Well this week has been a BUMPER week of updates from the Power BI Team, there is a lot to get through.

Because there are so many updates, I am not going to go into a lot of detail, but rather give you an overview, after which you can click on the links if you want more information.

April Desktop Update

There has been another big update to Power BI Desktop, where in this release I would say that a lot of focus has gone into filtering and reporting capabilities.

Below are the bullet point highlights.

  • Reporting
    • Filter Pane (Loads of great improvements)
      • Filtering improvements to support the full filter pane
      • Renaming of filters
      • Filter pane scales with report page
      • Restrict how people can change the filter type
      • Improved accessibility
    • Conditional formatting for visuals
      • In this I would like to highlight that it means you can now dynamically control the visual title with DAX measures
    • Conditional formatting for Web URLs for buttons, shapes and images
      • This also means using a DAX measure you can make the Web URL dynamic
  • Analytics
    • Drill through across reports
      • You now can drill through to other reports in the same App workspace and keep the filter context!
    • Key Influencer Visual
      • It now supports continuous analysis for DAX measures
    • Python is generally available
    • Partial synonym matching for terms in Q&A
      • This means if you have synonym and you type a partial portion of the name it will bring it up in the search results.
  • Modeling
      • This function can be used across direct or in-direct many-to-many relationships in which it will remove filters on a table from other tables.
  • Data Connectivity
    • Power BI Data Flows generally available
    • Oracle Essbase connector now supports DirectQuery and Generally available
    • PDF Connector now generally available
    • Web by Example connector – automatic table inference
    • Intersystems IRIS connector
    • Indexima connector
    • Luminis InformationGrid
    • Solver BI360
    • Paxata
  • Data Preperation
    • Data profiling enhancements and generally available
      • You can now use the column profiles pane which will show column statistics and column distributions
    • Fuzzy merge performance improvements
    • M Intellisense support in the formula bar and custom dialog

You can find the video which I highly recommend and the blog post here: April 2019 Power BI Desktop Release

Power BI Service & Mobile March 2019 Summary

There was once again a whole host of updates to the Power BI Service and mobile space

  • Power BI Premium Multi-Geo Generally available
  • Users outside your organization can edit and manage content in your App Workspace with Azure B2B
  • On-Premises update for March (The April one should be out soon!)
  • Public preview of the XMLA End Point
  • Slideshow presentation in the Windows Power BI App
  • Updates to Power BI Mobile Apps
  • Roadmap updates
    • SAP Variables as from the notes

All the updates in detail can be found here: Power BI Service and Mobile March 2019 Feature Summary

New App Workspace Experience Generally available

The new App Workspace Experience or V2 is now generally available.

That means when you create a new App Workspace it will now default to the new experience.

It brings with it the following new features

  • The use of all contact lists in Office 365 and Azure
  • New Workspace Content list
    • This will allow you to customize who gets notifications about issues in the App Workspace
  • OneDrive access
    • This allows you to specify a OneDrive location for files and folders for your App workspace
  • Usage Metrics is now available
  • Updated Licensing enforcement
    • This means that if a user does not have a Power BI Pro license, they will NOT be able to publish to the app workspace.

All the details can be found here: Announcing New Workspace Experience General Availability (GA)

Paginated Report Builder Available

There now is a paginated report builder available for Power BI Paginated reports.

With report builder you will be able to leverage the new features as well as get more features as time goes on.

It enables you to do the following (Taken directly from the blog post)

  • Use the Report Builder ribbon to quickly add items your reports, launch table, chart, and map wizards, and format your report data.
  • Add data from built-in data providers.
  • Create and use report parameters and other interactive features.
  • Preview reports in HTML or print format.
  • Export reports to file formats such as Microsoft Excel or PDF.
  • Save your report locally
  • In a future update, you’ll be able to both open and publish from/to the Power BI Service

There are more details on the above bullet points which you can find here: Power BI Paginated Report Builder Now Available

New Power BI Regions in France and Korea

There are 2 new Power BI regions in France and Korea

This will allow you to leverage the Power BI Premium Multi-Geo if required by your organization.

More details can be found here: New Power BI Regions in France and in Korea

Industry Benchmark recognizes Microsoft’s Analytics

This post from the Power BI team explains how the GigaOm report tested all the providers this time focusing on the TPC-H benchmark and Power BI with Azure SQL Data Warehouse was 14x faster and 95% cheaper.

That is massive and well worth the read if you are looking to explain the value of the Microsoft Analytics platform

Here are the details: Industry Benchmark Recognizes Microsoft’s Unmatched Analytics

Create Machine Learning Models in Power BI

When using dataflows there now is the capability to create powerful machine learning models in Power BI Premium.

This allows you to create and train your model, improve it and then apply it.

The awesome thing is that you can do this with your existing dataflows. Then see the results, change it around to see what fits best, and then apply it.

The thing that I really like is how simple they have made something so complex.

And not only that, they too store the result as part of your dataflow. Which then means that you can easily report on it using Power BI

All the details and more can be found here: Creating Machine Learning models in Power BI

Enabling Cognitive Services & Auto ML in Power BI Premium

In order to use the new Cognitive services and Auto ML in your Power BI Premium subscription you need to configure it so that it can leverage those features.

This blog post explains how to enable it and what features it then lights up.

If you are going to be using this then read this blog post here: Enabling Cognitive Services and Automated ML in your Power BI Premium Subscription

Presentation Mode in the Windows Power BI App

There has been an update to the Windows Power BI App, where it now has got a presentation mode, which will allow you to show it on large screens and windows devices in a presentation mode. Which will also scroll through the report pages.

All the details can be found here: Enhancing presentation mode with slideshow in Windows Power BI app