By Luke Sisley, Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, CSL
Power BI Update
With another month comes another power BI update. November’s features summary was released a little later in the month, but keep reading for a quick summary of some of the features we found most interesting.
Streamline your report authoring experience with the Optimize ribbon
The Optimize ribbon brings additional functions that are designed to increase the control authors have over their reports, therefore increasing productivity. The update includes a range of authoring functions to DirectQuery reports, including control of visual refreshing, optimisation pre-sets and launch Performance Analyzer.
Pause visuals gives you control over when visuals send out DAX queries meaning you can make your edits undisturbed and update your visual when you are ready.
Keep in mind that you need to enable the Optimize ribbon explicitly. As this is a preview feature, go to Files > Options and Settings, then click on Options, select Preview features, and then select the Optimize ribbon checkbox.
Subscribe to a report with filters applied
A key theme in BI servicing is ensuring users receive dashboards and views that are most relevant to them. To support this, the latest update grants users with email subscriptions functionality with the ability to include their changes in their subscription – including filters, slicers, personalize visuals, cross-filtering or cross-highlighting, drill down or drill up, and spotlight.
To do so, select the include my changes option when creating a new subscription. By selecting the Include my changes option, the view of the report sent to your email will include any changes selected, and when selecting ‘Go to report’ from the email subscription body, you will be navigated to the view of the report in the Power BI service with the same set of changes.
New way to upload Power BI and Excel files
In order to support more organised data file management, the Microsoft team have included a new file-loading pathway for Power BI. In a workspace, you will see a new upload button – this dropdown can be used to connect to files stored in OneDrive, SharePoint, or local files. While selecting to load a local file will add a copy of the file to the workspace, selecting a OneDrive or SharePoint document will enable automatic syncing on an hourly basis.
Ultimately this will allow teams to store data files in a central location, and select them using the standard Microsoft file picker format.
However, if you want to import the data from the Excel file into a Power BI dataset, you need to continue to use the older ‘Get Data’ flow. In early December though there is a planned introduction of a new way to create datasets from CSV and Excel files, so watch this space!
To Wrap It Up
That wraps up our summary on three of the interesting new features delivered with this update. You can find the full summary here.