Power BI improvements for April

by | Apr 30, 2019

It may be a month that starts with plenty of jokes and playful tricks, but the end of April is another serious opportunity to review the latest Power BI update cycle.

For those who are unaware, the monthly update cycles give Microsoft a chance to address existing issues and make improvements based on user feedback.

It’s our responsibility to help clients get the most out of their technology, and it’s important we take the time to explore the month’s proposed updates, analysing the impact these will have on users.

April’s updates cover a range of key areas, including reporting, analytics, modelling, visualisations, data connectivity and data protection.

One of the most significant updates this month is the extension of the existing drillthrough feature, allowing users to easily link multiple reports and deliver clearer insights.

Conditional formatting for visual titles

One of Power BI’s biggest appeals is the interactive nature of its reports, encouraging users to harness their data in an engaging way.

Since the Power BI’s initial release, users have only been able to customise titles of visuals with static text, however, this update now allows users to make dynamic titles that reflect the current state of the report.

It is now possible to use the conditional formatting dialogue to change the text of your report based on a DAX expression in your model, editing a specific text field which can be a column or measure.

Once a title is set, you can re-launch the dialogue by clicking the ‘fx’ button in the property pane or revert to the default by using the context menu.

This update will give you greater control over the reporting process, ensuring reports are visually appealing and easy to navigate.

Drillthrough across reports

As mentioned in the introduction, one of April’s most significant updates is an extension of the existing drillthrough feature.

Until this month, the feature only worked between pages of a single report, but this extension allows users to reference other reports in a given workspace.

This means multiple reports can be easily linked, enabling users to drillthrough summary reports to access detailed information and obtain in-depth insights.

To set up this experience, users will need to set up a drillthrough target page to be accessed from other reports within a workspace and allow a report to opt into seeing drillthrough pages outside of the report.

When utilised correctly, this update can help unlock the true analytical potential of Power BI, enhancing the overall user experience.

Improvements to Key Influencers visual

While the introduction of new features is exciting, Microsoft is continuously looking for ways to improve aspects that are already available to users.

One such feature that has benefitted from improvements is the Key Influencers visual, which now allows users to add numeric fields to the analyse bucket of the field well and run a continuous analysis.

This can be used to find key influencers that cause a field to increase or decrease and can be applied to numeric columns, although measures are not yet supported.

In order to run this analysis, you will need to turn it on after selecting the field to analyse, which can be achieved by going to the analysis card of the formatting pane and switching it to continuous.

Visualisation will then rank all the factors that the user identified as potential influencers, allowing people to access important insights from their masses of data.

Looking to the future…

Rather than waiting for features to become outdated, Microsoft continues to update Power BI and implement tools that can improve the overall user experience.

Listening to users and shaping updates according to their feedback is an important practice that has helped increase its popularity, offering businesses the support they need to transform data into insights.

The true potential of Power BI should not be underestimated, as it gives users the tools needed to analyse information and identify trends with ease.

If you’re looking to implement Power BI within your business, consult our in-house team of specialists and find a solution that will give you a competitive advantage.