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Multi-tasking in Microsoft Teams with Power BI is getting better

Headshot of article author Lukasz Pawlowski

We’re excited to announce that we’ve started to roll out enhancements to multitasking for the Power BI app for Microsoft Teams, Outlook, and Office. These are some of the most requested improvements by customers and we’re excited to share with you the details of the progress we’re making.

We expect all commercial cloud users to have these capabilities by next week, and Government cloud customers in the coming weeks.

Helping you pick up where you left off

When working in Microsoft Teams it’s common to receive a chat that interrupts your work, needing to reply to it, and then to come back and complete your original task.

Previously, if you were working in the Power BI app on a report and you navigated away, then back again, you’d start from Home and need to navigate to the report, to the desired page, and then reapply filters. This was cumbersome, time consuming, and error prone.

With this rollout, we introduced a capability that automatically takes you back to where you left off in the Power BI app.

Animated GIF showing a user navigating from the Power BI app to various part of Microsoft Teams like chat and back again. The user's is taken back to where they left off like to report or to the datahub dataset details page.

The take you back automatically capability remembers:

  • Items you visited like reports, including the page you were on and filters you applied
  • Places you visited like home, create, data hub, workspaces

The app remembers your previous location for one hour. After that, you’ll go to Home as we have done before. For the hour, we save your interactive report filters and slicers about every 15 seconds. This should save the exact place for most users. Though if you navigate way just after setting a filter, you might still need to reapply some of your filters.

Best of all it works with the new back stack navigation we’ll talk about below.

By improving the experience in common workflows like navigate away and back again, we’re hoping you’ll find it’s much easier to multi-task in Teams – reply to chats, catch up on activity, join meetings, and still be able to keep working with your data to complete your tasks.

Improved back stack navigation

Previously, when using Microsoft Teams desktop, and navigating within the Power BI app there wasn’t a good way to just go back to an item or place you came from.

Now we’re improved integration with the Teams back button. If you’re working in the Power BI app, you can use the Teams back arrow button to navigate back within the Power BI app. This is similar to who you’d use a web browser back button.

For example, if you first opened a Sales report and then opened a Finance Report you could just use the back button to navigate back to the Sales report.

You can also use the Teams back button to navigate back to the Power BI app and benefit from the new automatically takes you back capability.

We’re not done yet

We know multitasking in Microsoft Teams is a bigger area and these improvements are just the beginning of what we’re hoping to deliver. As a next step will bring similar “take you back” capability to the Power BI Tab in Teams. We look forward to your feedback as always – send your ideas through or leave a comment on the blog below.