Right once again there is a lot to get into this week, and as with every week there are a whole host of Power BI updates.
Power BI – Visual Contest
I have to say that this is both a smart and fantastic move by Microsoft. This allows them to get or gain a whole host of new chart types that can be consumed within Power BI, without having to spend a lot of development time getting it all completed.
As well as there are a lot of smart people that have some great idea’s. And this gives them a great platform to showcase their idea’s. As well as get some recognition for their efforts.
As you can see in the above screenshot, this is a great KPI example. To me it does look similar to the Datazen KPI’s. But I do know that it would be welcome in Power BI.
You can read all about the contest details here: Announcing the Power BI Best Visual Contest!
Power BI – On the Go (Mobile Apps)
There has been another great update to the Mobile Apps for Power BI. And it is across all the current mobile platforms that are supported.
I like the idea that you can keep your favorites and have them on a dashboard within the Power BI Mobile application. This gives a very similar experience as with the Web based Power BI. Which is great when you potentially want to see data from different sources.
I also like the fact that you can enable Data Alert Rules, which means you can get alerts on your mobile device when the thresholds that you have set are exceeded. And just means that you do not have to go and keep on checking on reports or data. A much more proactive means of being notified.
There are some additional details which you can read about here: Power BI on the Go
Power BI – Hyperlinks, Drill Down and Drill Up
Once again this week the Power BI team has been very busy and has a whole host of updates to the Power BI Service.
Firstly, is the ability to put inline Hyperlinks, which I think is really great and will get the report consumer a much better and more streamlined experience.
The thing that I think is really fantastic is to have the ability to Drill Down as well as Drill up within the report. They have done another amazing job in making the process so simple to implement. As well as very easy to use when using the report. And I know that very often users ask if there is the ability to Drill Down. I also like the fact that you can then filter on your information once you have drill down. Which makes the entire report experience easy, quick as well as ensure that the users are really happy.
You can read all about it here: Power BI Weekly Service Update
Power BI – Content Pack tyGraph
Another week, another great Content Pack.
This time it is tyGraph, which is something that can be used or reported on if you use Yammer. Which I know more companies are looking to use, especially if it is part of your Office 365 Subscription.
You can read all about it here: Analyze and Monitor your tyGraph Data with Power BI
SQL Server 2016 – CTP 2.3 – SSAS Tabular with Direct Query
This was a very interesting blog post to read, due to the fact that in the past I never really thought of using the DirectQuery mode with SSAS OLAP or Tabular, due to the fact that in the past it did not perform well or fast.
From the blog post they have made some significant improvements in SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3 And it is nice to see that SSAS is finally getting some attention. As well as looking at this example it would allow the report to be run and executed in real time. So if your source data is being updated on a regular interval, it means that going via SSAS Tabular to your Source SQL System you would be able to get up to date data. As well as it being so much quicker this really has the potential to be a game changer for a lot of organizations.
You can read all about it, as well as the details here: SQL Server Analysis Service 2016 CTP 2.3 DirectQuery in action
SQL Server 2016 – CTP 2.3 – SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT)
Just a quick note that they have updated how SSDT will be working going forward.
It appears that they have unified the setup for Database as well as BI (Business Intelligence). It makes perfect sense as the two work hand in hand.
You can read about it here: SQL Server Data Tools Preview update for August 2015
SQL Server 2016 – CTP 2.3 – SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS)
It is nice to finally some actual changes and new things happening in SSRS. I am sure I am not the only one that agrees that it has almost been too long for SSRS to get an update. I personally was getting to the point where I was using SSRS as a last resort. But with all the upcoming changes I am sure that looking ahead this will become another alternative or an option for a reporting platform.
As you can see from above, it looks to me as if it will be along the similar lines of Power BI Desktop. Which I think is great so that report developers as well as people using Power BI will be used to a similar reporting experience.
It is also good to see, due to changing the way that they have created the new version of SSRS, that it is supported on pretty much any browser.
You can find out more about it here: What’s New in Reporting Services in SQL Server 2016 CTP 2.3
Power BI – Personal Gateway Update
It is great to see another update to the Power BI Personal Gateway. Along with the updates to SSAS OLAP (Multidimensional & Tabular) as well as the support for Custom ODBC drivers. Which means that you can connect to almost any database source.
This is a great alternative to ensure that your data in your Power BI reports are being updated and relevant. Which as I was writing about earlier, if your users are using the Power BI Mobile app, it then means that they can get notifications on the fly. Which can enable them to make the right decisions at the right time.
You can find out more information here: New version of Personal Gateway now available!