There has been a whole host of updates and interesting things in Business Intelligence in the past weeks, so please find below the updates.
Power BI – Desktop Update April
This month’s Power BI Desktop update for April has a whole host of great updates and new features this month, which I will highlight what I think is most relevant below.
The first update in the Report View section is the ability to rename the axis titles. I know that personally this is something that I have been looking for and now the capability is there.
Next is additional updates to the Matrix Preview, in which you can now sort the matrix by the grand total and row headers in ascending or descending order.
As well as now you can also resize the columns as you could do previously in the original matrix.
And finally, you can now word wrap column headers, row headers and values in the matrix preview. This can be configured separately in the formatting pane.
Not only has the Power BI team made it better and easier to create the default measures. But with the Quick measures they have made it as simple as a drag and drop and then Power BI Desktop writes the DAX for you. I personally think that is a giant leap forward as it enables users who are not very strong in DAX to still be able to create powerful measures, which in turn will create greater insights into their data. This will also then let people learn how DAX works because they can see and modify the code, as well as give more advanced DAX users the capability to edit the DAX measure if so desired.
This entire preview feature I think is another game changer and it will enable people to quickly create the measures that they require, as well as to get people to build their DAX skills if so required. And I have no doubt that more quick measures will be added.
As you can see above, you can now try Q&A in Spanish. This must be the result of the Power BI Surveys that have been conducted in the past.
Once again this is another idea that a lot of people have been asking for and it has already been delivered. This is the ability to connect to a dataset that exists in the Power BI Service.
This is wonderful as what it means is that as long as you have got the required access, you are now able to access a dataset already uploaded into the Power BI Service. So what this also means is that you will not have to worry about creating measures, how the data is updated etc, because you are a consumer of the Power BI dataset.
This also means that now you can have multiple people working on a single dataset. Which is the start of having multiple developers developing reports and insights into your data.
The one caveat is that when you use the Power BI Service dataset you cannot edit or modify anything within this dataset, you will have to get the dataset owner to make the required changes and then for them to upload it the changes or updates into the Power BI Service. But still a giant leap forward.
The Amazon Redshift data connector has now moved out of Preview and is in the Beta phase, so it is easier to find and use.
There has also been updates to the SAP Hana and BW connectors, now giving you the ability to have more control with regards to the parameters selection. I am sure that people that use SAP will find this very welcome.
The ability to add a column by example has been out for almost 2 weeks now, but this is once again (yes I am repeating myself a bit!) a game changer because it now allows people who do not understand Power Query or the M language to quickly and easily build new columns within their dataset. And this also does it in the Query Editor, where I personally think it is the right place for this to be done, so that before it is brought into the Power BI Desktop Model, the data is already there and can achieve better results.
As you can now see above you now can split your column by delimiter or number of rows and if you wanted to split it into Rows.
The basic Group By in the Query Editor now allows you to group by a single column and output by a single column.
The Go to Column is a very handy feature because it allows you to quickly find your column, which is especially helpful when your table is very wide with a lot of columns.
You can find the blog post for the Power BI Desktop Update here: Power BI Desktop April Feature Summary
Power BI – Quick Measures Preview
There is already a blog post out by the Power BI team with regards on how to leverage and use the Quick Measures Preview.
It has some great content and is well worth the read.
You can find the blog details here: Quick Measures Preview
Power BI – Mobile Apps Summary
There have been some additional updates to the Mobile Apps for Power BI which are the Q&A Improvements and 3D touch for iOS.
Multiple SSRS Server support for up to 5 SSRS Servers. As well as improvements to the slicers.
You can find all the blog details here: Power BI Mobile apps feature summary – March 2017
Power BI – Video Gallery & Ask a Partner Anything
As you can see from above the Power BI team has now launched the Video Gallery where you can view tips and tricks on how to do things with Power BI. I think that this is great because it is often easier to see how to do things.
As well as another Ask a Partner anything on 06 April.
You can find all the details here: Announcing the new Power BI Video Gallery and Ask a Partner Anything live event
Power BI – View Related Content Pane
Once again the people in the Power BI team, specifically on the Power BI Service side are making it a lot easier to navigate and understand how your reports piece together.
This is very powerful as well as easy to use, because you get to see all the related content, but you also get the capability to be able to go into the settings or item specific areas, where before you would have had to go through a few clicks to get there.
You can find the blog details here: Announcing the View Related Content Pane: Faster Results with Fewer Clicks
Power BI – Sneak Peak add new Columns from Example
As you can see from above, this is a sneak peak of a new feature that is going to be released in the next version of Power BI Desktop.
I have to say that this is amazing, as it is starting to do the hard yards for you. Yes it might take a bit of practice to get it right, but once you have mastered it, it can save you a lot of time and effort
And the thing that I really like is that it will enable the users who are not so proficient at Power Query to be able to expand on their data, which in turn will lead to amazing insights.
You can read the blog post here: A sneak preview of the new Add Column From Examples data transformation
Power BI – Tracking Adoption via Power BI Audit Logs
This is a great blog post from JAVIER GUILLEN, where he shows you how to use the Power BI Audit logs to show how adoption of not only Power BI, but also the dashboards and reports are being used.
You can find the blog details here: TRACKING ADOPTION VIA POWER BI AUDIT LOGS
SSAS / Power BI – DirectQuery WhitePaper
As you can see above there is a whitepaper for DirectQuery in SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services, it is noted that some of the concepts are shared with Power BI.
And I have already downloaded the whitepaper and will be getting stuck into it very shortly.
You can find the blog post details as well as the link here: DirectQuery in SQL Server 2016 Analysis Services whitepaper