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Microsoft Business Application Summit Recap

Wow. I just about caught my breath in time to publish this blog! My head is still spinning from all the amazing demos, customer stories and technology that we showed at MBAS yesterday! I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. For a quick summary of the highlights, please read Arun’s blog.

There is a big chance you haven’t been able to catch all the news or that some items just escaped your attention as they were drowned out by the next big thing. Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. In this post I’ll do my best to recap what happened and provide links to the detail blog posts where applicable. Also, I’ll list the session so you can go and re-watch them.

One more thing: you will see tags indicating the status for some items. ‘Generally available’ means it is ready for you to use today. ‘Preview’ means you can take the feature for a spin, but it is not ready for production yet. During preview, more than ever, we are actively looking for your feedback! Lastly, whenever you see the ‘Coming soon’ tag, you will have to wait a little bit longer to get your hands on it. We just couldn’t wait to tell you about it though!

Enjoy and I hope to see you next year at MBAS!

In this post

This year at MBAS

Featured sessions
Empower every individual with amazing data experiences

Empower every team to act on insights

Empower every organization with a secure, performant, and scalable solution

Wrap-up

This year at MBAS

Start by watching our main session and the follow-up sessions further down in this post. Explore real-world stories on how customers such as Walmart, T-Mobile, and Bayer are driving a data culture with Microsoft Power BI. Read Arun’s blog on driving a data culture.

We are excited to announce and showcase new capabilities to help you be the data culture champion in your organization.

Our vision for Microsoft Power BI is to inspire our customers and help them embrace a data culture. We are innovating in three major areas – empowering everyone with rich data experiences; enabling data-driven decisions in the moment where one works; and providing every organization with a secure, performant, and scalable solution.

3 concentric circles. The innermost circle is labeled "Empower every individual," the middle circle is "Empower every team" and the outer circle is "Empower every organization"

In the sections below we will go into details of our advancements in each of these areas – including links to relevant sessions and blogs.

Featured sessions

Use the links below to watch our highlighted session from MBAS or see all the sessions tagged ‘Power BI’.

Power BI – Peek into the future (part 1): Vision & Roadmap (FS102)

Speakers: Amir Netz, Arun Ulag, Patrick Baumgartner, Justyna Lucznik, Will Thompson

Duration: 30 minutes

Power BI empowers every organization to meet the most demanding modern enterprise needs. See why 97% of the Fortune 500 use Power BI today and understand why customers large and small are standardizing on Power BI. In this session you will hear about the Power BI strategy, learn where we’re heading, and see some demos of capabilities on our roadmap that are amazing!
Available on-demand here.

Power BI – Peek into the future (part 2): Analytics for everyone (FS104)

Speakers: Amir Netz, Arun Ulag, Patrick Baumgartner, Anton Fritz, Amanda Rivera, Christian Wade

Duration: 30 minutes

Learn how Power BI empowers individuals, teams and organizations to drive a data culture. The features and capabilities we release for Power BI are based on thousands of ideas provided by our Power BI community members. In this session, we’ll demo a variety of capabilities available, exciting new features, and will share the roadmap for later this year.
Available on-demand here.

Goals in Power BI (FS116)

Speakers: Arun Ulag, Justyna Lucznik

Duration: 30 minutes

Goals are new performance management capabilities built into Power BI. Goals unify your metrics and help you understand business health at a glance. They enable you to connect your KPIs to individuals, driving accountability and helping users track their progress. Problem areas can be identified early on and easily communicated to the rest of the team through check-ins.
Available on-demand here.

Empower every individual with amazing data experiences

Power BI empowers every user by making data and insights just one click away. You get the most complete AI capabilities in BI product; you can also quickly create customized reports through automated visual generation and new AI infused insights. Learn how Standard Bank , King’s College London and Nestle continue to innovate using AI capabilities in Power BI.

Smart Narratives Generally available

The smart narrative visualization helps you quickly summarize visuals and reports. It provides relevant innovative insights that you can customize. Use smart narrative summaries in your reports to address key takeaways, point out trends, and edit the language and format for a specific audience. As a part of the general availability of Smart Narratives, we added accessibility support, localization in 43 languages, and the ability to summarize more visuals such as maps and cards.

 

Anomaly Detection Generally available

Anomaly detection helps you enhance your line charts by automatically detecting anomalies in your time series data. It also provides explanations for the anomalies to help with root cause analysis. With just a couple of clicks, you can easily find insights without slicing and dicing the data. With the general availability of Anomaly Detection, we support full accessibility.

Automated Insights Coming soon

Automated Insights combine all Power BI AI functionality ranging from Anomaly Detection to Smart Narratives and the Decomposition tree into a single end to end experience directly catered to your needs. When you open a report, Automated Insights runs behind the scenes, and surfaces details that need your attention. You can also click into the new ‘Get Insights’ button in the ribbon whenever you want to get additional insights about the visuals you are seeing.

Quick Create from SharePoint List Preview

Microsoft Office 365 has started rolling out a new ‘visualize in Power BI’ capability for SharePoint lists. This allows users of SharePoint lists to quickly create a Power BI report to visualize data in the list. The same logic from the Power BI ‘quick create’ feature is used to automatically generate visualizations which can be used as a starting point to explore and customize a Power BI report. Created reports can be published back to the SharePoint list so that it appears in the SharePoint list integrate menu for other users to view.

Lineage view and Impact analysis support for DirectQuery for Power BI datasets

We are adding support for the DirectQuery for Power BI datasets preview feature to the lineage view and impact analysis both in the Service and in the Power BI Desktop. Regardless of if the dataset is in the same workspace as the source datasets or in a different workspace you can see it in lineage view and impact analysis.

Make datasets discoverable and request access Coming soon

In a culture of data reuse, analysts should be able to see what data is available in their organization for them to use. To this end, another big step Power BI has taken is to allow a data owner to make their dataset discoverable even by users who don’t yet have access to the data it contains.

As an admin or a member of a workspace, when you endorse a dataset, by default you’ll also be making it discoverable by other users, who can then request access to it if they don’t have access already.

Now that datasets can be made discoverable, users can find data that interests them and request access to it in the Datasets Hub and in Power BI Desktop.

In many cases, getting access to data goes through a process that is unique to your org and to your dataset. Recognizing the variety of processes for requesting and granting access, we allow any dataset owner (workspace admin/member/contributor) to customize per-dataset instructions for how to get access. When an end-user requests access to the dataset, they will be shown a dialog message with details about how to get access.

By default, if no instructions were set, the access request will be sent by email to the user who created the dataset or to the one who assumed ownership.

Request accessing instructions can be set on a dataset.

Data in space Coming soon

In a digital world, data is produced in vast quantities by IoT sensors embedded in almost any environment. With Data in space provided by Power BI Mobile apps, the frontline worker will be able to augment Power BI reports in physical space, as close as possible to the objects who generate them. These reports will add a data layer on top of the object, helping people get a better understanding of the data in its spatial context.

Modern visual tooltips Preview

Tooltips are an important part of Power BI reports as they provide additional information about a datapoint and allow for progressive disclosure of that information. This month, we’re releasing a public preview of new visual tooltips! These new tooltips include datapoint drill actions and updated styling to match your report theme:

Modern visual tooltips example showing drill down and drill through.

Once you enable these new tooltips, you’ll be able to drill down/up and drill through on a datapoint without having to use the right-click menu or visual header.

Stay tuned for more details in an upcoming blog!

Create optimized reports for mobile devices Coming soon

When building a report, you can choose which visuals will show up in the layout optimized for mobile devices using the optional layout builder for mobile devices. Coming soon, we will be enabling you to modify the properties of visuals to further optimize the appearance for mobile devices. Creators can modify fonts, colors, size, legends and others, making sure that your report will be optimized for mobile consumption.

Analyze your personal Microsoft Teams usage Coming soon

Microsoft Teams has become fundamental to how many of us get work done every day. To help you understand your personal use of Microsoft Teams, we have added a new Power BI connector and out-of-the box report. This feature provides a terrific way to gain insights into your personal Teams usage metrics, such as the number of meetings participated in and the amount of time you have spent sharing content, as well as understanding usage patterns of Teams channels you are a member of.

Empower every team to act on insights

Power BI fosters deeper collaboration, improved productivity, and insights-driven actions among teams. From making it easier for your teammates to quickly find the data they need and then turn insights into actions, to performance management capabilities directly build into Power BI through goals, Power BI supports you everywhere decisions are made. BI is infused into the org fabric with Power BI. Check out a featured session on driving transformation with Power Platform, and discover how RAC and Avnet use Power BI to help their teams make more timely informed decisions and act.

Achieve more and stay on track with goals in Power BI Preview

Goals in Power BI will redefine how you measure key business metrics, outcomes, and milestones. Using goals, individuals can aggregate metrics with deep ownership and accountability. Goals helps you streamline the process of collecting, tracking, and analyzing all your business metrics in one place. You can create scorecards with writeback capabilities, define status, check in with notes, and assign goals to individuals. Goals can be powered by data coming from one or more Power BI reports, spanning different workspaces.

To track and update progress of goals and KPIs on the go, support for goals in the Power BI Mobile apps is coming soon! A new Goals tab will be added to the app, allowing you to view your scorecards and closely monitor goals assigned to you, making it possible for you to stay on top of your targets from anywhere at any time.

Read more in this blog.

Refresh connections to Power BI data within Excel for the web

Ensuring it is incredibly easy to use Excel to connect to Power BI and analyze data is key to empowering every individual and team. Excel spreadsheets provide flexible, powerful, and familiar capabilities for data that are foundational for every data user. Our integration between Power BI and Excel is taking a huge step forward as we begin rolling out the ability to refresh connections to Power BI data in Excel for the web.

We’ve made it simple to connect Excel to Power BI either by “analyzing in Excel” from Power BI or discovering and connecting to Power BI data right from within Excel. Now, when you share these connected workbooks through OneDrive and SharePoint, recipients will be able refresh data and interact with PivotTables connected to Power BI. These capabilities have started rolling out across Office 365 tenants and we expect the feature to be fully rolled out in the next few months.

Deploy Power BI Apps into Teams App

Helping organizations deliver data and insights “1-click away” wherever people work is key to driving a data culture. Coming soon, we’re going to make this even easier to achieve with the ability to package and distribute Power BI apps as apps in Microsoft Teams. This means that organizations will be able to choose to pre-pin Power BI apps in Teams for their users and enables end users to discover these Power BI apps on their own within the Teams app gallery. Learn more about how to share insights with Power BI, Teams and Excel in this session.

Power Automate visual Preview

Empower your end-users to go from insight to action, with the new Power Automate visual. End-users can run an automated flow all within a Power BI report. Furthermore, the executed flow can be data contextual, meaning that the Flow inputs can be dynamic based on the filters set by the end-user. For more details, check out our documentation!

Empower every organization with a secure, performant, and scalable solution

Power BI enables a data culture at any scale and helps you meet the most demanding enterprise needs. With new insights and governance functionality for Power BI admins, paginated report integration, and improved performance of massive datasets, Power BI helps you embrace a data culture across your organization. Customers such as HumanaNestle, Zurich, University of Waterloo are increasingly standardizing with Power BI.

New Insights and Governance functionality for Power BI admins Coming soon

Azure Monitor integration will allow you to connect Power BI Premium/Embedded environments to Azure Log Analytics workspaces. Log Analytics provides long-term data storage, retention policies, ad hoc query capability, and the ability to analyze activities in Power BI using a built-in connector. You will have access to detailed logs on Analysis Services dataset activity, capacity utilization, and report usage and performance in near real time. You will be able to view template reports and apps so you can understand how, when, and by whom content and resources are being consumed.

Azure Monitor integration will allow you to connect Power BI Premium/Embedded environments to Azure Log Analytics (LA) workspaces.

Modern Usage Metrics will be updated to provide 90 days of history. You will be able to access built-in usage reports on aggregated/trend data and drill down to each individual page level view. Each page view will have performance information, including breakdowns of query and render duration.

We will also release a new series of Admin APIs to provide detailed visibility of access rights. You will be able to determine the users, groups and permissions on a given Power BI artifact such as report, dashboard, dataset, dataflow, app, workspace or capacity. You can also specify all the content and permissions any specific user has access to and satisfy audit and compliance needs.

Data loss prevention enhancements Coming soon

Recently we announced enhanced security and data loss prevention capabilities for Microsoft Power BI, to ensure the highest levels of data security while bringing data insights to everyone across the organization. The first steps we took are the general availability of sensitivity labels in Power BI, supporting these capabilities with the respective API, and securing the full data journey from Azure to Office. Moving forward, Power BI will allow you to define a mandatory label policy in your organization, as well as apply automatic label inheritance on downstream connected artifacts. Also, the support for setting labels in Desktop (currently in preview) will become generally available. With these capabilities, organizations will be able to ensure all data used in Power BI service or Desktop is classified and remains protected.

Paginated report visual for Power BI reports Coming soon

Paginated report visual for Power BI reports.

We are bringing together paginated reports and interactive reports for the first time with the new paginated report visual. You can embed a paginated report directly in your Power BI report, and use filters/slicers and cross-highlighting to interact with the visual just as you would other Power BI visuals. Additionally, you will be able to export and print the paginated report directly from the Power BI report canvas and preserve all formatting.

Automatic Aggregations Coming soon

Automatic aggregations unlock massive datasets for interactive analysis as Power BI automatically creates and manages in-memory aggregations based on usage patterns to boost query performance and user concurrency. Automatic aggregations will support DirectQuery datasets over Azure Synapse, Azure SQL Database, Snowflake and Google BigQuery.

Premium Gen 2 Preview

Power BI’s updated Enterprise-grade capacity-based offering that features greater scale, reduced management overhead and enhanced performance will reach general availability this July. The new platform will seamlessly integrate with new features like Azure Monitor integration and to bring insights about Premium Capacity utilization to a centralize store, simplifying distribution of costs for capacity usage across org, perform long-term budget planning and respond to ever-changing organizational analytics needs. Learn more about this updated platform in our docs and start enjoying all the benefits of this new platform by enabling the Gen2 preview today.

Deployment Pipelines automation Coming soon

Automate the release of content updates with a set of new APIs for deployment pipelines.

With these APIs, BI teams can:

  • Deploy multiple pipelines at a scheduled time.
  • Cascade deployments of Power BI content.
  • Easily integrate Power BI release processes into familiar DevOps tools, such as Azure DevOps or GitHub actions.

Automate the release of content updates with a set of new APIs for deployment pipelines.

Power BI embedded analytics playground

Recently we announced the new embedded analytics playground, where you can get hands-on coding experience, embed your own reports, and interact with our client APIs to see instant results. You will find interactive showcases that might inspire you. Lastly, we have created a new learning center to help you find all the relevant samples, tutorials, and documentation you will need for a successful integration.

To see Power BI embedded analytics capabilities in action, check out the new playground now.

Learn what else is new for Power BI embedded in this session.

Demo of embedded playground

Embed Power BI in Jupyter Notebook Coming soon

Soon you will be able to embed Power BI reports in your Jupyter notebooks, and then use Power BI features to improve data storytelling. Once embedded, you can add Power BI bookmarks to make it possible to show different views of the same report and order those views to facilitate data storytelling. You can also export the data of one of the visuals and do additional data exploration using Python.

Power BI in Jupyter notebooks

Wrap-up

If you made it this far and are still reading, congrats! Thanks for reading and enjoy re-living the great moments from MBAS. I am curious to hear from you what is your favorite MBAS moment this year! Feel free to leave a comment here and keep the conversation going in our community. See you soon!