The Workspace Stack

UW uses the term "Workspace Stack" to refer to a set of three workspaces- Development, Test, and Production, that are created for a department, business unit, or group on campus for the purposes of creating and publishing reports. Each workspace has specific permissions and a specific purpose, explained below.


Workspaces have four different access levels: Admin, Member, Contributor, Viewer. UW only assigns Contributor and Viewer access to workspaces. The IT Business Intelligence (BI) Team retain Admin level access to every workspace. You can read more about roles within workspaces from this Microsoft document "Roles in Workspaces".

Development (Dev)

Development (Dev) is a place for report developers to store reports, test report functionality, and collaborate with teammates. There are two access levels available for this workspace: Contributor and Viewer. The PowerBI governance structure does not allow adding customers to the development workspace. The development workspace also does not allow for automatic refreshes of datasets.

Contributor Access

This gives access to create, read, update, and delete reports in the workspace and is assigned to report developers.

Viewer Access

This is intended for report developer supervisors who don't necessarily need development access for reports but still want visibility into the work that is happening.


The Test workspace, or sometime referred to as Quality Assurance (QA) is a production-like environment where everyone (including report developers) has Viewer access. This is meant to allow the report developer, their customer(s), and/or their supervisor to view the report as someone would see it once it is published to ensure the report is functioning correctly and not exposing data that it shouldn't be. In the Test workspace, datasets are generally connected to TEST instances of databases. If one does not exist the dataset may be connected to a production dataset. Datasets are not allowed to automatically refresh in TEST.

Production (Prod)

Production is the final place for a PowerBI report. In this workspace, the report developer has viewer access, along with customers of the report. Report customers should be identified as soon as possible in the development process. This could be all employees, the general public, deans, divisions, departments, etc. You can review our page on identifying access here. Granting access to the report in Production is done by the PowerBI admins. The dataset is setup to automatically refresh (if applicable), and the link to the report can be shared.