Power BI RoundUp – Power BI Desktop Dec Update – Dataflows Integration with your own Azure Data Lake – Business Application 2019 – Developer Update Nov 2018 – Windows App Update

It appears that there is one last massive push from the Power BI team before the end of the year.

I would consider this my early Christmas present, so please enjoy and read below.

Power BI Desktop Update Dec 2018

Once again it is another big update to Power BI desktop.


I really like the smart guides that are available, this makes the visuals line up better and make the entire development experience that much easier. To me it is very similar to what you get in PowerPoint.

There have been a whole host of really cool updates for ArcGIS in both the free and paid versions where you can find similar items, as well as having up to 5000 map data points in the paid version.

It is great to see such a great focus on accessibility features being implemented into Power BI, and this month they have extended this with the field list accessibility support.

You can now set the tab order on objects on a page, this is really good not only for accessibility but I have had times when the mouse has not been working and by setting this up, it allows me to easily move between items. You can also move items and disable them from being in the tab order.

There now is tooltips for buttons, which was suggested by my good friend Matt Allington and it certainly makes it a lot easier to get more context on what the button is supposed to be doing.

Icons showing the visual interactions as well as all the other images now are in an SVG format, which will make it scale better. I personally like the updated icons


There now is support using Q&A for LiveConnection SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) databases. The one thing to note is it is currently only supported for Tabular Models with the compatibility mode of 1103 and above.

The above is a preview feature, so you will have to update it in the Preview features under Options.


The DAX formula bar has received 2 updates.

The first one is now you can zoom in and out, which is great when you are presenting or when you want to see more of your code on a high-resolution screen.

Second, is that the DAX formula bar will expand to the size of your screen, allowing you to see more of your DAX code, when there is a lot of code

Yet another accessibility feature is that you now can access the data view using CTRL + F6 and you can navigate all the items in the data view.

Data Connectivity

This month there are 2 new connectors.

The AtScale Beta Connector and the Essbase Beta Connector

Data Preparation

When using the Fuzzy merge there now is an option to select the TopN matches when trying to match using the Fuzzy merge logic. This is great to ensure that you do not return too many matches


High contrast support is now available for all panes and report footer

And finally, there is an improved keyboard shortcuts dialog as shown below.

Here are the blog post details, and I would recommend watching the YouTube video: Power BI Desktop December 2018 Feature Summary

Data Flows Integration with your own Azure Data Lake

There has been a lot of interest with Power BI Dataflows since it was released.

That latest release now allows you to unify data across Power BI and Azure Data Lake.

This can now be done by creating CDM folders in the Azure Data Lake, and once that has been created not only can that be used by Power BI, but it can also be used by Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Bricks, Azure ML and no doubt more integration points over time.

There really is a wealth of information in this blog post.

Not only that but there also is a full tutorial which will allow you to test and end to end setup. That is SO COOL! (And I am going to set some time aside to get it working)

Here are the blog details: Power BI Dataflows and Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 Integration Preview

Business Applications Summit 2019

The dates for the Business Applications Summit have been announced on 10-11 June 2019, at this year it will be in Atlanta Georgia.

You can already buy tickets for this event, and I am planning on attending next year again. I found that going to these events are an invaluable way to do a lot of learning and networking with some incredible people.

All the details are here: Microsoft Business Applications Summit is back – join us June 10-11, 2019 in Atlanta!

Developer Update Nov 2018

There have been a lot of updates in the Power BI Developer space in November.

Power BI Embedded in Azure

You can now have Paginated reports and data flows in Power BI Embedded.

Not only that but there are also 2 new metrics to monitor your Power BI Embedded which are Memory per Workload and QPU per Workload. Both are important because now there are potentially 3 workloads in Power BI Embedded which would be Analysis Services, Paginated Reports and Dataflows.

There is also now Azure Health monitoring to ensure that all the resources are available as shown in the image below

There is now also the capability to have zero downtime when scaling your resources when scaling up or down.

This is done by using a script which creates a temporary capacity resource, and moves your current workspaces to this temporary capacity resource, until the scaling up or down is complete and then moves it back.

Embed Capabilities

Usage metrics are now available for embedded reports and dashboards as shown below.

Automation and Life Cycle Management

You can now create a new App Workspace with the Power BI REST API

Custom Visuals with additional purchases are now supported, with In App Purchases

Here are all the details: Power BI Developer community November update

Windows App Update

There has been an update to the Windows App for Windows PC’s, Laptops & Tablets where you can now enter presentation mode which will allow you to have it as you are presenting.

Not only that but if you have a pen and compatible device you can also Ink this onto the report.

The blog details are here: Presentation mode in Power BI Windows App

Power BI RoundUp – (Nov 2018 Desktop release – AI Capabilities for Power BI)

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.


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.


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.


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

Power BI RoundUp – (Desktop Update Oct 2018 – Aggregations for Petabytes Scale – Webinar Ask Anything on Power BI Premium – Power BI Report Server Timing)

I am sure that there were a few people who were eagerly waiting for the Power BI Desktop Update for October 2018. I sure was one of them and it was well worth the wait. Please read all the details below, as well as other updates that happened in the past week.

Power BI – Desktop Update Oct 2018

There has been yet another massive update to the Power BI Desktop release for October 2018, and as I do every month I will highlight what I feel is relevant in my opnion.


There is now the ability to be able to search within a filter for items. This is especially useful when there are a lot of items in your filter.

Every month there are more accessibility features that are being built into Power BI. This to me shows that Microsoft and the Power BI team are serious about not only helping people with accessibility challenges to view reports, but also allow these same people to create incredible Power BI reports.

As I showed in the initial image there has been a big performance improvement for ArcGIS maps. They respond now almost instantly and zoom into the area that you selected, which makes the reports that much faster. And who does not like near instant response times?


Another BIG improvement has been to the DAX editor. Now there are line numbers, ident lines, as well as showing where you are in your code, and if there is an error the bar will highlight it in red.

Along with this there are a whole host of Shortcut keys (which I still must learn and memorize) which makes the editing of DAX measures that much easier and quicker.

Shortcut Key Combination What it does
Alt+ ↑ / ↓ Move line up/down
Shift+Alt + ↓ / ↑ Copy line up/down
Ctrl+Enter Insert line below
Ctrl+Shift+Enter Insert line above
Ctrl+Shift+\ Jump to matching bracket
Ctrl+] / [ Indent/outdent line
Alt+Click Insert cursor
Ctrl+I Select current line
Ctrl+Shift+L Select all occurrences of current selection
Ctrl+F2 Select all occurrences of current word


Even though I do not have a picture, I wish I did, because having the Aggregations and Composite Models in the Power BI Service is honestly a BIG BIG Deal. I have been looking into this and it is a total game changer for when you do not need or want to load ALL the data into a data model for those exception reporting cases (When one or very few users require more granular data).

Not only that but it makes the performance of the Power BI reports so much faster when visualising the data over a large dataset. I cannot wait to implement this.

They are building more smarts into Power BI Desktop, now where it can explain the increase for non-additive measures. This could provide some insights that before would have taken quite a while to figure out yourself. Not only that but if the visual is what you want to show you can then add this to your report.

Custom Visuals

I am not going to cover all the custom visuals, suffice to say that in the blog post there are a lot of additional custom visuals.

Data Connectivity

There are a whole host of Data Connectors that are now generally available below:

  • Web by Example
  • SAP BW Connector V2
  • SAP BW Message Connector
  • Vertical Connector
  • Dynamics NAV
  • Dynamics 365 Business Central

And there is a new connector for Dynamics 365 Business Central On-Premise Connector

Data Preparation

Wow, this is what I would consider a 3rd massive update to Power BI Desktop in one month, where you can now profile your data in the Power Query Editor.

This is something that I know a lot of people have been asking for, and it does provide a quick way to understand what your data looks like, how many distinct values etc. It also ensures that your data is as you expect. Not only that but you can also easily shape your data based on the data profiling within the charts that are displayed.

There is now an option to use fuzzy matching to compare in the merge, where you can set some additional options:

  • Set the threshold of how high or low you want to try and match
  • Ignoring case or spaces
  • Maximum number of matches to match on.
  • Transformation table, this is where you can have a table where it might not appear to be related, but in the transformation table it could have those translations between what potentially the business calls an item and what it is coming from the data source.

One thing to note for the fuzzy matching you will need to install the October version of the On-Premise Data Gateway for it to refresh in the Power BI Service.


There are now additional export data options where you can set how the data can be exported or even not at all.

Once thing which Amanda did call out in her video is that the Tenant Settings will always be enforced. This means if the tenant setting says that no data can be exported no matter what you set in the above image, it will not give you the option in the Power BI Service.

If your organization has changed from TLS 1.0 to TLS 2.0 and the above registry keys have been updated Power BI Desktop will respect those settings.

Here is this months MASSIVE blog post: Power BI Desktop October 2018 Feature Summary

Power BI – Aggregations for Petabyte Scale

This is a great blog post by Christian Wade from the Power BI team where he discusses the high-level overview of how Aggregations can enable your organization to leverage their petabyte scale data for blazing fast reporting performance.

You can find the blog post details here: Aggregations for petabyte-scale BI available in the Power BI service

Power BI – Webinar Ask Anything on Power BI Premium

There will be a webinar on 18 Oct 2018 PST, where Chuck will have Josh Caplan from the Microsoft Power BI team where you will be able to ask him anything relating to Power BI Premium.

With the recent updates to Power BI Premium and the usage reporting that is now available I am certain that there will be a lot of interesting questions, as well as insights into Power BI Premium. This is one Webinar that I want to attend, and if I cannot attend I will watch it later.

Here are more details: Webinar 10/18 Group Program Manager, Josh Caplan, and the Power BI team host an Ask Anything around managing and monitoring Power BI Premium

Power BI – Power BI Report Server Timing

It is great to see that the Power BI Report Server team have now announced a dedicated release schedule for Power BI Report Server.

This will now be Jan, May and Sept each year.

I know that typically Power BI Report Server is installed in organizations who have a standard way of working and upgrading or updating systems. By having a dedicated release schedule these can be planned for accordingly.

All the details are here: Power BI Report Server release timing update

What runs under the cover when I open Power BI Desktop

I am always interested in what happens under the covers when I open Power BI Desktop. So I did a little digging and I got the inspiration from Macro Russo when he did his Webinar as well as presented at the Queensland Power BI User Group on “My Power BI report is slow: what should I do?”

What happens when I click on Power BI Desktop.exe?

This is the list of associated processes that are opened when Power BI Desktop is started, which I will explain what they are below.

This is what it looks like for me when I am running Windows 10 and I have a look in the Task Manager under Processes

  • CefSharp.BrowserSubprocess
    • Because Power BI Desktop runs in the Power BI Service, which is essentially a website and all the visuals are rendered in a browser.
    • My understanding is that within Power BI Desktop it is simulating how it will run the Power BI Service.
    • As per Marco’s Webinar, if this consumes a lot of memory or CPU this is potentially why your Power BI Report is slow.
  • Console Windows Host
    • UPDATE (06 Sep 2018) – I got a reply from Amanda Cofsky from the Microsoft Power BI team, who said that the Console Windows Host is the “Analysis Services Engine Console Output”, which is generally used by the Microsoft Engineers for debugging purposes.
  • Microsoft Mashup Evaluation Container
    • This is the Power Query Engine.
    • This is responsible for processing all the steps in the Power Query Editor. Which gets data from my sources, transforms it and then loads it into my data model.
    • When I look at a Server where I have got the On-Premise Data Gateway installed I will see a lot of instances of the Microsoft Mashup Evaluation Container running. This is because this is where my data gets loaded and transformed into tables before sending to the Power BI Service.
    • This is the executable which is the starting point and container for all the processes that are run within Power BI Desktop.
    • This is where all the magic happens, it is an analytical data engine which leverages In-Memory technology to achieve incredible compression using the X-Velocity Engine and blazing fast query response times by loading all the data into memory.
    • This is where all the data gets loaded from Power Query into the data model.
    • This process can have the highest memory usage.
    • If I have an expensive DAX measure which must get most of its data from the storage engine I will see an increase in memory utilization and CPU during the evaluation and running of the DAX measure. Which once again as per Marco’s Webinar is a great indicator as to why my Power BI Report is slow.

I hope that this has given you some insights into what runs under the cover in Power BI Desktop and that there are quite a few moving parts that work together seamlessly to make the report creation and development experience so seamless and fast when developing Power BI Reports.

As always if there are any questions or you have more details and insights into the details above, please let me know and I will happily update the details in this blog post.

Thanks for reading!

Power BI – Losing Disk space when working with Power BI Desktop

I recently had an issue on a customer’s server, where I was developing Power BI Desktop reports. And the C: Drive was running out of disk space, which was attributed to my user profile.

Upon inspection I found that the TempSaves directory had a whole stack of temporary files saved in there. Even though I had previously selected to change the option in Power BI Desktop to delete files

I am pretty confident it has to do with the Auto recovery feature in Power BI Desktop.

If you are ever having any issues here is where you can go and delete the unwanted files that are no longer relevant.

Click on Start, then Run and put the following into the Run Command below.

%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Power BI Desktop\TempSaves

This should then open the location of the Temp Saves for Power BI Desktop Files.

I then selected all the files that I knew I no longer needed.

And then deleted them.

NOTE: I did keep the most recent file, which had todays date, which I did currently have open.

I then could get back roughly 10GB of disk space.

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (December Desktop Update – Larger Power BI Premium PBIX – Power BI Bookmarking Contest – Premium Capacity WhitePaper)

Even though it is almost the holiday season, the wonderful people from the Power BI team have given myself (and hopefully you also) some early birthday presents. So please find all the updates below.

Power BI – December Desktop Update

There was an incredible number of updates in the December edition of Power BI Desktop, so please find below all the details.


The first and biggest thing in the latest update was now the capability to be able to Ask a Question (Q&A) within Power BI Desktop, which relates to asking a question on a report page. Previously this could only be done in the Power BI Service on a dashboard.

I have used Ask a question (Q&A) in the Power BI Service previously and it works really well. But with this now being in Power BI Desktop, it enables business users to quickly create the visualizations that they are looking for. And then if need be they can customize them afterwards.

I also think that this will go a long way to facilitate self-service report creation, because it now means they can just ask a question and get a visual response.

Next is updates to Bookmarking:

  • The bookmark will now save your cross-highlighted state when you create your bookmark.
  • Along with this there is more flexibility with regards to what is bookmarked.
    • Data – This will apply properties relating to your data such as filters and slicers
    • Display – This lets you decide if you want to include Visual Properties of the display item
    • Current Page – This lets you apply the bookmark to the current page only, if deselected it will not apply to the current page you are in.
    • All Visuals – This means that the bookmark will bookmark all the visuals on the entire page.
    • Selected Visuals – This will only apply the bookmark to the selected visuals, which I would have selected before applying the bookmark.

Next is the Field Properties Pane and Field Properties Description, which now allows you to add in a description for your Field Names. This is great to document or make a note within your Power BI Desktop model. Especially if someone else is going to come along and edit the Power BI Desktop PBIX, they can now find additional details within the file.

There is now the capability to be able to create a scatter visual from the x & y-axis groupings. What this means is that you no longer need to add in a category to see the details. The only currently caveat is, is that you have to use a Numeric column it currently does not work on measures. But I am certain that this will change in the near future.

If you use maps, and have had a lot of data points in the past, the new algorithm has also been applied to maps. This is great because where they are dense, the human eye will not be able to see any difference. But more importantly it will show the outliers, which are often very important.

(I know it is really wide, but that is how far I had to drag it across in Power BI Desktop in order to get the entire name!)

Along with this, there are now responsive slicers, which is an update to the existing responsive visuals. This makes it easier to use especially when on touch screen’s or mobile phones.

There are a whole host of Custom Visuals, some I have seen before, but some really cool new ones.

  • Card Visual
  • Table Heatmap
  • Data Image
  • Power Matrix KPI
  • Text Filter
  • ChartAccent – Line Chart
  • ChartAccent – Bar Chart


In the analytics section there is now is the ability to drill filters to other visuals within your Power BI Desktop report.

What this means if you drill down in a visual it will apply the same filter to all the other visuals in your report. This is really fantastic, because I know personally that I often want to see the context of what I am drilling down to and how it relates with my other visuals.

Data Connectivity

Please find below new data connectors, as well as some updates to existing data connectors.

  • Adobe Analytics Connector
  • HDInsight Interactive Query connector
  • Data.World connector
  • SAP BW connector improvements – Ability to be able to connect to either the SAP Business Warehouse Application or Message Server.
    • As well as currently this improvement is only available in Power BI Desktop, and will be coming to the On-Premise Data Gateway soon.
  • IBM Netezza connector is now generally available

There is a lot of content to go through, so if you would like to watch the video or find more details here is the link to the blog post: Power BI Desktop December Feature Summary

Power BI – Larger PBIX sizes for Power BI Premium

As you can see above, available now in Power BI Premium, you can now upload PBIX files that are up to 10GB in size. I am sure that this is a great welcome for customers who have had larger PBIX files.

You can find the blog post details here: Announcing Power BI Premium support for larger datasets

Power BI – Bookmarking Contest

There is a Power BI Bookmarking contest where you could not only win some awesome Power BI Swag, but also be seen by the Power BI community as to how awesome your Bookmarking capabilities are.

More details can be found for the competition here: Bookmarking Contest: Dec. 12th – Dec. 27th

Power BI – Premium Capacity White Paper

Please find the link below to the newly released Power BI Premium White Paper

Power BI Premium White Paper

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (Nov 2017 Desktop Update – Single Sign-On for Gateway Data Sources)

It is the start of the second week, and that meant that there was an update for Power BI Desktop, as well as some of the other related Services. I do hope you enjoy this weeks updates.

Power BI – Nov 2017 Desktop Update

As you can see we now have the Power BI Desktop update for November 2017. And as I do every month, I will go through what I feel are the highlights up the recent update.


There is a lot to highlight in this section so below are some of the details.

  • All below relates to both table and matrix.
    • Cell Alignment, which as you can see above you can align them left, right, center and Auto
    • Rule based Conditional formatting, which you can also see in the image above.
  • Next there is the option to control the ordering of your images that you have in your selection pane, which is a great improvement.
  • Now you can also lock the objects in your report, so if you are doing a demo or showing someone the report, none of your objects will move.
  • ESRI Plus subscription available for ArcGIS. This allows you to use your ESRI subscription within the Power BI Service, with regards to more geocodes, additional base maps, living Atlas reference layers enabling you to add more context. As well as world demographics with the Infographics features.
  • Query Reduction has now been implemented for Live Connections or DirectQuery.
    • What this will do is for example when you are using slicers it will wait until you have made your entire selection, and once you click Apply will it then send one query. In the past it used to send one query every time you clicked on a slicer.
  • Filtering has also been improved so that there is no longer a 500 value limit.
  • There have been 4 new Custom Visuals added.
    • Image Timeline – This allows you to display events along a timeline with images. And then you can interact with them.
    • Social Network Graph – Which will show visual connections between people.
    • Venn Diagram – to find commonality between different categories
    • HTML Viewer – Lets you display HTML text strings, which enables your text to look a lot better


There is now support for Cell-Level formatting for Multi-Dimensional Analysis Services to Multi-Row Cards this month.

Data Connectivity

There is now support for Windows Authentication for the Impala connector

Query Editing

There have been even more updates for the Columns from Examples.

The additional items below are:

  • Basic Conditional Column – Define a mapping between values in an input column and the desired output
  • Conditional column ranges – Define a new column with non-uniform ranges (I am thinking that they mean different length requirements)
  • Null fallback – This is where you could have multiple columns and you want to extract the values that are NOT null
  • Bucketing (Uniform Ranges) – Define an upper/lower boundaries for a range for a certain row and it will try and copy the uniform ranges

You can find all the details as well as the video here: Power BI Desktop November Feature Summary

Power BI – Single Sign-On for Gateway Data Sources

There is now single Sign-On for selected data sources that use DirectQuery via the On-Premise Data Gateway.

Currently the supported data sources are:

  • SQL Server
  • Teradata

And there will be future support for:

  • Oracle
  • Impala
  • SAP BW
  • Spark
  • More to follow

You can find all the details here: Announcing Single Sign-On Support when connecting to data sources from the Power BI Service

BI-RoundUp – Power BI (August Desktop Release – Timeline Story Custom Visual – Help Shape the Future of Power BI – Text Analysis Solution Template using Bing – Azure Activity Log Solution Template – Survey for Mobile Apps – Developer Update for August)

While the week before had nothing to really talk about that is new, this week there is a whole host of updates and great new things to play with so here are the latest details.

Power BI – Power BI August Desktop Release

Whilst this picture above may not look like much it is incredible with this new “What If” can do for your data and your users.

There are some great new features in the August release of Power BI desktop which I will cover below.


The great thing that they have done with the reporting is how many updates they have made with Matrix and now you can easily put your measures on rows. This is fantastic and in the past I had to create a whole stack of measures to get this done.

You can now also use Conditional Formatting on the Font Colour, so if your data is low or high you can then put in some conditional formatting. This is again a great feature and on the way to allowing to show KPIs in the Matrix

There has also been updates and improvements for line charts, as you can see below to have custom settings for each of the line charts, as well as line marker options which means that you can customize it as to your requirements.

There has also been some new Custom Visuals added which are the Dot Plot, Power KPI, Funnel Plot and Beyond Soft Calendar which can show you ways to gain deeper insights into your data with some great ways to show what is happening within your data.


As with the first picture one of the great new features is the What If parameter. I think that this is a killer feature as it is something business users have been asking for. As well as the implementation is relatively simple which makes it easy to integrate as well as leverage in existing Power BI Datasets.

Next is updates to the scatter chart where you can now use the Symmetry shading which will show you which has a higher value based on the X-Axis measure compared to the Y-Axis measure or vice versa

Along with this there is now also the ratio line, which is used to define the ratio of the subtotals to the x-axis and y-axis measures. Which allows you to quickly see based on either axis what your data is telling you.

There is also a new Quick measure called Weighted Average, this is where this measure calculates a weighted average of the base value for each category. This can be really handy when comparing different values.

Data Connectivity

In this month’s release connecting to the Power BI Service dataset is now generally available. As well as now you can connect to Google BigQuery which I am sure people who utilize Google BigQuery will be excited to bring their data into Power BI.

You can find all the details as well as the YouTube video here: Power BI Desktop August Feature Summary

Power BI – Timeline Story Custom Visual

I am really excited to see that the TimeLine Story Custom visual has been released in the Office store for Power BI. This was shown at the Data Insights Summit and it showed how powerful this visualization can be. Now that it is available I cannot wait to use it on my own data to see what it can show to the users.

You can download it from the following location: Office Store – Timeline Storyteller

Power BI – Help Shape the Future of Power BI

As you can see above the Power BI team is looking for people to join the user research channel which will enable you to help shape the future by giving them your real world inputs into how and what you think is required to enable Power BI to just get better.

I have personally completed the required survey and I do hope to be selected. They do request that you complete a survey which I assume is to ensure that they are getting the right type or possibly even a good spread of people to help shape Power BI.

Here is the link to the Survey: Take our quick survey and join our research panel.

You can find more details here: Shape the future of Power BI: Join Our User Research Panel

Power BI – Text Analytics Solution Template using Bing

There is a new solution template which now allows you to use text analytics and sentiment analysis using Bing and other related Microsoft products. The difference with this solution template is that it allows you to enter your own list of words. Which was a highly requested feature. Which I think is fantastic as everyone has different requirements and this allows them to achieve this.

You can find the blog post details here: Bringing more text analytics to the Bing News Solution Template

Power BI – Azure Activity Log Analytics Solution Template

Here is another great solution template which allows you to do analytics on your Azure Logs. This is a great way to leverage all your log data so that you can see what is happening within your organization.

I quickly installed this to see if it will allow me to view my log data for what has been happening inside Power BI, and I can


You can find more details here: Announcing the Power BI Solution Template for Azure Activity Log Analytics

Power BI – Survey to improve Mobile Apps

If you are interested in helping Power BI with the mobile apps, here is your change to take the Survey which will give valuable information to the Power BI Mobile Apps team.

Here is a link to the Survey: Take the Survey

And here is a link to their blog post: Help improve the Power BI mobile apps

Power BI – Developer Update for August

For the first time there is a Power BI Developer update which details all the updates and changes with regards to the Power BI Development experience relating mostly to Power BI Embedded.

There is some great content in here if you are a Power BI Developer around the Embedded content. As well as some additional details around Power BI Premium as well as how you can find code samples and even test a working version to see how it works.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Developer community August update

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Desktop Update April – Quick Measures Preview – Mobile Apps Summary – Video Gallery & Ask a Partner Anything – View Related Content Pane – Sneak Peak add new Columns from Example – Tracking Adoption via Power BI Audit Logs)

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.

Report View

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.

Data Connectivity

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.

Query Editing

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