These past two weeks there has been a massive amount of news and reviews on the updated Power BI Desktop as well as the Power BI Service. I have been reading quite a lot and found some people doing some really amazing things. I honestly feel that Power BI is going from strength to strength.

Excel 2016 – Waterfall Charts

I recently read up about a blog post from Microsoft about the Waterfall chart in Excel 2016.

As you can see from the above picture they have put in a lot of work to get this working. Not only that but also the ability to be able to customize the colors, so that you can see from the above when you have an Income, a Loss / expenditure and Totals. And it does this in a very visual and simple manner.

Meaning that the person viewing the report will quickly be able to have a view and see what money is being spent where from their balance sheet.

The blog post also goes into details explaining how to get to this final chart with an example. I found it really useful and I am sure that I will be using it going forward.

You can read about the Excel 2016 Waterfall chart here: Introducing the Waterfall chart—a deep dive to a more streamlined chart


Datazen Updates

Microsoft / Datazen recently updated the Datazen server, which is great because I have to say that I had a similar problem as above when I was evaluating Datazen and using MDX queries. With the new updates it means that the Datazen reports in general will have a much better look and feel due to the fact that you can now customize your Display Names.

The good thing to note is that is not only with SSAS sources but for all other sources also.

Also they have created an application for Windows 7, which I think is really great as I know a lot of people are not yet running Windows 8 or Windows 10 (But that might change a bit with the free upgrade to Windows 10)

I am certain that there are a whole host of other changes that were deployed with the latest Datazen build that are under the hood!

So if you do have an Enterprise version of SQL Server with Software Assurance you can download the latest Datazen build here: Datazen Enterprise Server 3.0.3305

Power BI – Content Pack SQL Sentry

This is yet another great content pack to have at your disposal from Microsoft and Power BI.

I know of a few companies and I am sure that there are many more who all use SQL Sentry on a daily basis. And ideally they would like to get an overview of how their SQL Systems are performing and to potentially highlight SQL Server systems with issues. Likewise, they could also look at SQL Server systems that are performing really well and see if what the differences are?

I also think with the new Power BI changes, you could change the above in terms of colors so that it would highlight potential issues to the report consumer. Just making it easier to highlight problems.

You can read about the SQL Sentry Content pack here: Monitoring your SQL Sentry data with Power BI

Power BI – Content Pack Circuit ID

Another great content pack released is for people and customers who use Circuit ID.

Circuit ID is a cloud communications company and if yourself or your customer uses cloud communication this is a great way to be able to have an overview of how it is being utilized.

You can read about the Circuit ID Content Pack here: Visualize your Circuit ID Data with Power BI

Power BI – Distribution Groups

There has been an update to the Power BI service, which now allows you to share your Dashboards with Distribution groups. As per the blog post, if you have Office 365 email, you will then be able to find your companies email distribution groups.

You can read about the Power BI Distribution Groups here: Easier dashboard sharing with Distribution Groups