Well this month has sure been a busy month with a whole host of additional updates for Power BI. I personally am really looking forward to the next few months to better understand how all of this will evolve and assist customers on leveraging their data assets.

Power BI – Nov 2018 Desktop

This was yet another massive update to Power BI Desktop with a lot of the most requested features being released. As I do every year below are the features which I would like to highlight in this release. If you are interested in all the details please read the entire blog post from the Microsoft Power BI team.

Reporting

As shown in the picture above there is now the option to have expand and collapse buttons for tables and matrix. You can also do this from the right click context menu. And a great feature when you do not want to expand all the rows, but rather a particular area.

Another new feature is the capability to be able to copy visuals between PBIX files. This will work well if you have two PBIX files that have the same datasets, then the visual will be copied across. If it does not, then you will get a warning with regards to this.

The new filtering experience is really a great new feature. Not only can you now let users easily change the filters on the data as they require. It is also customizable in terms of the look and feel. Along with that, you can also select which filters can be changed and which filters are locked.

As you can see above, when you are on a visual you can hover of the filter icon and it will show you what is filtering the visual. That is AWESOME

As you can see above there are now additional Hotkeys for accessibility options, which is great to see that they are expanding on these capabilities.

The above now also supports keyboard navigation, screen readers and high contrast.

Analytics

There is a new feature where you can now use colour saturation on visuals with conditional formatting, in all 3 forms which is by colour by scales, colour by rules & Colour by field.

It applies to the following visuals below.

  • All variants of column and bar charts
  • Funnel chart
  • Bubble & filled maps
  • Shape map (preview)
  • Treemap
  • Scatter chart

They have expanded the Q&A features to now allow you to be able to ask related questions in the Q&A explorer. You do this by clicking on the “Ask a related question” which will allow you to keep asking questions based on your previous question.

The blog post also gives a bit more details on terms of what additional question types you can ask.

Modeling

When you open up Power BI Desktop Nov 2018, you will see the above button on the right hand side. This new modelling experience allows you to do the following:

  • Customize and save multiple diagram layouts
  • You can see the modelling options through the field properties pane and field list.
  • Capability to apply settings to multiple columns at once.
  • And finally, the option to create display folders, which I know is something I have been waiting for, as well as a lot of other people have been asking for this feature.

Composite Models are now Generally available in the Power BI Service. Amazing how quickly that went into GA!

There are 3 new DAX functions which are below.

Daniil already has got a great blog post explaining how to use this new IsInScope DAX function : New DAX function: ISINSCOPE

Custom Visuals

Below are the actual visualizations for the new custom visuals that have been released. If you are looking for more details, please read the blog post from the Power BI Team (link at the end of this)





Data Connectivity

As shown above there is now a beta connector to Azure DevOps Server to import and report on your Azure DevOps data.

There have been improvements to the PDF connector to allow you to specify a start and end page of your PDF file to look for tables within the PDF file.

The Azure Consumption Insights connector now includes Budget and Reserved Instances.

All the blog post details can be found here: Power BI Desktop November 2018 Feature Summary

Power BI – AI Capabilities

There is a new private preview of some new and exciting Power BI AI features that are coming.

The new capabilities are looking to include the following:

  • Using Azure Cognitive Services which will allow for image recognition and text analytics directly in Power BI.
  • Key Driver Analysis to better understand what drives key business metrics
  • Automated Machine learning models directly in Power BI
  • And finally, the capability to be able to bring your own Machine Learning models into your Power BI datasets.

The future of AI and Power BI sure does look bright.

You can find all the details here: Announcing new AI Capabilities for Power BI to make AI Accessible for Everyone

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