Power BI improvements for February

by | Feb 27, 2019

2019 is picking up speed, as the shortest month of the year ends, and another Power BI update cycle has been released.

In direct response to customer feedback, February’s updates are designed to address existing issues, enhancing the user experience with new and improved features.

In this blog, we will detail and analyse the most important changes, discussing the wider impact these will have on our clients.

Covering Reporting, Analytics, Custom Visuals and Data Connectivity, this month’s update cycle contains a range of significant changes, with an increased focus on the visual appeal of reports.  

Another major update is the addition of the Key Influencers visual, which allows users to perform in-depth analysis of their data with just a few clicks.

Reporting – Updates to the new filter pane

This month, Microsoft has added new formatting options to its filtering experience preview, with title text size, header text size and font family all placed on the filter pane card.

Providing people with greater creative control over how their data is presented, Power BI allows users to navigate through the filter experience with a keyboard and screen reader, using the space bar to tab through the various filters.

This improved accessibility and functionality of the filter pane gives users the opportunity to harness data appropriately, designing engaging reports that clearly illustrate findings and wider company trends.

Analytics – Key Influencers Visual

Another significant update is the introduction of Power BI’s first AI Visualisation, known as Key Influencers.

Using behind the scenes machine learning, the visualisations can seamlessly analyse your data and provide insights naturally, allowing users to uncover important information by targeting specific KPIs.

Adding fields to the Analyse and Explain buckets in the field well, the visual will automatically process the data and present the info within your report, clicking through each influencer to see different results visualised on the dashboard.

When this visual is part of a report, consumers will be able to cycle through the various interactions, without interfering with the separate fields.

Custom Visuals – Advanced Donut Visual

One of the most impressive and visually appealing updates this month is ZoomCharts’ Advanced Donut chart.

Using intuitive navigation, the custom visual allows you to interact with the chart on any device, with each interaction accompanied by a smooth animation, helping your report stand out and engage the consumer.

Switching between pie, donut and gauge chart types for better data representation, users can define the number of slices needed, touching or clicking slices to drill down and uncover more detailed insights.

This update gives users better control over how they present key information, enhancing the visual appeal of reports.

Custom Visuals – Violin Plot

Continuing February’s theme of visual improvements, the violin plot custom visual by Daniel Marsh-Patrick is another exciting update that users can use to present their data.

Combining a box plot and a kernel density plot, consumers can see basic distribution information about their data, such as median, mean, range and quartiles, while understanding the variations in their data across its distribution.

The custom visual works like a histogram, but uses kernel smoothing to provide a smoother curve where noise might otherwise be present.

The ongoing journey…

Microsoft’s commitment to quality has been well-documented, as they continue to look for ways to improve their entire Office 365 toolset, implementing new features in direct response to customer feedback.

Harnessing data and delivering important insights is crucial for any business, and Power BI can help organisations capture important info, presenting it within an engaging report that utilises some of the exciting features highlighted in this blog.

If you’re looking for a programme that can help take your business to the next level, consult our team of experts and find a solution that works for you.