Power BI – What new features has Microsoft given us in April 2020

By Scott Bryson, BI Developer, CSL

Power BI Update

Important update

In light of the COVID-19 crisis, Microsoft has decided to give more flexibility by providing an additional month to move over to the modern filter experience before they automatically migrate all reports in Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service.

So, if you have not upgraded any of your reports, you have one more month to do so, where you can tweak or customize any of the filter pane formatting before your reports get auto-upgraded in May.

Here are the highlights

Just remember to enable any preview features in Power BI desktop settings! 

Personalize visuals (preview)

A new Feature implemented (in preview) that allows an end user to change the visual that is being displayed without needing to be the author.

Using this feature, your end-users can explore a visual in many ways:

  • Change the visualization type
  • Swap out a measure or dimension
  • Add or remove a legend
  • Compare two or more different measures
  •  Change aggregations

Change detection for page refresh (preview)

After you have turned on the preview switch, there are several ways to access this new capability: 
Go to the modelling section in the ribbon and select change detection, right-click in the field list and select Change detection for the same outcome, or go to the page formatting pane and select Add change detection in the page refresh section. This does however require Power BI premium which incurs an additional cost.

Here are some important considerations for this new capability:

  • Only DirectQuery sources are supported
  • You’re only allowed to specify one change detection measure per model
  • In Desktop, when you set up change detection, visuals won’t refresh. You will have to publish to the service for page refresh to work, which includes re-authenticating with the same credentials for refresh
  • This is a premium only feature
  • Premium capacity admin must turn this on in the admin portal

Relative time filter (preview)

With emerging fast refresh scenarios, the need to filter to a smaller window of time becomes more and more requested. 

So, this month, Microsoft has announced a new type of filter: relative time filter.

When the filter is applied to the page/report level, all visuals under that level are synchronized to the same time range. 

To use the second axis, drag fields into the new secondary Y-axis field, and they will be drawn into the visual against a Y-axis on the right side of the chart.

You can format these lines and this axis in the associated card of the formatting pane. Otherwise, the formatting will mirror that of your primary Y-axis.

Conditional formatting for totals and subtotals in table and matrix visuals

 You can now apply conditional formatting rules to your totals and subtotals in table and matrix visuals. You will be able to find this new option in the Apply to dropdown in the conditional formatting advanced controls dialog. This feature will work for setting background colour, font colour, icons, and web URL.

Keep in mind that you will have to manually set the thresholds or ranges for your conditional formatting rules.  Also, for matrices ‘Values’ will still refer to the lowest visible level of the matrix hierarchy.

Third Party Visualizations

  • Radar/Polar chart by xViz
  • Comicgen by Gramener
  • Pareto by sio2Graphs
  • Growth Rate Combo Chart by Djeeni
  • Smart Filter Pro by OKViz
  • New Visualization icons

New connector(s)

1 New connector is available 

  • CDM Folder view for Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2

To Wrap It Up

For a full list, including any feature I did not touch on, here’s the official announcement:


If you would like any more information on these features or Power BI reporting, please get in touch with us to see if we have something to suit your needs. 
Call us on 01483 528302 or email info@csl-uk.com.


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