do a bunch of them during a time of transition.

Participation in these Challenges will pay back the investment of time manyfold in terms of the enhanced skill you will gain quickly, while building a great professional portfolio. But the chance to pick up a cool prize along the way is also nice. :grinning:

So, we hope to see a bunch of new faces in the Challenge entries this round, in addition to the stalwarts.

Good luck!

  • Brian
1 Like


Question came up today during a JMAP Zoom call on the Challenge. In terms of building out improvements to the DataMarc documentation report, those improvements can be done manually as an example/protytpe? (i.e., they don’t have to be automatically implemented for any report that’s run through the tool, nor do we necessarily have to provide a path for how that could be done in a generalizable way, correct? ).

We were 95% certain that’s how you’re interpreting the challenge requirement as well, but had enough lingering doubts that we thought it worth asking the question.


  • Brian
1 Like

Hi Brian,

You are spot on the changes can be manual and all are welcome. Really is just about a sharing of knowledge and hopefully get everyone thinking about how they can provide excellent documentation.



1 Like

Hi, I was able to install and run this, however I encountered maybe some errors, for example, “Query ‘Tables’ (step ‘Renamed Columns1’) references other queries or steps, so it may not directly access a data source. Please rebuild this data combination.” that are blocking some dependent queries. Anyone can tell me how to overcome this blockage?

05/20 update: I found the issue is connection string calculated from the parameters. Hard-coding it resolved the issue.

@haroonali1000 Here is my entry!

Take a peek here!


Hi All:

I wasn’t able to come up with enough ideas worthy of pursuit for Power BI documentation for C13, so I won’t be submitting this iteration. What I did have some success with, however, was to leverage the JSON files directly that are either components of a PBIX file or that can be extracted using Tabular Editor to audit a PBIX file.

The JSON file for the model behind the [Financial Reporting in Power BI] PBIX (as extracted by my version of TE2) is over 5800 lines.

The JSON file for the layout of the [Financial Reporting in Power BI] PBIX (as retrieved from unzipping the PBIX) is over 1300 lines.

So far, I’ve been able to make it parameterizable (sp?) to allow it to access the extracted JSON files behind any PBIX and to display info about several entities, including:

  • Tables
  • Columns
  • Relationships
  • Partitions
  • Measure groups
  • Pages
  • Resources (images, themes)

As I could not nearly properly investigate this potential method and extract useful insights within the time frame of this challenge (nor share my thoughts and solicit/incorporate comments/thoughts from other members of the eDNA forum/experts), I plan to continue my efforts and post again when and if I produce something that might be useful.


Hello all!

Here is my entry for Challenge # 13. It was quite a challenge to imagine a documentation report!
Thank you for setting this up @haroonali1000 ! I will certainly continue to explore and think about this use case.

Spoiler alert



Amazing report as always @alexbadiu

1 Like


bill gates supa hot fire

OMG - this is absolutely unbelievable!

Unfortunately, it’s totally unusable as a documentation report, because the first question the client would ask me is “why is the DOCUMENTATION so much better than the report you built me?” :laughing:

Absolutely cannot wait to read your writeup on this one.

  • Brian

Hahaha! Thank you for your comment, Brian! It made me laugh :laughing:


wow… @alexbadiu,

You should do a video on how you did it a step by step instructions along with written. it would be interesting


@alexbadiu I think @BrianJ summed it up perfectly, stunning!

1 Like

Who said documentation is boring :rofl:


Absolutely incredible Alex


Beautiful and lots of great details! I hadn’t seen a side panel like that before, so great!

I also like your approach to this in that it’s a tailored report on this report including details about who created it and the timeline to deployment, showcasing what is involved in creating a report (it’s a little bit inception but I like it!). Fantastic way to drive home the point that it should have an audience and be validated too. The details page is also wonderful with all the screenshots too. Performance data too and full column level best practices!! Just wonderful!