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Advocate II
Advocate II

Power BI service Viewer role does not allow Excel read-only access to Dataset

The functionality to connect an Excel Pivot Table to a Power BI service dataset is great but why does the "Viewer" role in a Power BI workspace not allow a Viewer user to connect to a Dataset in Power BI Service for read-only use in Excel?


It appears the user must have at least a Contributor role to the Workspace where the Dataset resides in order to connect from Excel thus providing them the ability to post other content to the Workspace or modify the Dataset, which in some cases we want to restrict them from doing so.

Is there a workaround for this?

Community Support
Community Support

Hi  @mbbozzuto ,


Sorry, there is no corresponding solution, as far as I know, this is the design of Power BI, because according to the design requirements, some workspace only need to be inside the user has the right to view, but not the view of the rights to ensure the security of the data, so there is a Viewer role.

As stated in the official documentation, the Viewer role can only access reports, dashboards, workbooks, etc., but not the corresponding Dataset access, while the Contributor role not only has access to reports, but also has access to the dataset permissions.

Reder to:

Roles in workspaces in Power BI - Power BI | Microsoft Learn


You can also submit an idea for it at and wait for users with the same needs as you to vote for you to help make it happen as soon as possible.


Best Regards,

Liu Yang

If this post helps, then please consider Accept it as the solution to help the other members find it more quickly.

Hi - thanks for the feedback.  But if I'm understanding you correctly, Viewer level permissions on workspaces support reports and access to the underlying dataset.  We have our datasets separated into their own workspace from reports; users need Viewer roles in both workspaces in order for the reports to function correctly (i.e., even if the user has Viewer role in the workspace for the report, they also need Viewer role in the workspace for the dataset).  They don't need Contributor role in either workspace for the reports to function correctly and read data inside of the Power BI service.  That makes sense, and ideally would work the same for Excel Pivot Table query to just read data; I'll post an idea.

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi @mbbozzuto 

Good thing to separate the report from its Dataset and give permissions to the dataset and the report for users as Viewers, but i would be even better if the end user consumes the report at the App level.

However a user with a Read only permission on the Dataset can not connect to the Dataset and use Excel Pivot. you will need to upgrade the user permission to Build in the Manage Permission of the dataset. 

Amine Jerbi

If I answered your question, please mark this thread as accepted
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Thanks - yes understood that they need the higher permission to Build (or Contributor) but that is what I am trying to avoid - the users should be able to read data without the ability to modify the content.


I created an idea for this so please vote for:

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