Power BI – What new features has Microsoft given us in March 2023

Power BI Update

By Luke Sisley, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, CSL

Welcome to our summary of the March 2023 feature update. 

This month, the Power BI team’s new features include On-object interaction, which allows users to right-click on a visual to access the format pane (Preview only), updates to the way users can apply slicers on reports using a new Apply All Slicers button and General Availability of Storytelling in PowerPoint.

We will give you a quick rundown of the features that have interested us the most, but you can also find the full summary here


On-object interaction (Opt-in). Preview only

On-object is a new way to build and format your visuals that Power BI desktop users will particularly find useful. With an instinct to right-click on areas of a visual expecting a menu to help, Microsoft’s new “Office-like” strategy now brings On-object, allowing users to a new way to build and format visuals directly on the visual.

You will need to turn on the preview switch: File > Options and settings > Options > Preview Features > On-object interaction to try out this feature.

Examples below show the reformatting menu and ability to reformat title directly in the visual.

As you add fields, the visual type will dynamically update based on what Power BI believes is the best visual type for your data. If you want to manually change the visual type, you can do so via the “build a visual” button visual types tray or the turn off the automatic suggestions toggle.

For more details on the feature, read On-object | Public Preview (Opt-in).

Apply all Slicers Button

Following the release of the Optimize ribbon with Pause visuals for authoring reports, the need for report consumers to make slicer selections and have the report visuals only update when they have finished making all the slicer selections became evident.

This can now be done with the Apply all slicers button.

The Apply all slicers button can be added in three ways:

  1. From the Optimize ribbon > Apply all slicers button
  2. From the Insert ribbon > Buttons > Apply all slicers
  3. Or, simply by choosing the Apply all slicers action on any existing button in your report.

As many of these buttons as you like can be added to a report page. The Apply all slicers button is like the existing single apply button on slicers in that they both do not apply the slicer selections to other visuals until you click the button. Unlike the single apply button on slicers, the Apply all slicers button will allow you to make selections across multiple slicers and then apply them in one click.

The Optimisation pre-set for Query reduction has been adjusted to no longer add the single apply button for slicers on slicers, and instead recommends the Apply all slicers button, as shown below.

Additionally, a Clear all slicers button has also been added. When there are several slicers on a report page, by adding the Clear all slicers button report consumers can quickly clear all their selections in one click.

Data Connectivity

Azure Databricks, Databricks (Connector Update)

The Azure Databricks and Databricks connectors have been updated. Below are notes from the Databricks team.

This update contains the following fixes and improvements:

  • Fixed DAX DAY, MONTH, YEAR queries. Now DAX DAY query works and MONTH and YEAR DAX queries generate more efficient queries pushed down to the Databricks SqlWarehouse.
  • Improved Native Query by caching the result of schema inference query instead of issuing multiple schema inference queries
  • Improved Native Query performance by utilizing LIMIT 0 query for schema inference


Storytelling in PowerPoint (General Availability)

Power BI’s integration with PowerPoint, that enables users to easily include interactive Power BI visuals in their PowerPoint presentations is now generally available.

This now means that:

  1. The Power BI/PowerPoint integration will be enabled in all Microsoft clouds.
  2. Single visuals can now be added to PowerPoint slides, not just complete report pages.
  3. It is now possible to use smart insights to get a text narrative of the data displayed in the add-in.

To Wrap It Up

Thanks for taking the time to read our quick summary. 

The full feature summary for March can be found here.

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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