Power BI improvements for November

by | Nov 27, 2018

Microsoft’s eagerly anticipated monthly update cycles are an important talking point for those involved with the technology industry.

Committed to enhancing the user experience across its popular programmes, Microsoft’s updates are released in direct response to customer feedback, implementing new features that will help its community moving forward.

Power BI is one of the programmes that benefits from a monthly update cycle, with November proving to be another busy month for the company.

Covering Reporting, Analytics, Modelling, Custom Visuals and Data Connectivity, this month’s updates include one of the most requested visual features with the ability to collapse and expand individual row headers.

For those users who enjoy creating visually appealing reports, colour saturation features have now been upgraded to provide the same conditional formatting experience as the table and matrix.

Reporting – Expand & collapse matrix row headers

In response to significant customer demand, Power BI has introduced the ability to expand and collapse matrix row headers, either by using a right click option or through the formatting pane under the row headers card on the right-hand side of the interface.

This increased functionality will give users the ability to target a specific selection, using plus and minus icons to navigate through the sub-headings efficiently. By default, the icons will match the formatting of the row header, but their size and colour can be customised separately.

The expansion state of the matrix will save with a report and can also be pinned to dashboards, but users will first need to open the report to change its state.

Reporting – Updated filtering experience (preview)

Another high-profile update involved the filter pane, with Microsoft introducing a fully revamped filtering experience in response to feedback that it was unclear to see which filters were affecting a visual.

The new filter pane has many additional features, including the ability to hide the entire pane from report consumers, improved formatting options for the filter pane to make it look part of the report and a read only view of the filters that are affecting each visual.

Once it has been enabled, the new filter pane will become attached to the page and will be visible to consumers once the report has been published, with the older pane offering filter editing functionality. In a few months, there are plans to remove the old pane entirely, with the newer version benefitting from the ability to add new filters.

Analytics – Colour saturation on upgraded visuals

Over the past year, Microsoft has added a lot of functionality to the conditional formatting experience for table and matrix, but the colour saturation feature for cartesian charts hasn’t received quite the same treatment.

This month, Power BI has upgraded all the visuals that previously used colour saturation to have similar conditional formatting functionality, allowing users to have access to all three types of formatting; Colour by colour scales, colour by rules and colour by field.

Through the data colours card in the formatting pane, users can now format with the colour pickers or select the advanced controls option to launch the conditional formatting log.

Custom Visuals – Pie Charts Tree

Each month, Power BI adds a range of exciting new custom visuals to its offering, and this month is no different, with the introduction of the Pie Charts Tree custom visual by Aritz Fancoy.

The new visual allows users to display a tree visual with pie charts as the nodes, offering greater creative license when it comes to creating reports and analysing data.

To create a plain tree structure, users can add multiple fields to the categories bucket in the fields list, before adding data labels with the values bucket, percent of target pie charts with the target bucket, and progress percentage with the progress field.

Focussed on the future…

With Power BI, organisations can harness their data and create engaging reports that allow them to analyse and capitalise on emerging trends within their business. With the programme becoming increasingly popular, Microsoft’s monthly update cycles provide the perfect opportunity to address consumer feedback, implementing new ideas that can improve the overall user experience. Instead of adding new features unnecessarily, customer needs are taken into consideration and used to shape future decisions.

Like Microsoft, we also operate with the same commitment and focus on improving services for our clients, identifying solutions that will improve productivity and communications within an organisation.

If you’re looking to take your business to the next level, consult our team of experts for help strategising a successful future.