BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Happy 2nd Birthday) – Azure Analysis Services (Web Designer)

Here is the weekly BI-RoundUp with the latest news.

Power BI – Happy 2nd Birthday

I cannot believe that it has already been 2 years since Power BI was launched. It is amazing to see how many new features and capabilities that keeps on happening.

In the past year they have released 153 new features and updates. That is amazing and I am so excited to see what the next year will bring.

You can read their blog post, as well as watch the video here: Happy Second Birthday to Power BI


Power BI – Using the Custom Data Connector to Connect to Strava

I was very excited when the news came out that there now was a Data Connector SDK Developer Preview, and I started letting customers and people know that there now is the new functionality to literally get data from almost any source.

Then I saw a blog post by Kaper De Jonge where he was trying to get the Data Connector working to connect to Strava data (Building the Power BI Strava data connector). This got me even more excited, as enjoying my sporting activities it would be great to use Power BI to see how I have been doing, as well as if I am improving or getting slower with age!

I followed his simple steps and in almost no time (well actually a bit of time because I had a whole host of new things to figure out) I had my own Strava report.


Power BI – DAX Measures for Excel based “ % of Column Total “ or “ % of Row Total ”

Where I am currently consulting there was a requirement to create a measure like you can in the Excel pivot tables for the % of Column Total or the % of Row Total.

One of the things that you can currently do in Power BI, which I only learnt as part of this requirement is that you can use % of Column Total, or % of Row Total when using a table, as seen below.

But the thing is that as soon as you put that into a visual the only option that you have is the Percent of grand total.

So below are the two measures that I created so that I could then successfully have a % of Column Total (Percent of column total) or % of Row Total (Percent of row total)


Power BI – Using Reports Usage Metrics to create Custom Reports & Leverage them for other App Workspaces

In this blog post below I am going to show you how I created my own Custom Usage Metrics Report.

NOTE: This has been done using my Report Metrics and not the Dashboard Metrics.

NOTE II: I am going to refer to the Reports Usage Metrics as RUM (It has a nice ring to it)

And then how I changed the Connection details, so that I could re-use the same Custom Usage Metrics report in all my different App Workspaces.


BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Desktop Update for June, Service Updates for June, Dashboard Email Subscriptions) – Excel (Get & Transform Updates June 2017)

Here is my weekly BI-RoundUp with what has happened and what is new.

Power BI – Desktop for June

Finally the Power BI Desktop July update is here. So here are the details below of the new updates.


The table and matrix visuals are now generally available.

Not only that but they have also made some additional enhancements which are you can now drill down on columns or rows.

There is also an update to the default style which makes it easier to read based on best practice.

As well as finally they honor the word wrapping if you have text that goes onto a second line, it will keep it on that second line.

Next is the ability to rename the fields in your reports. When renaming your fields it creates an Alias so your existing fields that you get from your data will remain the same.

There now also is the Custom Visuals store integration directly in the Power BI Desktop. I think that this is a much better experience instead of having to go to the browser and open to find a custom visual. As well as now you can also get your Custom Visual Certified which will mean that it is verified by Microsoft Custom Development team.

There are also new Custom Visual updates which is in the blog post. I am interested into looking at the Drilldown Player.

You can now also use the Relative Date Slicers in the Filters section in Power BI Desktop. I use the Relative Date slicers quite often so it is great to see the same functionality in the Filters section also.

Next is the responsive layout for Visuals. This is another amazing feature in that the layout will respond for your visual based on how large or small it is. This means that it will show the information you are trying to portray in the most efficient way possible. And they can currently be used on the following Visuals. And that you can disable this responsive layout if required.










There is a new waterfall option where you can specify the breakdown which then show you that breakdown field causing the increasing of decreasing between each neighboring categories.

Analytics & Reporting

This month there are two new Quick Measures that have been added, which are the Star Rating and Concatenated List of Values.

Bidirectional cross filtering for DirectQuery is now Generally available also.

Data Connectivity

The Snowflake connector is now Generally Available also.

Query Editing

There have been some additional enhancements to the “Add Columns from Examples” in the Query Editor. In this months update they have added support for Number and Date/Time/TImezone data.

Also you can reference their documentation article which will be updated in due course here: Add a column from an example in Power BI Desktop

Blog Link

You can find all the blog details with a YouTube video here: Power BI Desktop July Feature Summary

Power BI – Service Updates for June

There have been quite a few updates to the Power BI Service in the last month.

Some of the highlights are now the new unified API, which you can now use not only for API access, but also for Power BI Embedded.

There is also an update in the Dashboard tiles for the relative links which enables you to direct the tile to go to a specific report. As well as the Impala connector.

Also there is an updated version for the Personal Data Gateway, which now will enable you to delete it from the Power BI Service, as well as enhancements for speed and reliability.

And finally they have made some performance improvement for the Power BI Mobile App.

You can find the details here: Power BI Service and Mobile June Feature Summary

Power BI – Dashboard Email Subscriptions

You can now subscribe to daily emails on your Dashboards. This is really an awesome new feature so that you can now get a daily snapshot of your dashboard emailed to you.

More details are here: Introducing dashboard email subscriptions: a 360-degree view of your business in your inbox every day

Excel – Get & Transform Updates June 2017

It is great to see that there are a whole host of new features in the Get & Transform updates in Excel. As mentioned previously these features are often enabled in Power BI Desktop, so if you are looking for some additional help or documentation include Power BI in your search to find solutions.

Here are the new updates for June 2017

  • New transformation features:
    • Add Column by Example.
    • Split Column (by Delimiter/Number of Characters) into rows.
    • Basic mode for Group By operation.
    • Extract Text Before/After/Between Delimiters.
    • Unpivot Only Selected Columns.
  • Combine Files experience—ability to reference first file as example.
  • New Go to Column in Query Editor.
  • SAP HANA Connector—enhancements to Parameter Input UX.

As you can see above there are quite a lot of new features, I have been using the Columns by Example since it has been released and I find that it not only enables me to get the data that I want quicker. But it also enables me to learn new M functions that I could potentially use in other transformations. The Split Column update is also handy when you need data to be split into rows. As well as the Extract Text before or after or between delimeters as I have found often that I want something inbetween.

You can find all the details here: June 2017 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in

Power BI – Connecting to OneDrive for Business from Power BI Desktop & Refresh from Power BI Service without the need for the On-Premise Gateway

In this blog post I am going to show how to connect to a file on OneDrive for Business in Power BI Desktop, then upload to the Power BI Service and configure it to refresh from within the Power BI Service. And as in the title you will NOT need the On-Premise Gateway to enable your data to be refreshed.


  • I have a file that I have already uploaded to my OneDrive for Business called indicator_hours per week.xlsx
  • And this is the file that I am going to use in this example.


BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Data Insights Summit Analytics Challenge Winners – Non-Profits Program)

It has been a quieter week, so here is the BI-RoundUp

Power BI – Data Insights Summit Analytics Challenge Winners

A big congratulations to the people that won the Analytics challenge for the categories “Complex Data Preparation”, “Advanced Analytics” and “Just for Fun”

It is great to see so many people who submitted their entries. Hopefully next year I can dedicate some time to entering the competition.

You can find the blog post here: Congratulations to the Data Insights Summit Analytics Challenge winners!

Power BI – Non-Profits Program

I was unaware that there is special pricing for Non-Profit organizations. This is great to see as very often these companies provide selfless work and really help out people and communities.

If you want to find out more details here is the link: Power BI – Non-Profit Organizations

Power BI – Overview Infographic

I like to keep up to date with what is going on with Power BI.

And with all the recent changes I have spent some time updating my Power BI Overview Infographic to better represent all the new changes.

You will see that I have changed the way that it looks and divided it into 3 sections based on how I typically use Power BI.

Starting with Power BI Desktop, then the Power BI Service and finally connecting to On-Premise data sources.

If you have any questions or anything is missing please let me know.

You can also find download copies of the images here: Power BI Overview Infographic


BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Interactive Custom R Visuals – Community Blog- Data Refresh APIs – Facebook Solution Template – Help Improve Power BI Desktop)

Here is the weekly Power BI Round Up, not too much going on which is a good thing after all the announcements from the Microsoft Data Insights Summit last week.

Power BI – Interactive Custom R Visuals

With R being so popular, as well as it being announced at the recent Microsoft Data Insights Summit, the Power BI team has now enabled the capability to be able to create R Custom visuals that are fully interactive by using HTML as the visual.

They have already created 4 visuals that you can start using now.

You can find the exciting details here: Interactive R custom visuals support is here!