Power BI improvements for September

by | Sep 27, 2018

Like Microsoft and Power BI, this blog needs no introduction. Each month presents a new opportunity for Microsoft to change, adapt and improve its service offering, addressing new and existing issues through the introduction of exciting updates and features.

One of its biggest and most popular apps, Power BI, is a service that benefits from a monthly update cycle, designed to improve user experience through the implementation of new technology and ideas.

With 17 proposed changes covering reporting, analytics, custom visuals, data connectivity and data preparation, September has been another busy yet successful month for the organisation, as its loyal customer-base reap the benefits of these latest improvements.

If improving the clarity of reports is high on your list of priorities, then changes to the app’s text enhancer will catch your attention this month, as Microsoft introduces new features to help key information and data stand out.

From a technical perspective, September marks one of the most significant updates to Power BI’s Advanced Query Editor for some time, introducing a preview of Intellisense support for the M language.

Reporting – Copy value and selection from table and matrix

When it comes to processing data and analysing trends, there will always come a time when you need to copy data out of Power BI into other applications like Dynamics CRM or Excel. Described as a ‘very common request’ within the official Microsoft update announcement, this new feature enables users to copy a single value or selection of data through a right-click menu.

Using the ‘copy selection’ function, Power BI will capture all data within that table or matrix, retaining all the data formatting that has been applied – a useful addition for businesses looking to reuse information in excel to make other calculations.

Custom Visuals – Text enhancer by MAQ Software

For those who enjoy creating visually-appealing reports that catch the reader’s attention, Power BI has introduced a new text enhancer feature that allows users to customise text appearance. Instead of being forced to use plain text, important information and wording can now be shadowed, rotated, angled and skewed to meet the unique requirements of the creator.

The feature can be applied to both static and dynamic text, allowing users to add prefixes and suffixes within one visual, without having to insert multiple text boxes to fit important information.

Analytics – Aggregations

One of the most significant updates during September is the Aggregations preview, allowing users to seamlessly store summarised values in memory without loading their entire datasets into Power BI. Significantly reducing the amount of space needed to store important information, this update will improve the cost of unlocking large datasets used for decision making in enterprise organisations.

Aggregations will boost query speeds by caching data at the aggregated level using a fraction of the resources required at detail level. This will make data more readily available for users, while allowing the Power BI in-memory cache to handle aggregated queries.

Data Preparation – M Intellisense

Considered one of Power BI’s most significant updates to its Advanced Query Editor, M Intellisense support has been made available to improve user experience within the programme. After enabling M Intellisense under the ‘Preview features’ tab in the options dialogue, users will be able to leverage Intellisense within the advanced editor.

This sophisticated new feature allows individuals to use syntax colouring, line numbers, function completions and parameter metadata for M library functions.

An ongoing commitment to quality…

The monthly updates provided by Microsoft and the transparency it shows when announcing the changes demonstrates the importance of Power BI as a tool for data manipulation and reporting.

Rather than throwing out new content purely for the sake of change, Microsoft is listening to its users and tailoring its response strategy to satisfy customer needs, improving overall user experience, on a monthly basis.

Like Microsoft, we also take the time to provide out customers with a tailored service, implementing effective solutions that can improve Business Intelligence.

If you require technical support or would like more information on how Power BI can help you understand your company’s data, then contact our team of in-house specialists and begin strategising for the future.