It has been an interesting week with some great thing.

Power BI – Desktop Update for July

As I expected today 01 July 2016, there has been an amazing release in the Power BI Desktop and below are some of my selected highlights.

In the Report View section, it is great to see that they have created a new Shape map (which is still in preview) which will give the ability to better use the functionality of the maps.

Also the ability to search in the slicers is a very welcome addition as often there can be a lot of slicers and to try and list them on the screen can be a challenge. As well as to find the slicer value you are after. With it being searchable this will allow you to use less screen real estate as well as to also quickly find the values you are after.

The configurable line chart labels are also welcome as this will enable to create a line chart to the desired effect.

Next is the Data Access section, and it is great to see that there have been some enhancements and additions to the Power BI desktop in terms of the configuration of the Row Level Security. It is great to see that they have made it easy to use and configure. And as with what we have had in the past, to have the ability to test it as the specific role. This goes a long way to ensure that it is bringing back the expected results for the role.

In the Data Connectors it is good to see that they have added the connector for Azure Enterprise as well as enhanced some of the existing data connectors.

Under the Query Experience there are quite a few changes, and this is to be expected as this is where we get some real value in Power BI. With regards to the Templates having the option to Load or to Edit is a great choice, so that you can either just go ahead and load your data or edit potential parameters before loading.

They have also made some changes with the parameters and data transformations which is great to see in terms of allowing the parameter specification, and the creation of a new parameter directly in context. As well as making it easier to work with Date/Time by extracting Week Day and Month Name from a Date/Time column. As well as having the ability to merge into Date/Time columns.

You can find all the details relating to the update here: Power BI Desktop June update

Power BI – R for the masses

Once again Power BI just keeps on giving what the users and customers are asking for. I am personally seeing a massive uptake in R. Currently I do not use it myself but from all the demo’s and examples there is a great wealth of information and insights that can be delivered when using R.

Now that this this part of the Power BI service, I have no doubt that there will be a lot more people interested in leveraging the entire Power BI stack.

You can find more information here: R for the masses with Power BI

Power BI – Barcode Scanner

It is great to see that they have now added the capability to use the barcode scanner within the Power BI Mobile app, to be used to automatically filter your reports.

I think that there are a whole host of use cases for this. And it can be used in retail, as well as warehousing and I have no doubt a whole host of other area’s in the business that I cannot currently think of.

Read and watch the video in the blog post to see it in action: Unlock retail intelligence with the Power BI app Barcode scanner

Power BI – New Visuals

It is great to see that there are some great new visuals for Power BI.

I have no doubt that they will be very useful in future or existing projects.

You can find them here: Welcome to Power BI custom visuals

Power BI – Forecasting Features

It is great to see that the Power BI team has not only started looking at forecasting and other analytical capabilities, but also given a rough timeline when to expect it. This is really going to be great.

Power BI – Xero Content Pack

Here is another great content pack for people who use Xero for their online accounting software needs.

It provides some great out of the box dashboards and reports to view your data. And to give you a better understanding of where you are at.

You can find more information here: Explore and Analyze your Xero data with Power BI