We’re very glad to announce a new update for the Power BI Designer Preview. This month’s update includes new features and improvements across all major areas in the product: connectors, transformations, modeling and reports. We have also addressed lots of bugs and improved performance and stability of the Power BI Designer.
What’s New in the Power BI Designer
These update includes the following new features:
- Google Analytics connector
- Additional operators for date filtering in Query view
- Automatic Model Relationship Detection
- Enhanced Add Relationship dialog
- Report Pages Re-ordering (drag & drop)
- ~40-50% Performance Improvement filling database tables without filters/transforms
- Lots of bug fixes
You can see these features in action in the following video, or read below for more details.
The first item on the list is a new connector to import data from Google Analytics. We’re adding this connector not only to the Power BI Designer, but soon also to the Power BI Dashboards service. Stay tuned for upcoming service update announcements that will bring this feature.
In the Power BI Designer, this connector can be found in the “Get Data” dialog, under “Other Sources” category (or “All”).
After signing in with a Google Analytics account, users will be able to browse analytics data for all sites registered with the account. Users can pick dimensions and measures in the Navigator dialog to construct a single-table output.
Users can see the table output preview building up as they select items in the Navigator tree.
Finally, they can click Load to land the entire dataset directly in the Report view, or select Edit to land a small sample of the data in the Query view.
In the Report view, users can directly start building visualizations for this data. In the Query view, they will be able to apply several data transformations based on preview data that will run against the underlying service, and they can also leverage special operations available only to Multi-Dimensional sources, such as Add or Remove items.
There are lots of interesting analytics scenarios that open up with this new connector. Think about all other data sources supported in the PBI Designer and how easy it is now to combine data from any of them with Google Analytics data to build Power BI reports.
We have added a few additional filter options for Date/Time columns in the Query view:
- Is in Year to Date.
- This Week
- This Month
- This Quarter
These options show up under the respective dropdown menu in DateTime Filters.
Note that all of these filters are dynamically calculated, so for instance, “Year to Date” means between Jan 1st 2015 & March 25th 2015 today, but it will mean a different Year and Date when we refresh our query or report in the future.
In this update, we are adding automatic relationship detection for tables loaded in the model. We’re applying this detection in the following cases:
- Initial load of the table to the model.
- Auto-Detect button.
This is a very powerful feature, which is now also enabled automatically and will allow users to correlate data from different tables and build rich visualizations without having to worry about manually defining these relationships. This relationship detection works for all data sources supported in the Power BI Designer that do not have an underlying schema (such as Text, CSV, Web, HDFS, etc.).
You can learn more about how to create and manage relationships in the Designer by reading this Help article.
The “Add Relationship” or “Edit Relationship” dialog has been improved to include inline previews of the tables/columns being selected.
Within the “Manage Relationships” dialog, we can click “Add Relationship”… The dialog now gives us two table/column selectors with inline previews of data. This enables us to easily identify which tables/columns to use for the new relationship.
Last but certainly not least… We’re adding the ability to reorder pages in the Report by drag & dropping within the Report Pages pane… This will definitely make it much easier for you to iterate on the content of your reports and move it around as needed.
We have improved performance for loading queries that do not contain any filters or transformations by ~40-50%. You should see such queries take half of the time to load or less, compared to last month’s Designer bits.
As with every update, we’ve also fixed lots of bugs and issues reported by many of you via “Send a Frown”. We encourage you to continue sending us feedback about the product and reporting any issues that you may find while working with the Power BI Designer.
We hope that you enjoy this update. Stay tuned for more updates coming soon…