Row-Level Security with User-Based Filters

Row-Level Security with User-Based Filters

Do you want to give multiple users restricted data access to a common business intelligence dashboard? A user-based filter helps you do this. User-based filtering is the process of imposing row-level security on the underlying data, thereby giving user-based data access. For instance, for a company with a performance dashboard showcasing past data trends for self-assessment by its employees, is not necessary to maintain one database for each employee to ensure security. Row-level security in the common database can be imposed through restricted data access based on users with a user-based filtering mechanism.

In this blog post, we will see how row-level security works with user-based filtering by looking at a simple use case along with illustrations and discuss their benefits in detail.

User-based filtering with a simple use case

A company operates multiple departments such as finance, sales, marketing, infrastructure, and development, each with a unique workforce. All its on-going operations are being recorded in a common database for each employee. Management needs to monitor the operations of all the departments and assess the performance of the workforce in order to make improvements. They need a workforce performance dashboard.

At some point, management decides to provide access to the dashboard for each department manager so they can visualize their specific department’s data and make necessary changes in their workflow processes. As the company is strict in ensuring data privacy between the departments, the default way is to create separate dashboards for each department, which will be take more time and is not scalable for a rapidly growing organization in terms of workforce. However, with Bold BI, this case can be handled easily by the system administrator, who can apply a filter to the row values, restricting them for the specific manager who is going to view the dashboard. Hence, instead of re-creating same dashboard for each department, the company can maintain one for all.

Now, let’s see how the user-based filtering works in Bold BI.

User-based Filtering Model with Illustration Diagram
User-based Filtering Model with Illustration Diagram

How user-based filter works

User-based filtering works based on the database schema’s unique identifier column. For our use case, this identifier column’s values should be the usernames or email addresses of the department managers. So, before configuring the user-based filtering, the unique identifier column should be ready in the database.

Based on the identifier column, configure the filter settings for employee departments. You need to configure user-based filtering and define the restriction for each user before publishing your dashboard.

The following dashboard screenshot shows the administrator view, which shows all departments’ employee data.

 Workforce Performance Dashboard for Admin with All Department Employee’s Data

Workforce Performance Dashboard for Admin with All Department Employee’s Data

Note the head count shown in its card widget is 100, the overall workforce.

The following screenshot shows the Manager1 view. This manager can see only their own department’s data.

Workforce Performance Dashboard for Manager1 with Specific Department’s Employee Data
Workforce Performance Dashboard for Manager1 with Specific Department’s Employee Data

You can see the head count is 30, which is this department’s resource strength.

Finally, the last screenshot shows the Manager2 view. This manager can see only their own department’s details.

Workforce Performance Dashboard for Manager2 with Specific Department’s Employee Data
Workforce Performance Dashboard for Manager2 with Specific Department’s Employee Data

The head count is 41.

This is how you can provide row-level security to your data and give restricted access to a dashboard. Let’s see a few benefits of this user-based filtering model.

Benefits of user-based filtering

  • It saves the manual effort and time of creating a different dashboard for each user.
  • Maintenance costs are low, since a single database holds all the data.
  • It ensures secured access to a dashboard and its data.

Would you like to give it a try? Sign up here to see a self-hosted application in the cloud.

Configure User-Based Filter in Bold BI
Configure User-Based Filter in Bold BI

Check this user-based filtering documentation for more details about configuration with supported modes in Bold BI.

Conclusion

We hope this blog article provided you needed information user-based filtering models. If you have any questions about user-based filtering, please post them as comments in this blog. You can also contact us by submitting your questions through the Bold BI website or, if you already have an account, you can log in.

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