Rich SharePoint content insights with DocRead and Power BI

DocRead is an add-on for SharePoint that allows you to target and track content to the right users in your organization.

DocRead comes with a report suite that is accessed from the DocRead admin pages inside SharePoint. Whilst powerful out of the box, it’s impossible for the suite to cover more customized reporting requirements. Also, because the reporting suite runs inside of SharePoint web pages (with no dedicated reporting engine) it can struggle with large data sets containing hundreds of thousands of rows.

In this post we are going to show how you can use Power BI to create a “Document Reading Dashboard” using the DocRead data. This dashboard can be used to show the status of the reading tasks associated with a specific document (these tasks are automatically generated, and managed by DocRead ).

With its own dedicated reporting engine (VertiPaq - “Brains & Muscles” behind Power BI), Power BI has no problem working with large data sets. When combined with the rich data created by DocRead, it allows you to create beautiful and powerful reports giving insights about how your SharePoint content is being targeted, read and acknowledged by your users. These reports can also be used to demonstrate to regulators how you are communicating, targeting and tracking your Policies, Procedures (and any other important content) and thus ensuring that your employees remain compliant with them.

The “Document Reading Dashboard“ that we are going to build in this post will look like this:

The dashboard above uses the standard data view called "Readership.vwTaskInfo" available in the DocRead database (find more information here). It contains a slicer at the top of the page that allows you to select a specific document. The table then shows a list of all employees who need to read that document and the date they did so. If the employee has not completed their reading task, then this will be shown as either overdue (if the due date has passed) or assigned. 

The visualizations on the left include:

  • Gauge showing the proportion of completed tasks compared to the total number of tasks.
  • Donut chart showing the number or reading tasks by status (assigned, completed or overdue) and their proportionate percentages.
  • Card displaying the latest due date. Once this date has been reached, and assuming everyone who needs to read it has done so, it can be archived.


1) Select the table visualization. This will add a table onto your report canvas. Move and resize it to the right of your report page.

Image showing the selection of a table visualization

2) From the Readership vwTaskInfo table, select 'UserPreferredName', 'ReadershipType', 'AudienceName', 'CompletionDate', 'DueDate' and 'RealStatus' or click and drag them into the Slicer Field. Please refer to this post if you haven't created a 'RealStatus' field.

3) They will appear in the report table in the order they are shown. You can click and drag them to rearrange them as required.

Image showing the field values selected for the data table

4) Use the drop down arrow at the side of each field to adjust the settings as needed. All fields for this table should be set to 'Don't summarize'.

Image showing the table value display options

5) Your data table is ready and should look similar to the example below. Notice how the data changes if you select individual users in the table.

Image showing the example table data


1) Select the Slicer visualization as shown below. This will add a slicer onto your report canvas. Resize it and move it to the top right corner of your report canvas.

Image showing the slicer visualization selection

2) From the 'Readership vwTaskInfo' table, select 'DocumentName', or click and drag it into the Slicer Field.

Image showing the Document Name field selected for the slicer data

3) Click on the down arrow for this field and select 'Rename for this visual'.

Image showing how to rename the slicer

4) Add a space into the field name so it displays as 'Document Name'.

5) On the report canvas, click the down arrow in the top right corner of the slicer and select 'Dropdown'.

Image showing the slicer dropdown options

6) Your slicer is now ready. Notice how the data in the table changes as you select different documents. 

Is your SharePoint content read on time and by the right people?

DocRead can help


1) Select the gauge visualization. This will add a gauge onto your report canvas. Resize it and move it to the left of your data table on your report canvas.

Image showing the selection of the gauge visualization

2) From the 'Readership vwTaskInfo' table, select 'CompletionDate' and drag it into the Value Field. Also select 'RealStatus' and drag it into the Maximum value field. Ensure that both fields will be displayed as a 'Count of' their values.

Image showing the field requirements for the gauge visualization

3) If your fields do not show as 'Count of', use the drop down arrow and select 'Count'.

Image showing how to change the fields to show a count of the values

4) Your gauge is now ready and should display the number of completed tasks on the scale with the maximum value reflecting the total number of tasks.

Donut chart

1) Select the donut chart visualization.

Image showing the selection of a donut chart visualization

2) From the 'Readership vwTaskInfo' table, select 'RealStatus' and drag it into the Legend Field. Use the same data in the Values field but ensure that this will be displayed as a 'Count of' the RealStatus.

Image showing the fields needed for the donut chart

3) Select the paint roller icon to change the colors for the different classes of reading status. Expand the 'Data Colors' option and amend the display colors to your preference. I used green for completed tasks, red for overdue tasks and amber for tasks that have been assigned but are not overdue. I also set the Legend to 'on' so this information is displayed in the visualization.

Image showing the different colors used for real status

4) the donut chart is now ready, notice how the values change when you select a different document.


1) For my final visualization, I wanted to display the latest due date. Due dates can differ because of DocRead's Smart Move feature which will automatically create tasks for new employees when they join the organization.  Select the card visualization.

Image showing the selection of a card visualization

2) From the 'Readership vwTaskInfo' table, select 'DueDate' and ensure it is recorded in the Fields option. This value defaulted to Earliest Due Date, however I want to know when the last due date is. This will give me an idea of when the compliance task is likely to be completed by everyone.

Image showing how to select latest due date

3) I also chose to turn on the Title options for my visualizations. This option is available using the 'Paint Roller' icon and you can add the relevant text and format it as required.

Image showing how to display a title for the visualization

I added a background image to your Power BI report to make it look more appealing. This post explains how I did this.

Is your SharePoint  content read on time and fully understood?

DocRead can help

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