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Gain deep insights into your Power Platform adoption with the CoE Starter Kit

Last June, we launched the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit – a set of templates that are designed to help you get started with developing a strategy for adopting, maintaining and supporting the Power Platform, with a focus on Power Apps and Power Automate.

One of the key principles of administering the Power Platform is having full visibility into how your organisation is using Power Apps and Power Automate. Insights into your adoption will help you govern and secure the platform, identify patterns, and enable you to nurture your makers to accelerate adoption.

Out of the box, the Admin Analytics that are part of the Power Platform Admin Center provide you with environment-level analytics based on your usage for the past 28 days. As your adoption grows, you might need customized dashboards that show you more insights and allow you to apply rich filters to your data.

A core part of the CoE Starter Kit is a Power BI Dashboard that provides you with a holistic view with visualizations and insights into resources in your tenant: environments, apps, flows, connectors, connection references, makers and audit logs. Telemetry from the Audit Log is stored from the moment you set up the CoE Starter Kit, so over time you can look back and identify trends.

We have recently updated the CoE Starter Kit Power BI Dashboard – in this post, discover what’s new and what you can learn from the dashboard

The dashboard provides analytics and data for the following areas:

  • Monitor (oversight of tenant resources)
  • Govern (drive actions through insights)
  • Nurture (learn about your community)

Monitor

The Monitor section gives you the ability to query your inventory (Environments, Apps, Flows, Makers, Connectors, Audit Logs) to monitor usage across your entire tenant and within each environment. These reports also support drill downs and filtering for example by maker department/country/city, connector usage, and premium feature usage.

CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Overview
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Overview
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Power Apps Overview
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Power Apps Overview

Check license designation for apps

Starting October 2019, several connectors are reclassified from Standard to Premium. The Power Apps licensing FAQ outlines reclassified connectors. Apps using these connectors before the reclassification have been granted an extended timeframe allowing users without a premium license to access these apps. We added the ability to check app license designation from the dashboard, giving you visibility of apps that have been grandfathered.

CoE Starter Kit - App License Assessment
CoE Starter Kit – App License Assessment

Govern

As an Admin you will also want to use the insights you gather to drive action – such as identifying critical, orphaned, or unused resources.

App and Flow Risk Assessment

Added with the latest release is the ability for admins to identify overshared and overused resources, or resources using specific connectors. Not only will the admin have visibility of those types of resources, they can also grant themselves ownership to inspect the resource behaviour and decide if further action needs to be taken.

Some typical assessments an admin would perform would be:

Identify overshared apps

  • Resources shared and used by the entire organization might need a stronger support model or be moved to a dedicated environment
  • Sometimes apps are shared with the entire organisation or a large number of individual users – if the app is for a dedicated department, job role, or group of people, you can help the maker by setting up an AD group to share their app with. Otherwise a) your entire org will see the app even if it’s not relevant to them in the Power Apps mobile player or on make.powerapps.com and b) if the user does not have access to the underlying data source but only to the app, they will receive an error message upon trying to launch the app which can cause an increase in support tickets and confusion
  • Apps shared with a large number of individual users pose a different risk – if the app is for a specific job role or department, should an end user move departments or job roles they would still see the app if it is shared with them and would be able to access the information. Therefore, it would also be recommended to share the app with an AD group that is tied to a movers/leavers process instead.
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - App Risk Assessment
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – App Risk Assessment

Identify suspended flows

  • Flows will be suspended due to using a combination of connectors that conflict with the company data loss prevention policies or billing restrictions.
  • Find those flows and work with the maker to identify if the flow is still needed, and if so, what policy violation they’ve encountered. Educate the maker, modify the DLP policy or create an environment that permits the connector combination for scenarios that are useful and secure.
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Identify suspended flows
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Identify suspended flows

Identify orphaned apps or flows

  • Orphaned apps, where the app owner has left the org, will still work for end users but changes or bug fixes can only be made by an owner. It is therefore important to identify orphaned apps and find a new owner for them, or work on a retirement plan for those apps.
  • Orphaned flows, where the flow owner has left the org, will stop working. It is therefore important to identify orphaned flows, check if they are still needed and find a new owner.
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Identify orphaned flows
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Identify orphaned flows

Implicitly shared connectors

  • Some connectors, like the SQL Connector used with SQL Server Authentication are shared implicitly with users.
  • Identify apps using the SQL Server Connector, ensure the end users is aware of the risk and help the mitigate it by enabling AAD Authentication for SQL or moving the resource to a new environment with restricted maker access.
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Identify apps using the SQL Server connector
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Identify apps using the SQL Server connector

Identify Flow Actions

  • Specific actions or connectors might require you to gather additional information from the maker or educate them on the usage. An example might be the Forward Email action of the Office 365 Outlook connector, or HTTP Requests.
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - Filter by flow actions
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – Filter by flow actions

Perform these risk assessments by using the filters on the Flow and App Risk Assessment pages and sort the result by number of unique users or sessions and last launched date.

App and Flow Archive

Another new feature of the report is the ability for admins to identify unused apps and flows – admins want to act by deleting or archiving those resources to avoid sprawl. One of the reasons for this is that unused resources that are still shared with users would still be accessible through the maker portal or mobile apps and lead to an untidy and unorganized user experience.

To support this, we have introduced an Archive Score – in short, the higher the score the more likely you can archive the resource.

  • The highest possible score for an app is 6 – a score of 6 would represent an app that has not been modified since it was created, that is using a non-production word like test or demo in the title, that has been created over three years ago and has likely been created from a template.
  • The highest possible score for a flow is 7 – a score of 7 would represent a flow that has not been modified since it was created, that is using a non-production word like test or demo in the title, that has been created over three years ago and has likely been created from a template, that is in stopped state and not complex (contains less than five actions)

The App and Flow Archive pages are sorted by highest archive score, and through filters allows you to target specific makers, date ranges, environments, departments or connectors.

CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - App Archive
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – App Archive

App and Flow Detail

The App and Flow Details page provide you with rich information about a selected resource, as well as an embedded app that lets you immediately take action.

    • You can grant yourself or others ownership
    • You can archive the resource
    • You can delete the resource
    • You can email the app or flow owner
    • Once you have granted yourself ownership, you can launch the Maker Portal to view version details and app analytics

With the embedded app you don’t have to leave the Power BI dashboard to take action.

CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - App Details
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – App Details

Nurture

As you establish your Center of Excellence, a significant part of your activity will be nurturing your maker community, enabling them to follow best practises, and working together with them to identify whether they or their resources need additional support.

The Nurture section helps you find your app and flow champions, see what connectors they are using, where they are based (department/city/country) and how they are adopting the Power Platform.

CoE Starter Kit Dashboard - App and Flow Gurus
CoE Starter Kit Dashboard – App and Flow Gurus

 

In summary, the Power BI Dashboard of the CoE Starter Kit provides analytics and data for your Monitor, Governance and Nurture needs and can form an integral part of establishing your Center of Excellence.

Set up the Power BI Dashboard

You can either get the CoE Power BI dashboard from AppSource or download the Power BI file and configure it in Power BI Desktop, which will allow you to make changes to it. More information: Setup instructions for the CoE Power BI Dashboard.

CoE Starter Kit Overview Video

Don’t have the time to read the whole documentation but still interested in finding out what the CoE Starter Kit is and how it can help you? Watch this overview video to learn more:

More Information

Head over to the documentation to learn about all the components in the solution, the set up instructions and additional information on developing a Center of Excellence.

Directly download the solution pack at aka.ms/CoEStarterKitDownload.

Disclaimer

Although the underlying features and components used to build the Center of Excellence (CoE) Starter Kit (such as Common Data Service, admin APIs, and connectors) are fully supported, the kit itself represents sample implementations of these features. Our customers and community can use and customize these features to implement admin and governance capabilities in their organizations.

If you face issues with:

  • Using the kit: Report your issue here: ms/coe-starter-kit-issues. (Microsoft Support won’t help you with issues related to this kit, but they will help with related, underlying platform and feature issues.)
  • The core features in Power Platform: Use your standard channel to contact Support.