Power BI – What new features have Microsoft given us in March 2020

By Scott Bryson, BI Developer, CSL

Power BI Update

Microsoft has recently released their March 2020 round of updates. Here are some of the highlights.

Firstly though, just to mention, that the previous update around the look and feel of the title ribbon bar and menu has now been enabled automatically after the successful Feb rollout. 

Here are the highlights

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

New Filter Pane

A slight overhaul to the filter experience is shown below. This will go live from the next update (April)

New Button Functionality

When creating buttons on reports there is now added functionality to allow the buttons to do more or save steps.

Previously, when you wanted to create a button to navigate to another page, you had to first save a bookmark for your destination page and then you had to create a button with a bookmark action that references the bookmark you saved.

To help reduce the number of steps needed for you to create navigation experiences, in this release Microsoft has added a built-in page navigation action. With this new action you can quickly build an entire navigation experience without having to save or manage any bookmarks at all. This, whilst seeming a small step gives big benefits!

Drill Through (Preview)

In addition to page navigation, Microsoft is releasing a new drill through action as a preview. This action type will allow you to contextually navigate to a drill through page.

This feature can be useful if you want to increase the discoverability of important drill through scenarios in your reports.

Multi Column Sort for tables

Multi-column sort for tables has been a highly requested feature, so we are super excited to see it this month!

To add more columns to the sort order, Shift + click the column header you would like to add next in the sort order.
For example, if you click Class and then Shift + click BrandName, then the table is sorted first by Class, then by BrandName:

Next, if you Shift Click on BrandName again, this will change the sort direction for BrandName:

Finally, If you Shift Click on Class again, this will move it to the back of the sort order, meaning that the table is now sorted by BrandName first, and then Class. This will also reverse the sort direction of Class since the column had been previously selected.

Dual axis for line chart

This is a big one! 

Another highly demanded item! You can now include a second Y-axis on your line charts, enabling you to plot two trends with different ranges along the same X-axis progression.

To use the second axis, drag fields into the new secondary Y-axis field well, 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.

New DAX functions

We see another new DAX function: COALESCE

The COALESCE function returns the first expression that does not evaluate to BLANK. If all expressions evaluate to BLANK, BLANK is returned.
COALESCE(<expression>, <expression>[, <expression>]…)
Expression: any DAX expression that returns a scalar expression.
Also note that input expressions may be of different data types.
Return Value
This function will return a scalar value coming from one of the expressions, or BLANK if all expressions evaluate to BLANK.

New connectors

Two New connectors are available

Hive LLAP Connector

Cognite Connector

To Wrap It Up

For a full list, including any feature I did not touch on, here is the official announcement.

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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