July was yet another fantastic month for Power BI! We celebrated our second birthday with you and continued to work hard to deliver a great set of features across Power BI service and mobile. Here’s a quick recap in case you missed it amid all the celebrations:

Dashboard email subscriptions

Staying up-to-date on changes to critical data just got even better. In addition to report pages, we added the email subscription feature for dashboards in Power BI service. Just head over to any dashboard, hit the Subscribe icon, select how often you’d like to receive emails, and you’re done! It’s as simple as that. Whenever the underlying data refreshes in your dashboard, we will send you an email with a snapshot of your dashboard. Learn more

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Dashboard performance inspector

One of the critical factors in delivering a great overall experience in Power BI is performance. As creators, you want your dashboard to load fast and provide quick insights to your customers. To aid this process, we added a feature called Performance Inspector in the Power BI service that helps you inspect and diagnose why the loading time is poor. You'll see alerts that identify the potential issue and suggest a fix. Give it a try by simply navigating to any dashboard that you have edit permissions to, opening the ellipsis menu, and choosing Performance Inspector.

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Snowflake and SAP BusinessWarehouse DirectQuery now supported for On-premises data gateway 

We shipped a new, enhanced version of the On-premises data gateway (personal mode). New features in this release include: an improved Fast Combine experience, ability to delete the gateway from the Power BI portal, export logs functionality, and enhanced overall reliability and performance. Install the new gateway. Documentation on the new gateway, how to install it, and list of FAQs can be found here. Let us know in this forum thread if you have any feedback or questions!

Data refresh APIs

In response to feedback from many of you, we've exposed new APIs to manage data refresh in Power BI service. The APIs provide a set of versatile tools for you to programmatically trigger data refreshes and retrieve refresh history for any dataset that you own. On top of that, you can also use these APIs to integrate data refresh within your existing ETL or deployment processes. Learn More

New Q&A experience on iOS (Preview)

In February, we added support for Power BI Q&A on mobile devices. This allowed you to ask questions and get answers in the form of interactive visuals that you could then explore. In July, we took it a step further by introducing the new Q&A experience on iOS. The new Q&A experience on mobile was developed in collaboration with the Microsoft Research team to showcase powerful technologies within our product. Instead of just receiving an answer to your question, you can now use natural language to get scoped insights. In cases where you are unsure what you are looking for, Q&A proactively surfaces insights relevant to your data. These insights are driven by a set of advanced analytics solutions that get executed when a question is asked.

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The improved Q&A also remembers the context of the conversation and can answer any follow-up question based on what you previously asked. With this, you can easily compare, filter, and replace fields or measures to your liking. Sound cool yet? Well, you can even use conversational words when talking about data such as “How about” or “Compare it”.

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Want to try it out for yourself? Follow the instructions below to get started:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Power BI app and navigate to the Retail Analysis Sample dashboard.
  2. Tap the Q&A iconva-icon from the action menu at the bottom of the page.
    Note: If you can’t see this icon in the dashboard it is because the dashboard owner didn’t enable Q&A feature on this dashboard.
  3. Use the suggestions to get started. For example, you can choose ‘featured insights’ to find insights on all the underlying data in your dashboard.

Resources

  • See our documentation for a full view of present and past updates in service and mobile.
  • For a more detailed walkthrough of what we released last month, check out the Power BI Service and Mobile June Feature Summary.
  • Have questions, or feedback? We’d love to hear from you. Be sure to cast your votes on UserVoice to help us prioritize features. Also, feedback and questions are always welcome in the comments below, or on the community forums.