Power BI introduces new features

by | Jul 31, 2018

Never a company to rest on its laurels, Microsoft has a monthly update cycle for PowerBI, this month adding a raft of new features to improve the user experience with Power BI. The list of additions extends to more than 20 valuable improvements, covering modelling, reporting, analytics, custom visuals and data connectivity.

This month’s update includes a preview of Composite models. This addresses the issue that when connecting a data source using DirectQuery, no other data source can be connected in the same report – typically only a requirement for our largest clients.

It would take too much of your time to read this blog if we looked in detail at each of the changes, some of which have limited appeal to the majority of users, so we’ll just look at a few that offer more interest to Circyl and our clients.

Reporting – New visual header with more flexibility and formatting

Prior to this update, the visual’s header took up a lot of space and often didn’t fit in with the design of reports, so it’s been completely revamped. Having detached the header from the visual, it can now appear inside the visual, in line with the title by default.

Every visual comes with a new visual header card in the formatting pane, which contains options to format the colour of the icon, background and borders, along with their transparency – you can also turn off individual icons or the whole header for report viewers.

Reporting – Wallpaper formatting

Okay, we understand it’s all about data and how best to extract relevant information, but reports still have to look good to ensure good audience engagement when you share them.

Now you can format the grey edges of your report page to theme it with a more cohesive feel. The formatting includes colour and transparency, with the option to upload an image. You can also make your report page transparent and have your wallpaper visible under the charts.

Reporting – Sorting experience improvement

This small change has tidied up the sort experience, which was neither very clear or easy to use. It was also not accessible for those only using a keyboard to navigate.

Now, the controls have been separated so you can select ascending or descending sort and the field to sort by independently. And you can navigate all the options with your keyboard too, if that’s all you have to hand.

Reporting – Tooltips for table and matrix

Following feedback from the community that shows Microsoft is listening, it has updated Power BI to include the standard and report page tooltips on both the table and matrix visuals.

Tooltips default is off, so your reports won’t change without you knowing, but you can turn them on for table and matrix using the new tooltip card. Once turned to on, you get the standard Power BI tooltip for your visual.

In conclusion, this is a comprehensive update with a host of features that will help users get the most from Power BI.

But of course, it goes without saying, if you need to concentrate on core activities and want a little help getting at the data that really matters to you and your business, please get in touch.