Microsoft Power BI | March 2018 Updates

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

March has been a very busy time for Power BI with many of the updates looking at their popular connectors, including SAP HANA. Alongside this, Bookmarking and Power BI’s reporting tools have received large updates which we detail further on, as well as many others.

The below video gives an outline of Power BI’s most recent updates:

Report page tooltips in preview

Now in preview, the report page tooltips feature allows you to easily design a report page and use this as a custom tooltip within your report for other visuals. This makes it easy to design anything, from cards to miniature drill-through pages which show up in hover. Take the time to familiarise yourself with this preview tooltips feature as it's sure to make the inclusion of visuals in reports much easier.

PowerBI March


Following on from the preview announcement in October 2017, this function is now generally available. The feature has been updated to make it more flexible and bookmarks can now be created in Power BI without any requirement to create a bookmark in the Power BI Desktop first. Plus, all the custom visuals published on Microsoft AppSource will now support bookmarking. 

Mapbox custom visuals

The Mapbox mapping and location tools seamlessly integrate into Power BI and can provide powerful features for visualising data with maps, including multiple visual types, such as heat maps or cluster aggregation maps, vector maps, and custom map design tools – giving you more control over every element. Users can now upload most kinds of custom map data or use cluster aggregation to reach a better understanding of spatial trends. 

PowerBI Maps

You will require a free Mapbox account to take advantage of this custom visual and will receive up to 50,000 free map views each month, with overages billed at $0.50/1000 map views. 

SAP HANA connector enhancements

Two enhancements to the SAP HANA connector were issued this month. These were direct query multidimensional support which is now available generally alongside enhanced support for SAP HANA servers, featuring SSL encryption.

Azure Analysis Services connector

This connector is now generally available, following receipt of a range of feedback and comments.

Formatting improvements

Table and matrix field formatting received improvements this month which may make your reporting much more coherent. It is now possible to control the display units and decimal places for numerical values for columns in a similar way to methods used for data labels on charts.

PowerBI Matrix

 Disable visual header for report reading mode

It's now possible to switch off the visual header for reports when they are in reading mode. This is particularly useful if you need to embed your completed report into a web page, as readers won’t be distracted by this feature. Turning off visual header for reports is just a case of selecting the ‘Hide visual header in reading view’ box on the section for Reports Settings within the Options dialogue.

Introducing outliers

Outliers detection will now help you find anomalies in your data – the custom visual features the five most popular methods of outlier detection.

PowerBI Outliesr

Clustering using optics

This visual from MAQ Software uses the optics clustering algorithm to analyse hierarchies and groups. The algorithm works using density clustering, so it's easy to identify points which don't belong in any groups. Hierarchy clustering is used to identify groups within larger groups. Some of the key features include the ability to identify outliers and it's easy to add your own dataset for tooltips.

Error reporting

The error reporting facility has been upgraded to send information directly through a new error dialogue and you are now able to view any previous errors you've encountered using Windows Error Reporting. 

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