Power BI Update September 2023
CSL, 19 September 2023
This month’s Power BI update introduces some exciting new features. Noteworthy updates to enhance data analytics capabilities include an optional variant parameter to MINX and MAXX DAX functions, Beeswarm charts showing the distribution of data along one axis or both axes while also showing individual points and improvements have also been made in the Power BI Service to the Row-level security testing,
Our main highlights are below. This month’s update doesn’t have any new features in preview, so no need to ensure you’ve selected ‘Preview Features’ in the Options & Settings menu pane.
DAX function changes to MINX and MAXX
Power BI is introducing an optional variant parameter to the MINX and MAXX DAX functions.
These functions ignore text and Boolean values when there are variants or mixed data types, such as text and numeric. Now, with the new optional variant parameter set to TRUE, the functions will consider the text values.
The default of the MINX and MAXX optional variant parameter is FALSE, so all existing DAX expressions using MINX and MAXX will not be impacted by this change. To allow text values to be included, you can update the DAX expression to include TRUE as the third parameter.
The new Beeswarm Chart provides a unique way to visualise data distribution along one or both axes while displaying individual data points. It’s akin to a scatter plot but with closely packed, non-overlapping points.
The visual is intuitive and easy to follow. Only one field is mandatory i.e. Bee Category.
Bee Size field is optional and is represented in the visual by bubble area or size. If this field is missing then all bubbles will be of same size. Bee Label field is also optional. It is used to add labels to each individual bubbles.
This chart can be used in 3 ways; Y – Axis only, X – Axis only or Scatter Plot (Both Y and X Axes)
As shown in picture below, if you only use a column/field in “Beeswarm Y-Axis” section while keeping “Beeswarm X-Axis” section empty, your data will be plotted on Y-Axis categorized according to the “Bee Category” section.
Similarly, if you only use a column/field in “Beeswarm X-Axis” section while keeping “Beeswarm Y-Axis” section empty, your data will be plotted on X-Axis categorized according to the “Bee Category” section.
Scatter Plot (Both X and Y Axes)
If you use columns/fields in both sections i.e. “Beeswarm X-Axis” section and “Beeswarm Y-Axis” section, the visual will work like a scatter plot with data points plotted on X-Axis and Y-axis . This is depicted below.
You can show images inside bubbles, using the “Images” field for a richer visualisation. For example, the report below shows top millionaires of the world with their net worth on Y-Axis and their Age on X-Axis!
Formatting options for Beeswarm charts are available in the format pane of the visual under “Settings”. Beeswarm charts produce non colliding bubbles or in other words circles don’t overlap. Users need to control the lower, upper, and left space to ensure bubbles don’t go outside the chart area, especially when data is concentrated around minimum and maximum values.
Download the demo file here.
Row-level Security Testing
Power BI has listened to user feedback about the row-level security test as role experience in the Service and have made several improvements this month.
You can now choose and test any report connected to the dataset, through a new dropdown menu, as shown below.
It is now possible to easily view important permissions details while role testing for a specific individual.
As well as improved warning and error messages for a smoother testing experience.
At CSL we generally use this to test if the different people using the report have the required level of access. To learn more about validating row-level security roles in the Service read the documentation here.