Input for Developing Power BI Report

I am looking at doing a reset to the way I approach my Power BI Development and am looking for some guidance.

Is there a form (for lack of a better name) that a person can fill out and submit detailing the “whats” that are required for a Power BI report they are looking for. Not a contract as it’s only for within the company.

I’m sure I can build something but I thought why re-invent the wheel if it already exists.


Hi @GuyJohnson. Here’s a quick template I extracted from some of my consulting work. Hope it helps. Greg

Power BI Report Specification Template.docx (19.3 KB)


Thanx much @Greg this is ideal.

I hope it’s okay to use for my Power BI development


Absolutely @GuyJohnson … I’ve generally just grabbed the last one I’ve used and edited it to suit, but have been meaning to create a “template” for a while … you gave me the incentive to do it now, so thanks. Use freely. Greg



Thanks! This is great - just sent a copy around to my project team.

  • Brian
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Love this Greg.

Do you think there would be value in creating a web based app to log this type of detail?

I’ve been thinking of adding something like this to the suite of Analyst hub tools

Hard to say … most of my clients I’ve used this with are in government, and things move pretty slowly and they LOVE Word documents, so …

I shouldn’t have answered so quickly … I actually love your idea, I just could only first see it through the lens of my own past experience. Using a Word document cycling between people has its own pain points, most notably version control … After thinking on it a bit, I actually think a web-based single point of collection would be a great idea, especially if hosted in a “document management system” kind of way. I’d be interested in what the experiences of others has been, and how requirements have been managed for their reports …


Yea, something to think about

well, from the perspective of a MUCH smaller organization …

  • 2 PowerBI developers, counting myself
  • we are teaching our IT team (a different 2 people) how to manage PowerBi

I developed a similar file for Excel reports years ago, as I was getting swamped and having to go back and ask people what they really wanted in a report.

That file has since moved to an Outlook email template, they bring up the template, answer the questions, and email it to me. With a few tweaks, it’s working to at least capture the ‘what are you trying to accomplish’ portion of PowerBI reports.

It’s still important to answer the Who, What, When, Why questions - even though we don’t have the structure of a larger team.

Agree with everything @Greg and @Heather have said so far, and would add in one additional critical lesson learned. Power BI is relatively new to our organization, and a lot of the managers/clients don’t have much or even any experience with it. Thus, HOW you ask the “what” question is incredibly important. The frame of reference for the vast majority of our clients is Excel, so if you ask what they are looking for in a report, there’s a tendency for them to filter their response through the lens of a) what they are familiar with; and b) what they think is feasible. Thus, their responses tip heavily towards analyses and visuals that mirror Excel Pivot tables.

The analogy I use for this is asking someone from the 1920s how they want their private jet configured? They’ll respond something like this = “well, I don’t really know what that is, but I guess I want it to look like this”:


To avoid this, we now do two things differently:

  1. we frame the “what” question to the effect of:

“Imagine you had a box that could answer ANY question about your data. What are the X most important questions you would ask? Ignore any thoughts as to whether you think the box could feasibly answer those questions or not - what would you most want to know?”

  1. deemphasize the “how” question - we typically don’t ask the client about visuals (at least initially). We use our judgment as to the best way to present the answers to 1), and then provide a working draft to them. At that point, they now know what a private jet looks like and the “how” conversation is much more fruitful.
  • Brian