Microsoft Power BI | June 2017 Updates

Categories: Data & AI Product Updates
Tags: Microsoft Microsoft Power BI

Power BI’s June 2017 release is packed full of new features, updates and enhancements. Some of the headline updates include the addition of table data bars, some new map themes, a horizontal image slicer and markers for line charts.

Reporting updates

Data bars introduce a new way to format your data in a table or matrix to make it easier to compare ranges of values. Essentially, you can use these data bars to turn a column of your table or matrix into a simple bar chart.

A new formatting options are also being added allowing you to display markers on the lines of your line charts, area charts and the lines of any combo charts. This allows you to personalise your charts and means you are no longer solely reliant on line colours for differentiation.

Elsewhere, font family control in visuals now has support in a similar vein to that already existing in textboxes. The image slicer will support horizontal as well as vertical orientation and two formatting updates have been introduced for combo charts. These are updates that allow you to align zeros automatically between the two axes and that allow you to shade the area of a line.

The sampling algorithm for line and area charts has also undergone an update that Microsoft claims will lead to a noticeable improvement in performance.

Accessible Reports

The Power BI team say that “Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more”.

With that goal in mind, this month sees the first of a number of forthcoming updates aimed at improving accessibility. This first accessibility release allows for the use of Power BI reports using keyboard navigation shortcuts and screen readers. More accessibility updates will follow in the next few months.

Bing Maps

A number of improvements are coming to the Bing maps feature throughout June 2017. These include map themes that allow you to switch between the default ‘road’ theme and ‘aerial’. Towards the end of the month Bing will be upgrading the API utilised by Microsoft, introducing additional ‘grayscale’ and ‘dark’ theme options. The updated API should also bring an improved geocoding experience. 

Data Connectivity

There have also been a number of changes in the area of data connectivity. This month’s additions include a general preview of Custom Data Connectors and an update of the Power BI service connector with support enabled for push streaming and on-premises datasets.

This month also sees both the Impala connector and the Amazon Redshift connector attain general availability (GA).

DirectQuery support is being introduced as an enhanced capability to the existing SAP BW connector and a new Beta connector is released this month for IBM Netezza.

Query Editing

Finally, two new enhancements have been added to the recent 'Add Column from Examples' feature. The first is a ‘suggestions’ update that provides suggestions based on the contents of other columns and partially typed text. Support for additional transformations has also been added, including a number of Date/Time operations.

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