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

By Scott Bryson, BI Developer, CSL

Power BI Update


Microsoft has recently released their December 2020 round of updates in-line with their monthly release schedule. Below I have pulled some of the more interesting points from this release.
Just remember to enable any preview features in Power BI desktop settings to be able to see some of these.

Here are the Highlights


Small multiples (preview)

Small Multiples is a useful new feature to allow you to show a similar view over more than one graph on the same visual. A good example might be a sales visual split by different dimensions as per the below; maybe you want to show sales by Country, Company and Category? This is now possible in one view! – As per the chart below.

Whilst in preview this is currently only supported on Bar/Column, line and area charts. But look out for extra support in the coming months. 

Data protection sensitivity labels in Power BI Desktop (preview)

Back in June, the general availability of data protection in the Power BI service was announced. This capability is now enhanced by bringing Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels into Power BI Desktop as well, allowing creators to apply sensitivity labels the minute they start building their datasets and reports in Power BI Desktop.

This new feature allows you to label your reports more clearly from a data sensitivity level and allows allows you to add encryption. For more information on this see the link at the bottom for the full release.

Automatic page refresh for Analysis Services and Power BI datasets

Earlier this year automatic page refresh (APR for short) was made generally available. APR allows you to set the refresh interval of visuals in your report when using a Direct Query source. An incremental improvement for APR is in this latest release by adding support for Azure Analysis Services, SQL Server Analysis Services and Power BI datasets.

To enable APR for these sources, the process is the same as Direct Query: connect to a supported source, and head to the page format pane to find page refresh and then enable the toggle, select Auto page refresh, and define a duration for your refresh. The minimum supported for these data sources will depend on the data source itself and, in the case of Power BI datasets, which type of workspace is hosting the dataset and its type.

Data connectivity


New Visualizations

To Wrap It Up

For a full list, including any feature I did not touch on, here’s the official announcement: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-december-2020-feature-summary/#_Toc58831302 

For support in getting the most out of Power BI, please call us on 01483 528302 or email info@csl-uk.com, or read more about how our Power BI experts can support you here.


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