Power BI Desktop | November 2018 Update

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

The time has come once more to look at the latest Power BI updates. As usual, this will help any Power BI resellers keep up to date with the latest changes. If you need a quick re-cap of the October updates, remember to read the October blog first.

So, what exactly is there to get excited about this month?

Power BI reporting

One update your customers will benefit from is the changes made in Power BI reporting. A key element within this is the ability to copy and paste visual images between .pbix files. This naturally will improve user workflow and allow for faster file manipulation between reports. Users can also now expand and collapse their matrix row headers through the right-click menu.

Many Power BI users will also love the updated filtering experience previewed in the November update. This allows them to see exactly how any filters applied to a report are affecting it on the screen. They will need to enable this function first through the 'Preview' section of the 'Option' dialog box. Microsoft have also made updates to general accessibility in November. This mainly involves making it easier for users to access the Selection pane while also being able to use Ctrl + F6 to move around the Power BI desktop faster.

Power BI analytics

A welcome update for many users is colour saturation on visuals being amended to use conditional formatting. There have also been changes to the questions asked in the Question and Answer explorer. Power BI now allows users to ask related questions, based on their previous ones. This is naturally great for delving deeper into subjects or being prompted to ask questions that a user may not have thought about before.

Updated to modelling in Power BI

Perhaps the most important update this month for most users is the improved modelling view that is being previewed. Offering faster performance on larger models, the choice of multiple layouts and the ability save custom diagram view layouts, it seems one update that users will love. The new composite model feature is also rolled out in the November update which is something new based on user feedback. Microsoft have also made improvements to the modelling accessibility which has seen updated keyboard navigation for managing relationship dialogs.

Users of Power BI can also make use of 3 new DAX functions in November. These are an optional 'Drill down filter', the 'Roll Up Add is Subtotal' function, a brand new Non Visual feature and an 'Is In Scope' function to detect measure expression hierarchy more effectively.

Custom visual updates in Power BI

In terms of new custom visual updates, there are five to take in as below:

  • Calendar by MAQ Software to track events in a report
  • Ratings by MAQ Software to add ratings to a report
  • Hourglass Chart by MAQ Software to compare category values in two scenarios
  • Forecast Using Multiple Models by MAQ Software to forecast future values based on historical data
  • Pie Charts Tree to show tree visual with pie charts as nodes

What's new for data connectivity?

November sees Microsoft allow users to import and transform data from Azure DevOps Server via a new connector. There is also PDF connector support for Start Page and End Page parameters. This allows users to restrict Power Query to a set range when exploring pages to find tables. There have also been improvements made to the Azure Consumption Insights connector which now allows users to add reserved instances and budget data to reports.

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