This is Part 2 of my Power BI for Your Business series.  In Part 1 I explained how to get started with Power BI.  In this post I will talk about Tenants, in the context of Power BI and their significance.

Adam Saxton, from guy in a cube, does a great job summarizing what a tenant is so i’ll be referring heavily to what he published in his post for Microsoft here.

p.s. if you don’t already, I strongly recommend you follow/subscribe to Adam & Patrick’s  GuyInTheCube YouTube channel .  These Guys are legends!!

So, What is a Tenant?

For our purposes, a Tenant is a term used for an Office 365 Organization.  A Tenant is like an Apartment.  If you think about an Apartment and an Apartment Complex, the complex is the foundation, the plumbing, the stair cases or Elevators.  And there can be many apartments within the complex.


That is what a Tenant is.  It is for your organization, and is a sandboxes environment for your and your assets.  It is within the overall O365 Data Center which would be the apartment complex. The Tenant is the container for items of your Organization such as users, domains, subscriptions etc… 


There is no cost to having a Tenant itself.  The cost comes in with whatever subscriptions you have for your Tenant and the number of licenses you are paying for.  This may be O365 Subscription, SharePoint Online, Exchange, Power BI, etc… 

For Power BI, when you sign up for it, it will check your email address.  If that domain is registered as a Tenant, it will add that user to the existing Tenant.  If the Tenant does not exist, it  will create, a “shadow tenant” that isn’t managed by anyone, and add your user to that tenant.  Other users with the same email address will be added to that as well.

So if we think back to the scenario in Part 1 where we created an account using a new domain, we would find ourselves having a “shadow” tenant as explained above.  Essentially, we would be the sole user of the new domain/tenant but would not manage it as an admin.  

To show this, you can navigate to the Admin Portal within the Power BI Service.

 – Go to  and sign in

– Click the gear icon and first go to Settings

Within Settings on the General tab, go to Close Account.

You’ll see the message telling you that “Your account is managed by your organization’s IT department. Please contact your administrator to request changes”. This just confirms that you are not the admin for your tennant.

Similarly, if you go to the Admin Portal, you will see a limited view of the settings.

Our next step is to configure ourselves as the admin so that we have full control over our Power BI tenant. 

In Power BI go to the Admin app via the icon in the top left-hand corner

Doing this for the first time will prompt you with a message asking if you want to become the admin for your domain/tenant.

Confirming this will then take you to a set of instructions (which will vary depending on your domain service provider) that explains how to configure your domain’s DNS settings to confirm you are in fact the domain owner.

Once complete, this will be checked and verified, before you are given the all-clear!

Now, if you navigate back to the Admin Portal within Power BI you’ll be presented with a new look dashboard that gives you control over all the Power BI tenant settings

That’s it!  You are now the admin of your tenant. 

The next Post in the series will expand on this and explain how, as an admin, we can assign new users via Azure Active Directory.