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Power BI Desktop June 2020 Feature Summary

We have great updates this release! We’re super excited to announce this month that several features are now generally available: automatic page refresh, the hierarchy slicer, the modern ribbon, and AI insights are now generally available. On top of this, we have several new features and updates that will really improve your reporting: many enhancements to mobile layout authoring, visual updates and more! Check out the full blog to learn more about all the updates and enhancements.

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Here’s the complete list of June updates:

Reporting

Analytics

Visualizations

Template apps

Modeling

Data connectivity

Other

To see demos of the highlights check out the video below:

Reporting

Enhancements to mobile authoring

In this release we are introducing an improved mobile layout authoring experience and additional mobile layout capabilities. As the Power BI mobile apps have increasingly been adopted by more and more organizations, we have received feedback asking for more capabilities and improvements for the mobile authoring experience. We hope that the enhancements introduced in this release will help you more easily build compelling, interactive reports optimized for mobile devices.

 

Here are the new experiences and capabilities that will help you build mobile-optimized reports:

  • New phone emulator
  • Updated visualization pane
  • Support for overlaid visuals

New phone emulator

One of the first things you may notice about the new experience is that the phone emulator or phone canvas has been revamped. A fine-grained grid gives you more flexibility in resizing and placing visuals, and a longer canvas allows you to add more visuals to your page.

Updated visualization pane

You may also notice that the Visualizations pane has been improved too. Now, you can find your desired visual by looking for its name, and you can also easily differentiate between hidden and shown visuals.

Support for overlaid visuals

Another improvement is that you can now place one visual on top of another. This lets you use the same design techniques used in the web layout for building interactive reports using bookmarks. You can also create beautiful reports by layering visuals over images.

To start designing a mobile-optimized report, go to View > Mobile layout, and drag and drop your visuals onto the canvas. Start creating amazing mobile-optimized reports today and let us know what you think. We strive to continuously improve and enhance this area, and we greatly appreciate any feedback as to what you liked about the update and how you think we can improve it! Check out our blog to learn more.

Automatic page refresh is now generally available

Back in October 2019 we introduced automatic page refresh, which allows you to set the refresh interval of visuals in your report when using a Direct Query source. For fast updating sources, this near real-time experience allows consumers to monitor time-critical reports and ensure that they are always viewing the latest data. Later, in April 2020, we added the option to perform page refreshes with change detection for Premium capacities, allowing you to have a lightweight query that runs in the background to check if data has changed and only refresh your entire report page if a change has been detected.

With this release, we are excited to announce the general availability of this capability, including fully supporting any interval and settings in Power BI Desktop. When publishing to the Power BI service remember that the following restrictions apply:

  • Automatic page refresh: supported in both Pro and Premium. Pro has a minimum refresh interval of 30 min. and Premium has default minimum of 5 minutes. In the case of Premium, capacity admins can turn the feature on/off and increase or reduce the interval allowed. The fastest refresh possible is 1 second.
  • Change detection measure: only supported in Premium. Default minimum in Premium is 5 seconds. Capacity admins can turn the feature on/off and increase or reduce the interval allowed. The fastest interval possible is 1 second. Only one change detection measure is allowed per model.
  • Both capabilities are enabled by default with the interval minimums described previously.
  • Performance analyzer in Desktop: change detection measure show up in the performance analyzer for authors to optimize the measure itself. Automatic page refresh queries show up as visuals refreshing every interval set up by the author.
  • Capacity metrics app: all queries generated by these capabilities show up in the capacity metrics apps to be tracked and take action if needed. In the near future we will be adding the capability to filter by type of query.

To start using the new refresh types for Direct Query, make sure you connect to a supported source, and head to the page format pane to find page refresh:

  • Automatic page refresh: enable the toggle, select Auto page refresh and define a duration for your refresh.
  • Change detection: add a new change detection measure or select an existing one going to the change detection dialog in the Modeling section of the ribbon, right clicking on the field list and selecting change detection, or head to formatting pane for that page and select change detection.


And as always, if you have any feedback about automatic page refresh and change detection, we would love to hear from you.

Hierarchical slicer is now generally available

In February, we released a preview of the hierarchical slicer, and this month, we are excited to announce that the feature is now generally available.

With this release it includes several improvements:

  • New options for expand/collapse icons
  • Icons now scale with font size
  • Ability to customize indentation for child items
  • Supported with AI visuals

New options for expand/collapse icons

Originally, you only had one option for the expand and collapse icons, which were chevrons:

While the chevron icon is still the default option, we’ve now added two new options:

  • Plus/minus

  • Caret

To find these options, select your hierarchical slicer and navigate to the Format pane > Items > Expand/collapse icon:

Icons now scale with font size

This next improvement is not just for hierarchical slicer but for all slicers: the icons in the slicer now scale with the font size.

Here’s an example showing that the icons have scaled to match the text sized, which has been increased to 16 pt:

Ability to customize indentation for child items

We’ve added the option for you to now customize the indentation for the child items in the hierarchy.

To find this setting, select your hierarchical slicer and navigate to the Format pane > Items > Stepped layout indentation.

Supported with AI visuals

Another addition to this release is that the hierarchical slicer is now supported with AI visuals.
Here’s an example where you can see that the hierarchical slicer is cross-filtering the Key influencers visual:

Modern ribbon is now generally available

The modern ribbon is now generally available. Thank you for giving your feedback during the preview period. We’ll continue to make additions and add more features to the ribbon in the future. Please visit our documentation to learn more about the changes and benefits of the new ribbon.

RLS is now supported for Featured Tables in Excel’s Data Types gallery

We’ve continued to improve the featured tables capability with row-level security support. Now, when you mark a table as featured and then publish to the Power BI service, that table will appear in Excel’s data types gallery even if it has RLS rules applied. Previously, these tables were not shown in Excel. This new enhancement means that users in Excel will only see the rows of data they have access to.

Analytics

AI insights are now generally available

AI Insights in Power Query are now generally available. AI Insights give you access to a collection of pre-trained machine learning models that enhance your data preparation efforts. These include text analytics functions (sentiment scoring, key phrase extraction and language detection), image detection as well as connectivity to Azure ML models.

Please note that the text analytics and image detection functions require access to an AI workload (all Premium nodes and A3/EM3 and above). Connectivity to Azure ML models is available to all users.

Visualizations

Line chart dot formatting options

This month, we have a new formatting update to line charts. Now, you can have different colored dots show up for categories across all of your series. This update can help you call out particular points in your line charts.

To turn this on, go to the Data colors tab in the formatting pane. In it, you should see all the categories in a series. There you can change the color that you want the dot to appear for each category.

If you want to remove the dots from your line chart, just click the Revert to default button. Note that in this release, this feature will show dots for your categories across all of your series. In the coming releases, we plan to extend this feature to allow for more control over choosing particular series.

Radar Chart by MAQ Software

Radar chart consists of a sequence of equiangular spokes, with each spoke representing one of the variables. A line is drawn connecting the data values for each spoke which gives the plot a star-like appearance.

Use Cases:

  • Finance – Compare the performance of multiple companies along multiple business parameters, such as sales, profit, etc.
  • Product management – Compare products across multiple features/specifications
  • People operations – Outlines employee competencies across the KPIs

Key Features:

  • Ability to plot multivariate data
  • Configurable curve interpolation method
  • Ability to change stroke width and transparency of plot color
  • Display data points on plot, set color and data point radius
  • Ability to change colors for plots
  • Configurable legend positioning and formatting
  • Ability to show/hide axes, customize axes color, stroke width and position
  • Cross-filter other visuals and legend interactivity
  • Support for context menu
  • Display data values and set text color

Download this new visual from AppSource.

ValQ for Modern Visual Planning

ValQ for modern visual planning is a new Power BI certified visual that lets businesses meet their planning, simulations, and analysis needs all within Power BI – without the need for any server, database, or IT support. This multi-purpose application supports multiple use cases across the enterprise, including what-if simulations, business and process modeling, sales/finance/operations planning, forecasting, budgeting, value driver planning, variance analysis, sensitivity analysis, attribution analysis, and time series forecasting.

ValQ now offers an intelligent planning grid that allows planners to leverage various spreading and allocation methods (e.g., weights-based, driver-based, trend-based, equal). The planning grid also packs several advanced features such as allocation history and cell-level commenting.

You can quickly forecast using popular time-series forecasting methods for Linear Trend, Moving Average, or Weighted Moving Average without having to write these algorithms yourself in R or Python. There is also an auto-forecast capability without requiring the user to choose a specific time-series forecasting method, and this feature helps users select the best fit based on their actual historical data.

The following are the list of key features in ValQ (PBI Certified Edition):

  • Connect to data sources and data models that are natively supported by Power BI
  • Create your planning models quickly based on your data model
  • Leverage intelligent planning grid to create and manage budgets for future periods
  • Utilize various allocation and spreading techniques while performing top-down planning
  • Perform time series forecasting out-of-the-box for various popular methods (Linear, moving average, weighted, auto-forecast)
  • Perform agile what-if simulations, scenario planning, and re-forecasting in a visual & intuitive manner
  • Perform advanced variance analysis across your various data series (actuals, budgets, forecasts)
  • Visualize your business models and hierarchies with a fully customizable and advanced tree or table view for multiple measures and KPI

To learn more check out the ValQ interactive demos. If you are looking for multi-user collaborative planning with azure data persistence and write-back capabilities, you can also check out the ValQ Collaborate edition

Download this new visual on AppSource.

Advanced Trellis chart by xViz

The xViz Advanced Trellis chart (also known as small multiples) is of a group of similar charts having a common axis and value fields split across a category. For example, you can compare the same Product Sales across different countries, where each country is displayed in a separate chart. They are a great choice when it comes to analyzing trends across a category in a single view.

The xViz Advanced Trellis provides different Trellis modes like Splitting the chart further by another category field, display stacked charts or display series animation options. End consumers can change the panel layout, toggle between different chart scale options (Y axis) and perform ranking on the fly during runtime. You can scroll across different pages and expand any chart to full-screen mode to focus on it individually. Some of the other notable features are as follows:

  • Trellis Mode: Chose between Splitting, Stacked charts and Animation options
  • Display Top N Values and group the remaining as ‘Others’
  • Pagination: Display multiple small trellis across different pages
  • Average Panel: Display overall average across all panels or average values in a given panel
  • 10+ different chart types with extensive customization and styling options
  • Data Label customization: Choose between different data label formats and column totals
  • Utility Menu: Change Panel layout and scale (Y axis) on the fly
  • Interaction: Enlarge Panels and interactive legends
  • Axis label customization: Rotate, Word wrap, Nth label and Stepped labels to support long labels
  • Advanced conditional formatting: visually highlights outliers based on different rules
  • Breadcrumb – Display for drilldown levels
  • Drill down support
  • Number formatting: enables customization of values based on various business scenarios
  • Summary table: tabular view of data

Download this new visual from AppSource.

Updates to Gantt chart by xViz

xViz has released a new Power BI certified version (1.1.6) of the Gantt chart with a ton of exciting new features catering to a wide range of use cases. The advanced editor tab is updated to support multiple reference lines (e.g. today’s date) and reference ranges highlight a time range), additional milestone customization options, hyperlink support, and conditional formatting enhancements.

The xViz Gantt chart caters to some of the most requested features by enterprises like fiscal year support, ragged hierarchy support (hide blanks), aggregation for values in data grid and other additional features listed below:

  • Support for Ragged hierarchies – Filter blank
  • Fiscal Year support
  • Number formatting – Aggregation for values in data grid (display measure)
  • Conditional Formatting for Parent node
  • Conditional Formatting enhancements for Progress Bar
  • Ability to set Multiple Reference Lines
  • Reference Range
  • Hyperlink Support
  • Live editing and Write back scenario
  • Multiple connector lines configuration
  • Data label enhancements- offset and padding options
  • Row numbering
  • Display Totals
  • Date Timeline formats
  • Language support for Power BI
  • Zoom Levels (advance editor)

Download the latest version of this visual from AppSource.

Updates to Cards with States by OKViz

Card with States by OKViz is an enhanced version of the standard Card visual, which can include a sparkline and display the state of a measure. This free visual has already been widely adopted by Power BI users. Recently they released the 1.6 version of Card with States, which introduces several new features to improve the productivity, the performance, and the layout of a report.

The premium features are free, so you can obtain your lifetime license just by registering to OKViz. The multiple cards automatically display multiple copies of the same card, one for each value in the category column. This feature reduces the number of visuals in a page and improves the performance as described in the article Optimizing card visuals in slow Power BI reports.

This feature makes it possible to display multiple measures in different cards by using a single visual.

The state of a measure can be customized with a new, simplified user interface.

Each card can show a trendline that now displays the value of the highlighted point dynamically.

Finally, you can quickly improve the presentation by choosing one of the layouts available in the template gallery, and you can also save your settings in new templates!

Download the latest version of this visual on AppSource.

Template Apps

Agile HR Analytics

Agile HR Analytics solution helps you discover useful HR insights for strategic decision making. Using these dashboards, you can see your organization’s HR data from different perspectives, drill through from summary level to individuals, monitor diversity metrics, analyze absenteeism, understand your staff turnover, see your training effectiveness and analyze your historical data and future trends. It also contains AI-enabled charts, such as Key Influencers, to show you the key factors that drive high performance explained by education, experience, and tenure.

You can connect it to your HR data using provided templates, contact us for API options, or you can get the PBIX file and connect it to your data.

Download the app from AppSource.

Uber User Data Report

This Uber analytics report by Havens consulting provides metrics and detailed information built off the last twelve-months of your downloaded Uber user data. Allowing for an in-depth analysis of your Uber rides and Uber eats deliveries. The report includes two pages of various visuals focused on your user data: such as date and time information, geo location details, and dynamic metric selection for most visuals. The report also utilizes the newer “dark mode” theme from Power BI.

To use this report, you must first download the user data from your Uber account. It can take up to 30 days for them to export your data, but commonly is within a week. To connect your downloaded user data in this template app. You’ll need to upload the user data to a SharePoint documents folder. Information on how to do that can be found on via a link located on the AppSource page.

Download the app from AppSource.

Modeling

Model view enabled for live connect (preview)

When you live connect from Power BI Desktop to an Analysis Service model or a dataset published in the Power BI service, the model view is now enabled.  In the model view, you can see a diagram the remote model.  In this view, you can create multiple layouts of the model, and view and modify report measures properties.

Please note that in this release you cannot make batch changes across multiple report measures while in live connect mode.  This limitation will be mitigating in the coming releases.

This feature is on by default but is in preview.  You can go to the report options dialog to turn off this feature.

Updates to Model view

This month we’ve have several updates to the Model view based on your feedback. Here’s the full list of updates:

  • You can now resize the table containers from any side or corner.
  • We heard feedback that the dragging functionality made it too easy to accidentally create hierarchies, so that functionality has been removed. If you want to create a hierarchy, you can right-click to create a hierarchy.
  • Previously, hierarchy levels were sorted alphabetically in the model view. Now, this automatic alphabetical sorting has been omitted.
  • Some of you may have noticed previously that if you had a field with two colon characters or commas that a relationship arrow would not display or the diagram would gray out. This has been fixed.

Data connectivity

Palantir Foundry connector

Palantir Foundry is a platform that reimagines how people use data by removing the barriers between back-end data management and front-end data analysis. Foundry enables users with varying technical ability and deep subject matter expertise to work meaningfully with data. With Foundry, anyone can source, connect, and transform data into any shape they desire, then use it to take action.

This connector will soon be available in the Online services section of the Get data dialog.

Other

New Power BI trainings

We have a few new Power BI trainings this month: new Dashboard in a Day and Developer in a Day training.
As every month, we have updated Dashboard in a Day (DIAD) training program. If you are delivering or participating in the dashboard in a day virtual sessions please download the latest version from the event center: https://aka.ms/DIAD.

Additionally, following the Power BI embedded analytics new developer samples, Power BI “Developer in a day” is joining Instructor Led Training courses, starting June 1st. The new training is published in our training page for instructors and students to download. The course aims to empower developers with the technical knowledge required to embed and extend Power BI. The course is focused on Power BI embedded solutions the labs include: developing with Power BI REST API, embedding Power BI analytics, Exploring the Power BI JavaScript API & Developing Real – Time Dashboards. As every “In a Day” training, the course contains detailed labs, assets, trainers’ presentations, and a self-paced video course in addition to the instructor led training. You can download this training at https://aka.ms/deviad-online-course.

That’s all for this month! Please continue sending us your feedback and don’t forget to vote for other features that you’d like to see in Power BI Desktop. We hope that you enjoy the update!

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