BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Service & Mobile Update – Create Power BI reports from Excel & CSV Files in SharePoint Online)

Here is the weekly BI-RoundUp, so let’s get into it

Power BI – Service & Mobile Update

As you can see above there now is an option to share a report with the current filter and slicers that are enabled. This is great because it will mean that you can have a subscription report that will send it out every time with the applied filters and slicers.

There is the updated Gateway connections a lot easier with greater visibility to show you what you need to do to get it working.

The On-Premise Data Gateway has been updated to the June Edition of the Mashup Engine.

And finally, for the Mobile Report canvas they have increased the amount of tiles to be larger and longer.

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

Power BI – Create Power BI Reports from Excel or CSV Files in SharePoint Online

I was not aware that there have been updates in SharePoint online, where if you have got an Excel file with a table formatted or a CSV file, there is the option to now Open in Power BI.

This will then open it in Power BI and automatically be connected to your SharePoint Online files. Which in turn means when you update the files on SharePoint online, it will automatically be updated in the Power BI Service without having to use the On-Premise Data Gateway.

You can find the full blog details here: New feature: Create Power BI reports from tables in Excel files and CSV files

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Power BI Desktop June update – Subscribe others to Email Subscriptions – Developer Community for May, Service & Mobile Update)

Here is my weekly BI-RoundUp, and once again the awesome people from the Microsoft Power BI Team have released some additional gifts.

Power BI Desktop June Update

Here is another month of big updates to the Power BI Desktop.


The first item is now based on your contrast settings, this will be applied to the Power BI Desktop file and in the Power BI Service. The only thing to make note of is that currently background images are not supported in high contrast mode.

There is now also more control for the Donut visual in terms of how wide or skinny the donut will be.

Along with this, there is now more control for the Pie and Donut charts with regards to the label positions in terms of where they will be positioned.

As with the line and bar visuals where you can format the measure labels, this now is also available for the Combo charts, which means that you can now format them individually for better control in terms of how they are viewed.

And finally, they have added more rows when configuring the Mobile Phone reports. It has gone from being 20 rows long to 40 rows long.

Custom Visuals

There is now a new Organizational Chart which can be used to view your data.

There is a new China Heat Map visual which will allow to view your data in China with a heatmap


As shown in the initial image, there now is the ability to sort, and filter your data in the data view. This is a great improvement and something that I have already been using quite a bit.

It is also good to see that it has very similar functionality in terms of what you get in the Power Query Editor, where you can not only select the items, but search for items as well as advanced filters based on the data type.

If you have a different locale, there is now improved support for locale in both the Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service.

Data Connectivity

There has been a lot of work put into the SAP BusinessWarehouse connector, where there have been improvements to the following:

  • Improved performance
  • Ability to retrieve several million rows of data, and fine tuning through the batch size parameter
  • Ability to switch execution modes
  • Support for compressed mode, which is especially beneficial for high-latency connections or large datasets
  • Improved detection of Date variables
  • [Experimental] Expose Date (ABAP type DATS) and Time (ABAP type TIMS) dimensions as dates and times respectively, instead of text values.
  • Better exception handling, so errors that occur in SAP BAPI calls are now surfaced.
  • Column folding in BasXml and BasXmlGzip modes. For example, if the generated MDX query retrieves 40 columns but the current selection only needs 10, this request will be passed onto the server to retrieve a smaller dataset.

The Spark connector now supports Windows Authentication

There has also been a lot of updates to the OData V4 connector, where it has improved support for complex data types. There is also now Open type navigation which supports extra navigation properties. Improved support for Custom URLs. Significant performance improvements. And greater resilience when loading data, where it will first try query folding, and if that fails it will then try with less query folding until it succeeds.

On the ODBC connector there has been improvements where if your underlying data source supports the TOP operator, it will then fold that down to the data source. As well as if the underlying DSN connects to a catalog, this will be shown in the Power Query Editor, so that you can select the required catalog.

And finally, there is an update if your account has been provisioned in more than one National Cloud, when signing up you can select which cloud you want to use.

All the blog post details, as well as the video by Amanda can be found here: Power BI Desktop June Feature Summary

Power BI – Subscribe others to Email Subscription

You now can subscribe other users in your organization to email subscriptions, so that they do not have to do it themselves.

I know this is something that I personally have been waiting for and so happy that it is finally here!

The only thing to note is that if your Reports or Dashboards are in a standard App Workspace, you can only subscribe other users who have a Power BI Pro license.

Whilst if your reports or dashboards are in a Premium Workspace, you can the subscribe any users, security groups or distributions lists regardless of whether the user is a Pro user or not. This is because in a Premium App Workspace you can share your reports with a free or pro Power BI User.

All the details on the blog post are here: Subscribe others to email subscriptions in Power BI

Power BI – Developer Community Update

You can now set the background colour when you embed your Power BI Application into an application, where there is extra space.

Now when you load your Power BI report in an application you have the option to load it on a specific Bookmark, so that the users can see the report in the bookmarked state.

There is now an easier and faster experience to set up and embedding environment for Power BI Embedded. This process now means that you can create the Application and upload a PBIX directly as part of the embedding creation.

And finally, there is a new Sample Application from Ted Pattison, which is on GitHub and shows the basics to embed a report. This is something that I am certainly going to look into (when I get a gap).

You can find the blog post details here: Power BI Developer Community May Update

Power BI – Mobile & Service Update


As you can see below there have been a lot of updates to the Power BI Mobile App and Service, which have already been covered in previous blog posts by Microsoft. Here is the list below, with hyperlinks if you want to get more details.

The only one that was new to me was the updated workflow invite for B2B reports, which is great to see that the experience is easier to complete.

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Help Improve Power BI – Gateway Update for May)

Fortunately, there has not been a lot of activity in the Power BI space, which gives me a chance to catch up on some reading (Beginning DAX with Power BI  by Phil Seamark) and to have a bit of a rest.

Here are the updates for this week.

Help Improve Power BI

The Power BI Team has a survey out, in which they ask some questions to better understand how people use Power BI. There are also some sections where you can put in your own comments and help improve Power BI.

You can find the blog post here: Help Improve Power BI

Gateway Update for May

The monthly update for the On-Premise Data Gateway is here. And in this month’s update there are updates to Single Sign On (SSO) for Impala and SAP Hana.

As well as the Mashup Engine has been updated to match the May version of Power BI Desktop

All the details are here: On-premises data gateway May update is now available

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Dashboard Theming – Incremental Refresh)

Another week has flown by and there are once again more Power BI Updates, which I really enjoy. But at the same time there is so much content and blog posts that at times it is a bit of a struggle to keep up with what everyone is doing. And with all of that I am still really enjoying being in this space.

Power BI – Dashboard Theming

As you can see in the image above, you now can theme your dashboard. I think the key difference here is that even though you could theme your report there was no parity between the dashboard and the reports.

Well now this is no longer the challenge. Not only can you select default themes or colouring, but you can also customize different areas of the dashboard. As well as put in a background image, which could even be a GIF!

All the blog post details are here: Announcing Dashboard Theming in the Power BI Service

Power BI – Incremental Refresh

As you can see above there is a blog post with a video from Guy in a Cube in which he talks to Christian Wade and how incremental refresh works.

I highly recommend if you are looking to use incremental refresh to watch the video. They go into some detail about how to configure and use incremental refresh.

Not only that but in the blog post they announce some upcoming features,

  • The first of which I am very excited about incremental refresh in the shared capacity.
  • There were also be the functionality to update the meta data for your data which will not invoke a full refresh of the data.
  • Increased data sizes based on your capacity size.
  • Override the effective date, which means that you could set it to another date, especially if your data is loaded at a later time and not every day.
  • XMLA end points will be enabled, which means that you can connect to your Power BI Incremental refresh dataset with SSMS (SQL Server Management Studio) which will enable you to do things you can currently do with Azure Analysis Services or SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) Tabular 2017. For example, run scripts to refresh certain partitions.

You can find all the details here: Incremental refresh in Power BI Premium

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Power BI Update May 2018 – Custom Visuals in Excel – Service & Mobile Update – ArcGIS Online & Plus Subscriptions )

Here is my weekly BI-RoundUp and it is great to see that the monthly update for Power BI is here, as well as some other details of the new items.

Power BI – Update for May 2018

As always here are the updates for Power BI


As shown above the first item is that you now can have conditional formatting based on another measure.

As well as having the colors for fonts also be on another measure. This means that you could have a color scale on an item for the measure and another set of rules for the Font color.

Along with that when looking for the alternate measure to use, you can search for the measure which is very handy.

There now is an update to Synch slicers where you can now create a group which will you to control how those groups are synced. You can also put slicers from different fields into one group

There have been improvements to the Log axis to make it consistent.

There have also been data label options updates for Funnel charts where you can now get additional options in order to view more label data

You can now also change the stroke width for line charts and combo charts, so that as shown below if you are using markers you can have them appear to be sitting in mid air, but in reality the stroke width is set to zero


There has been a great update to the Drill Through feature, where now you have the option to take all the filters on your source page and pass them through to your drill through page. And you easily have the option to decide how you would like it to work.

Not only that you can also use measures as part of the drill through. If you do use measures it will automatically pass through all the filters from your source page.

Power BI Premium

If you have Power BI Premium, you now can use incremental refresh to only refresh your latest data. This is a great improvement in that if you have a large dataset you no longer need to refresh the entire dataset every day. You can easily configure it with a Date/Time Start and End Range. After which in the dialog for the table you can then configure how long you want to store all your data. And then what part of your data you would like to be incrementally refreshed.

Custom Visuals

There is the collage custom visual

And a Chinese Color Map

Data Connectivity

The biggest update is to the Web Connector from Examples, which now allows you to get data from a website that is potentially not stored in a table.

This allows you to type in some text for an item that you are looking for that is repeated, and Power BI will then find that item and extract the data you are looking for. This is insane!

The following connectors have either been created or updated

  • Common Data Service for Apps connector (beta)
  • Azure KustoDB connector
  • Google BigQuery and Azure HDInsight Spark connectors now generally available
  • Adobe Analytics connector update – Support for multiple domain logins (preview)
  • Visual Studio Team Services connector update – Analytics views support
  • OLE DB connector update – Support for alternate Windows credentials
  • SAP BW DirectQuery connector updates – Improved technical name support

Data Preparation

There has been an update to the Column from examples where you can now combine values from multiple columns to derive your new column

Here are all the details for the entire blog post: Power BI Desktop May Feature Summary

Excel – Custom Visuals

This is a big change and movement for Excel users. I know that having the option to not only import custom visuals, but to also develop them for a company’s exact requirements is super cool and enables them to view their data with the requirements.

Along with this it also means that there is the capability to create a Custom Visual once which can then be leveraged in Power BI or Excel.

You can read all about it here: Excel announces new data visualization capabilities with Power BI custom visuals

Power BI – Service & Mobile Update

There have been some updates to the Power BI Service with regards to Audit logs are now on by default. Which is great as this can assist with viewing who is using the reports, as well as how they are being used.

The On-Premise Data Gateway now has support in the personal version for Custom data Connectors, which is going to add tremendous value to Power BI.

In the mobile app you can now drill up and drill down. And there is a demo showing how the Power BI Mixed reality app might be applied in an organization.

The blog post details are here: Power BI Service and Mobile April Feature Summary

Power BI – ArcGIS Online & Plus Subscriptions

There now are the two new capabilities using ArcGIS maps.

The first is support for secure reference layers hosted in ArcGIS Online. And the second is the new organizational purchase of Plus subscriptions for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI.

What the above is it allows you to access additional ArcGIS functionality once you have signed in with your ArcGIS account.

If your organization uses an Organizational purchase of ArcGIS this can also be now used within Power BI.

There are a lot more details in the blog post which you can find here: Esri ArcGIS Online and Plus subscription organizational purchase are now available for ArcGIS Maps for Power BI

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (On-Premise Gateway Update – Developer Community Update)

Here is this week’s BI-RoundUp. I am hopeful that by this time next week the latest version of Power BI Desktop will be released!

Power BI – On-Premise Gateway Update

By far the biggest news is the capability to use Custom Data Connectors in the Personal Versions of the On-Premise Data Gateway. The Power BI Team did indicate in the blog post that support in the Enterprise version will be coming in a few months. This is fantastic to see it being made available.

There now is single sign on support using Kerberos for SAP Business Warehouse Server

And finally, there is the updated version of the Mashup Engine to the April version of Power BI Desktop

Here is a link to the blog post: On-premises data gateway April update is now available

Power BI – Developer Community Update

As you can see above for the Developer community update there now is the capability to leverage Custom Report Tooltips and the Q&A explorer.

There is now also new Azure Resource Metrics which allows for better metrics to understand how your Power BI Embedded application is working with the following metrics.

  • It will show Memory usage being used
  • It will show when there is Memory Thrashing, which is defined as when a report is trying to be run, and it needs to evict another dataset in order for your dataset to be loaded into memory. And this only applies to imported datasets.
  • It will show QPU High Utilization which shows the Query Processing units every minute on your resources when it is about 80%

There is now the capability to set up alerts on your Azure resource.

Finally, there is a new learning channel to create custom visuals with a hands-on lab.

All the details of the blog post are here: Power BI Developer community April update

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Drill up, Drill Down Mobile App – USA Facts on Financial Data)

Here is the weekly BI-RoundUp, not too much going on this week, which gives me a little time to breathe!

Power BI – Drill Up, Drill Down on Mobile App

The Power BI Mobile App has been updated to so that now it is a lot easier to drill up or drill down on the visuals on the mobile platform.

Next on the backlog is the drill through which I am interested to see how that will work.

You can find the details here: Drill Down & Up in Power BI Mobile apps

Power BI – USA Facts on Financial Data

As you can see above there is a blog post that relates to providing a comprehensive view of the combined US federal, state and local governments’ revenues and expenditures.

There is quite a lot of details in this report and if you are interested in more details please click on the link to the blog post below.

USAFacts breaks down government financial data with Power BI

BI-Roundup – Power BI (Service & Mobile Update for March – Power BI is Hiring – Edit the Linguistic Schema for Q&A)

Here is the weekly BI-RoundUp.

Power BI – Service & Mobile Update for March

There were quite a few updates in the Power BI Service for March which was awesome.

There are now persistent filters, so that users can keep their own filters that they select on each report, which now works on both the Web and Mobile App

Organizational Custom Visuals are now Generally available.

Power BI has another certification which is HITRUST CSF certification

There is now also the mixed reality app using the Halo

The March Gateway update is available, which now not only includes the number, but it also shows the Month of the current update you have installed.

And finally, there is B2B support on the mobile app, so if you have an app shared with you from another tenant you can now see it in the mobile app.

All the details are here: Power BI Service and Mobile March Feature Summary

Power BI – Is Hiring

As you can see above the Power BI team is hiring. And quite a few roles at that, which I personally think is fantastic because it means that we can get more features quicker.

If you are interested you can find all the information here: Power BI is hiring!

Power BI – Edit the Linguistic Schema

There is a comprehensive blog post from Will Thompson in which he goes into great detail on how to edit the Linguistic Schema and enable your Q&A to answer more questions with additional synonyms and phrases.

All the details can be found here: Editing Q&A linguistic schemas

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (April Desktop Update)

Here is the weekly BI-Roundup, and with the release of the April Power BI Desktop update, there are always some new features to explore.

Power BI – April Desktop Update


As with the image above there are some additional options for Q&A Explorer, which will enable your end users to be able to explore Q&A with some questions already added into the Power BI Model.

In order to enable this, you can use the new Button feature and select the Q&A button

You can also set additional synonyms for report page details under the page information.





A new capability that was added to Power BI was buttons that can now trigger certain events. As an example, if you use the Q&A button this will bring up the Q&A Explorer. There are also a whole host of additional options on how you can format and control the trigger buttons.

As shown above, you now can control the chart line styles for Combo charts, which has been previously enabled for other chart types.

There has also been sort improvements for visuals which is based on the following conditions.

  • If in your visual, it has a Sort-By column configured it will use this by default.
  • If you do not have the Sort-By but have a Date column, it will then sort by the Date column
  • Lastly if you have neither of the above it will sort by the measure descending.


What the Linguistic Schema is, is a YAML format in which you can add phrasing, synonyms or customize the language for Q&A. There will be more details going into depth with regards to the linguistic schema.

There is a new DAX funcation called COMBINEDVALUES, and what this does is to enable you to concatenate multiple columns together. Because it is a DAX function it means that this be a measure. As a result when you are using DirectQuery it will be able to better translate this back to the source system.

Likewise, the COMBINEDVALUES function can make it easier to combine multiple values together in a measure format.

Custom Visuals

Organizational Custom Visuals are now generally available.

Overview by CloudScope custom visual

Icon Map by Altius

Hexbin Scatterplot

Data Connectivity

Adobe Analytics Connector is now Generally available

You can now specify a Custom Port when connecting to SAP HANA

There is a new connector for Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central data source.

Here is a link to the actual blog post if you want to get more details: Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Business Applications Summit – HITRUST CSF certification)

Here is the weekly BI RoundUp, which I feel is the quiet before the awesome Power BI storm which will be hitting us next week.

Power BI – Business Applications Summit

Finally they have announced the dates for the Microsoft Business Applications Summit, there is not much more details as it currently stands. All that is available is to sign up for updates which I have already done.

You can find the details here: Microsoft Business Applications Summit

Power BI – HITRUST CSF certification

If you have data or work in areas where certifications are required, the Power BI team has been acknowledged with another certification.

This time it is the HITRUST CSF certification, which provides a highly prescriptive framework for managing a diverse set of federal and state regulations, standards, and frameworks.

You can read all about it, as well as additional details here: Microsoft Power BI achieves HITRUST CSF certification