BI-RoundUp – Power BI (August Desktop Release – Timeline Story Custom Visual – Help Shape the Future of Power BI – Text Analysis Solution Template using Bing – Azure Activity Log Solution Template – Survey for Mobile Apps – Developer Update for August)

While the week before had nothing to really talk about that is new, this week there is a whole host of updates and great new things to play with so here are the latest details.

Power BI – Power BI August Desktop Release

Whilst this picture above may not look like much it is incredible with this new “What If” can do for your data and your users.

There are some great new features in the August release of Power BI desktop which I will cover below.


The great thing that they have done with the reporting is how many updates they have made with Matrix and now you can easily put your measures on rows. This is fantastic and in the past I had to create a whole stack of measures to get this done.

You can now also use Conditional Formatting on the Font Colour, so if your data is low or high you can then put in some conditional formatting. This is again a great feature and on the way to allowing to show KPIs in the Matrix

There has also been updates and improvements for line charts, as you can see below to have custom settings for each of the line charts, as well as line marker options which means that you can customize it as to your requirements.

There has also been some new Custom Visuals added which are the Dot Plot, Power KPI, Funnel Plot and Beyond Soft Calendar which can show you ways to gain deeper insights into your data with some great ways to show what is happening within your data.


As with the first picture one of the great new features is the What If parameter. I think that this is a killer feature as it is something business users have been asking for. As well as the implementation is relatively simple which makes it easy to integrate as well as leverage in existing Power BI Datasets.

Next is updates to the scatter chart where you can now use the Symmetry shading which will show you which has a higher value based on the X-Axis measure compared to the Y-Axis measure or vice versa

Along with this there is now also the ratio line, which is used to define the ratio of the subtotals to the x-axis and y-axis measures. Which allows you to quickly see based on either axis what your data is telling you.

There is also a new Quick measure called Weighted Average, this is where this measure calculates a weighted average of the base value for each category. This can be really handy when comparing different values.

Data Connectivity

In this month’s release connecting to the Power BI Service dataset is now generally available. As well as now you can connect to Google BigQuery which I am sure people who utilize Google BigQuery will be excited to bring their data into Power BI.

You can find all the details as well as the YouTube video here: Power BI Desktop August Feature Summary

Power BI – Timeline Story Custom Visual

I am really excited to see that the TimeLine Story Custom visual has been released in the Office store for Power BI. This was shown at the Data Insights Summit and it showed how powerful this visualization can be. Now that it is available I cannot wait to use it on my own data to see what it can show to the users.

You can download it from the following location: Office Store – Timeline Storyteller

Power BI – Help Shape the Future of Power BI

As you can see above the Power BI team is looking for people to join the user research channel which will enable you to help shape the future by giving them your real world inputs into how and what you think is required to enable Power BI to just get better.

I have personally completed the required survey and I do hope to be selected. They do request that you complete a survey which I assume is to ensure that they are getting the right type or possibly even a good spread of people to help shape Power BI.

Here is the link to the Survey: Take our quick survey and join our research panel.

You can find more details here: Shape the future of Power BI: Join Our User Research Panel

Power BI – Text Analytics Solution Template using Bing

There is a new solution template which now allows you to use text analytics and sentiment analysis using Bing and other related Microsoft products. The difference with this solution template is that it allows you to enter your own list of words. Which was a highly requested feature. Which I think is fantastic as everyone has different requirements and this allows them to achieve this.

You can find the blog post details here: Bringing more text analytics to the Bing News Solution Template

Power BI – Azure Activity Log Analytics Solution Template

Here is another great solution template which allows you to do analytics on your Azure Logs. This is a great way to leverage all your log data so that you can see what is happening within your organization.

I quickly installed this to see if it will allow me to view my log data for what has been happening inside Power BI, and I can


You can find more details here: Announcing the Power BI Solution Template for Azure Activity Log Analytics

Power BI – Survey to improve Mobile Apps

If you are interested in helping Power BI with the mobile apps, here is your change to take the Survey which will give valuable information to the Power BI Mobile Apps team.

Here is a link to the Survey: Take the Survey

And here is a link to their blog post: Help improve the Power BI mobile apps

Power BI – Developer Update for August

For the first time there is a Power BI Developer update which details all the updates and changes with regards to the Power BI Development experience relating mostly to Power BI Embedded.

There is some great content in here if you are a Power BI Developer around the Embedded content. As well as some additional details around Power BI Premium as well as how you can find code samples and even test a working version to see how it works.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Developer community August update

Power BI – Using Functions for repeatability and can easily repeat Applied Steps to your data

In the past I did create a blog post where I demonstrated how to get the location of a user based on an IP Address

What I did forget to elaborate on and what really makes Power BI even more powerful is how easy it is to create and use a function. So this is the goal of my blog post today.

What is a Function and how can I use it?

I am going to try and explain what a Function is in the easiest way possible, which I hope provides you with a better understanding.

A function has a starting point or input which you then can re-use to do the same thing over and over again.

For example let’s say your starting point was an address where you went to deliver a newspaper. Now every time you delivered the newspaper you needed to make a note if there was a post box or not. So in order to do this you would need to get the address, go to the location and once there find out if there was a post box or not. Once the first address was done, you would then go to the second address, find out if there was a post box or not and continue with this.

With a function you go to one address to find out if it has a post box or not. Then what you do is save the steps on how you found out if there was a post box or not. Now that you know how to find out if there is a post box or not, you can reuse these steps by putting in a different address at the start of your steps.


Power BI – How Disconnected Slicers can enrich & transform your analytics data

I have been using disconnected slicers for quite some time. What I love about them is that you can use them so that a user does not have to go to individual pages to view different measures or values, but can easily click on the disconnected
slicer, which will then change the measure or values for them.

I find this to be valuable because it allows the user to stay on the report page, and can quickly switch between measures or values. Which in turn empowers the user to make decisions quickly and efficiently.

I have seen people use Disconnected Slicers for quite a while in different iterations, so I thought it would be best to blog about this, so that I have it for my own future reference, as well as for other people to be able to see it in action.


Power BI – Dynamically changing the Title based on your selection

Would it not be nice if your Title changed based on what you selected on your slicer?

In this example below I am going to show you how I used a Country slicer to dynamically change the title of my card based on my slicer selections.

This was really useful because the Country Slicer has so many options I am not able to view all the Countries selected on the screen. And by doing it in this way it allowed me to create a more meaningful dashboard, as well as know which Countries had been selected.

As you can see below, this is what it looked like after I had added in my DAX measure and configured the Card. You can click on the Country Slicer to see the changes.


BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Happy 2nd Birthday) – Azure Analysis Services (Web Designer)

Here is the weekly BI-RoundUp with the latest news.

Power BI – Happy 2nd Birthday

I cannot believe that it has already been 2 years since Power BI was launched. It is amazing to see how many new features and capabilities that keeps on happening.

In the past year they have released 153 new features and updates. That is amazing and I am so excited to see what the next year will bring.

You can read their blog post, as well as watch the video here: Happy Second Birthday to Power BI


Power BI – Using the Custom Data Connector to Connect to Strava

I was very excited when the news came out that there now was a Data Connector SDK Developer Preview, and I started letting customers and people know that there now is the new functionality to literally get data from almost any source.

Then I saw a blog post by Kaper De Jonge where he was trying to get the Data Connector working to connect to Strava data (Building the Power BI Strava data connector). This got me even more excited, as enjoying my sporting activities it would be great to use Power BI to see how I have been doing, as well as if I am improving or getting slower with age!

I followed his simple steps and in almost no time (well actually a bit of time because I had a whole host of new things to figure out) I had my own Strava report.


Power BI – DAX Measures for Excel based “ % of Column Total “ or “ % of Row Total ”

Where I am currently consulting there was a requirement to create a measure like you can in the Excel pivot tables for the % of Column Total or the % of Row Total.

One of the things that you can currently do in Power BI, which I only learnt as part of this requirement is that you can use % of Column Total, or % of Row Total when using a table, as seen below.

But the thing is that as soon as you put that into a visual the only option that you have is the Percent of grand total.

So below are the two measures that I created so that I could then successfully have a % of Column Total (Percent of column total) or % of Row Total (Percent of row total)


Power BI – Using Reports Usage Metrics to create Custom Reports & Leverage them for other App Workspaces

In this blog post below I am going to show you how I created my own Custom Usage Metrics Report.

NOTE: This has been done using my Report Metrics and not the Dashboard Metrics.

NOTE II: I am going to refer to the Reports Usage Metrics as RUM (It has a nice ring to it)

And then how I changed the Connection details, so that I could re-use the same Custom Usage Metrics report in all my different App Workspaces.


Power BI – Connecting to OneDrive for Business from Power BI Desktop & Refresh from Power BI Service without the need for the On-Premise Gateway

In this blog post I am going to show how to connect to a file on OneDrive for Business in Power BI Desktop, then upload to the Power BI Service and configure it to refresh from within the Power BI Service. And as in the title you will NOT need the On-Premise Gateway to enable your data to be refreshed.


  • I have a file that I have already uploaded to my OneDrive for Business called indicator_hours per week.xlsx
  • And this is the file that I am going to use in this example.