We are very excited to announce the following set of awesome features available with this week’s Power BI service update

  1. Read-only members in Power BI Group
  2. Featured questions in Q&A
  3. Full screen pop out mode for report visuals
  4. Mandrill Content Pack

Read-only Members in Power BI Groups

Power BI groups bring you and your colleagues together to collaborate, communicate and connect with your data. You can create a group either in Power BI or Office 365. Then, you can invite co-workers into this group workspace where you can collaborate on your organization’s shared dashboards, reports and datasets. You can read more about how to create Power BI Groups here.

Today, we are making Power BI Groups even better! Up until today, all members and admins of a groups could read and edit all the Power BI dashboards & reports in the group. Many of you requested read-only membership to the groups. This is for users you want to keep up to date but not have edit permissions on your dashboards and reports. With today’s release, you can do just that!

Let's see an example of how this works.

First, we’ll create our group by clicking the “+” icon near Group Workspaces. 

 

Let’s add a few users to our group. As you might know, Power BI Groups have two roles: Admins and Members. We will set one user to Admin and the remaining users to Members. As you can see, we have introduced a way for you to quickly switch a user from Member to Admin and vice-versa. 

 

Now, by default all members can edit all the Power BI content in the group. But we only want them to be able to read the Power BI content. We can achieve that by toggling the “Members can edit Power BI content” drop down to “Members can only view Power BI content”. Now all members of this group can only read the Power BI dashboards & reports in this group – they cannot create or edit content and cannot set any scheduled refreshes. Admins can both create new Power BI content and edit all Power BI content in this group and can also schedule refreshes for any dataset in the group. 

Featured questions in Power BI Q&A

With Power BI Q&A, you can explore your data using simple, intuitive questions and receive answers in the form of interactive charts and graphs. Two weeks ago, we introduced a feature that helps you get started with Power BI Q&A, even when you do not know anything about the data (you can read about that feature here). These suggestions were auto generated by Power BI based on your data.

This week we have taken it one step further! You can now add your own featured questions to your datasets, which Power BI Q&A will show to your users. This is very useful for two reasons:

  1. As an author of a dataset and content pack, you the person who knows the most about the underlying data. You can use featured questions to let users of the dashboard know about the different questions they can or should ask about the underlying data.
  2. You can also use featured questions to quickly answer popular questions that are frequently asked.

Here is an example. I have a dashboard about Sales below. 

 

Power BI suggests the following questions by default:

 

These are great questions to ask, but the most popular question we get is ‘What is the sales by territory’. We’ll create a featured question to answer just that. To create a featured question, we click on the settings gear on the top right and select settings.

 

Next, we navigate the Datasets and choose the Sales Analysis dataset. Expand the “Featured Q&A Questions” section on the right and click “Add a question”.

 

Type in your featured question in the text box and hit Apply. You can add multiple questions by clicking the “Add a question” link.

 

It’s time to check whether this question shows up in the how to ask section. Navigate back to the dashboard and click the “How to ask” link on the right of the Power BI Q&A box.

Once we click the link, we get the correct chart. Voila!

 

That’s’ how you configure featured questions to answer all the popular questions about your data.

Full screen pop out mode for report visuals

Last week we released In-Focus mode for your dashboard charts that let you see a particular tile in full focus. This week, we have followed up and added similar functionality for report charts.

When you hover over any chart in your report, you will see a new “Pop out” icon for all report charts. 

 

Once we click on that icon, we can see the particular chart in a full screen view.

 

We can also view and change the filters that have been applied on this chart and the report as a whole. And as you would expect, tooltips also work in this pop out mode.

Mandrill Content Pack

Mandrill is an email service which allows you to organize and send mass email campaigns and newsletters through an API. Power BI leverages Mandrill by allowing you to instantly analyze trends and important information about your campaigns. With just a few clicks, you can import your data and transform it into a dashboard and a set of curated reports.

We hope that you like these new features. Try them out and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

And in case you missed it, here are the other awesome features we released over this month. 

  1. Full screen mode to display your dashboards & reports on big screen TVs
  2. ‘Fit to screen’ support in full screen mode to display your entire dashboard in the available space
  3. In-focus mode to get more details on dashboard tiles
  4. Ability to view last update time for each tile
  5. Ability to view the source for each tile
  6. Suggested questions for Power BI Q&A
  7. Support for inserting shapes in the Report canvas
  8. Option to share dashboards without invite email
  9. Customization on canvas page size
  10. Additional visual formatting support for images and bubble charts
  11. Sharing dashboard with O365 alternate emails
  12. Support for Office 365 Dedicated customers
  13. Mobile apps updates