Elevate Your Data Governance: Power BI Scanner API for Enhanced Monitoring

Elevate Your Data Governance: Power BI Scanner API for Enhanced Monitoring

Written by Josh Docken, Solutions Architect - Power BI

Data management and governance are crucial in today’s complex data ecosystems. The Power BI Scanner API stands out, offering robust tools for monitoring and governing Power BI assets effectively. This article explores the Power BI Scanner API’s vital role in enhancing data management and governance through comprehensive oversight of reports, datasets, data sources, gateways, and more.


Empowering Data Governance:

The Power BI Scanner API empowers organizations by enabling precise monitoring and management of Power BI assets, focusing on insights and oversight to ensure effective data governance.

Key Features:

  • Robust Metadata Extraction: The Scanner API facilitates rich metadata extraction from Power BI assets, including datasets, data sources, data marts, reports, tables, columns, and users. This wealth of metadata forms the foundation for comprehensive oversight.
  • Data Lineage Insights: Data lineage is essential for understanding how data flows through your organization. The Scanner API automates the documentation of data flow from source to visualization, making it easier to track transformations and dependencies.
  • Monitoring Data Sources: Organizations can use the API to monitor data sources for changes, access permissions, and usage patterns, ensuring they are up-to-date, secure, and compliant.
  • Gateway Management: The Scanner API provides insights into Power BI gateways, including their configuration, connections, and activity. This information is invaluable for maintaining gateway performance and security.
  • Scheduled Refresh Settings: The API now includes monitoring of scheduled refresh settings for datasets, dataflows, and datamarts, aiding administrators in managing refresh schedules and identifying potential issues.

Implementing the Power BI Scanner API:

While implementing the Power BI Scanner API for data governance is relatively straightforward, it’s worth noting that working with highly nested JSON structures may demand some additional effort. Understanding and parsing these intricately nested JSON formats to create an effective model for monitoring and reporting can present certain complexities.


Before You Start:
  • Ensure that a Power BI admin has set up metadata scanning in your organization.
  • Decide on the authentication method: standard delegated admin access token or a service principal.


Perform a Full Scan:
  • Call `workspaces/modified` without the `modifiedSince` parameter to retrieve the complete list of workspace IDs in the tenant. Optionally, exclude personal workspaces using the `excludePersonalWorkspaces`
  • Divide the list into chunks of 100 workspaces or less.
  • For each chunk of workspaces:
  • Call `workspaces/getInfo` to trigger a scan for these workspaces. Retrieve the `scanId` from the response and the URI for the next step.
  • Call `workspaces/scanStatus/{scan_id}` until the status is “Succeeded” (use a polling interval of 30-60 seconds). You’ll also receive the URI for the next step.
  • Use the URI from the previous step to read the data using `workspaces/scanResult/{scan_id}`. This data contains workspace details and metadata.
  • Pull the returned JSON file into Power BI and start parsing out and exploring your organizations Power BI meta data.

Use Case:

Data Source Health Monitoring

Imagine an organization that relies on multiple data sources for its Power BI reports. Using the Scanner API, they regularly scan these data sources for changes, access permissions, usage patterns, and scheduled refresh settings. This proactive approach allows them to identify and rectify issues promptly, ensuring data source health, data integrity, and efficient refresh processes.


Other Potential Use Cases:
  • Problem Identification: Identify potential issues and bottlenecks in scheduled refresh schedules that may impact data availability.
  • Visibility: Provide stakeholders with clear insights into the structure and content of Power BI assets.
  • Impact Analysis: Assess the impact of changes on reports, dashboards, and downstream systems.
  • Resource Utilization: Analyze resource usage across datasets, reports, and gateways to optimize resource allocation.


The Power BI Scanner API is a pivotal tool for robust data governance and oversight. Its capabilities enable organizations to establish a comprehensive monitoring framework for reports, datasets, data sources, gateways, and more. This, in turn, leads to data that is not only secure and compliant but also accurate and dependable. Embracing the Power BI Scanner API is a significant step in elevating data governance and maximizing Power BI assets’ potential.


Want to speak with one of our Power BI experts? Get in touch!