Even though it is almost the holiday season, the wonderful people from the Power BI team have given myself (and hopefully you also) some early birthday presents. So please find all the updates below.

Power BI – December Desktop Update

There was an incredible number of updates in the December edition of Power BI Desktop, so please find below all the details.


The first and biggest thing in the latest update was now the capability to be able to Ask a Question (Q&A) within Power BI Desktop, which relates to asking a question on a report page. Previously this could only be done in the Power BI Service on a dashboard.

I have used Ask a question (Q&A) in the Power BI Service previously and it works really well. But with this now being in Power BI Desktop, it enables business users to quickly create the visualizations that they are looking for. And then if need be they can customize them afterwards.

I also think that this will go a long way to facilitate self-service report creation, because it now means they can just ask a question and get a visual response.

Next is updates to Bookmarking:

  • The bookmark will now save your cross-highlighted state when you create your bookmark.
  • Along with this there is more flexibility with regards to what is bookmarked.
    • Data – This will apply properties relating to your data such as filters and slicers
    • Display – This lets you decide if you want to include Visual Properties of the display item
    • Current Page – This lets you apply the bookmark to the current page only, if deselected it will not apply to the current page you are in.
    • All Visuals – This means that the bookmark will bookmark all the visuals on the entire page.
    • Selected Visuals – This will only apply the bookmark to the selected visuals, which I would have selected before applying the bookmark.

Next is the Field Properties Pane and Field Properties Description, which now allows you to add in a description for your Field Names. This is great to document or make a note within your Power BI Desktop model. Especially if someone else is going to come along and edit the Power BI Desktop PBIX, they can now find additional details within the file.

There is now the capability to be able to create a scatter visual from the x & y-axis groupings. What this means is that you no longer need to add in a category to see the details. The only currently caveat is, is that you have to use a Numeric column it currently does not work on measures. But I am certain that this will change in the near future.

If you use maps, and have had a lot of data points in the past, the new algorithm has also been applied to maps. This is great because where they are dense, the human eye will not be able to see any difference. But more importantly it will show the outliers, which are often very important.

(I know it is really wide, but that is how far I had to drag it across in Power BI Desktop in order to get the entire name!)

Along with this, there are now responsive slicers, which is an update to the existing responsive visuals. This makes it easier to use especially when on touch screen’s or mobile phones.

There are a whole host of Custom Visuals, some I have seen before, but some really cool new ones.

  • Card Visual
  • Table Heatmap
  • Data Image
  • Power Matrix KPI
  • Text Filter
  • ChartAccent – Line Chart
  • ChartAccent – Bar Chart


In the analytics section there is now is the ability to drill filters to other visuals within your Power BI Desktop report.

What this means if you drill down in a visual it will apply the same filter to all the other visuals in your report. This is really fantastic, because I know personally that I often want to see the context of what I am drilling down to and how it relates with my other visuals.

Data Connectivity

Please find below new data connectors, as well as some updates to existing data connectors.

  • Adobe Analytics Connector
  • HDInsight Interactive Query connector
  • Data.World connector
  • SAP BW connector improvements – Ability to be able to connect to either the SAP Business Warehouse Application or Message Server.
    • As well as currently this improvement is only available in Power BI Desktop, and will be coming to the On-Premise Data Gateway soon.
  • IBM Netezza connector is now generally available

There is a lot of content to go through, so if you would like to watch the video or find more details here is the link to the blog post: Power BI Desktop December Feature Summary

Power BI – Larger PBIX sizes for Power BI Premium

As you can see above, available now in Power BI Premium, you can now upload PBIX files that are up to 10GB in size. I am sure that this is a great welcome for customers who have had larger PBIX files.

You can find the blog post details here: Announcing Power BI Premium support for larger datasets

Power BI – Bookmarking Contest

There is a Power BI Bookmarking contest where you could not only win some awesome Power BI Swag, but also be seen by the Power BI community as to how awesome your Bookmarking capabilities are.

More details can be found for the competition here: Bookmarking Contest: Dec. 12th – Dec. 27th

Power BI – Premium Capacity White Paper

Please find the link below to the newly released Power BI Premium White Paper

Power BI Premium White Paper