With the recent updates for Power BI, storytelling with data has become even more easy and exciting. Let us look at these much–awaited features.
1. Personalised visuals
Personalised visuals aid the end-users of the report allowing them to customise and explore a visual based on their specific use-case. This allows them to change the type of visual and swap fields, measures and aggregations. This feature can be toggled on/off for each visual and for the report page in general.
2. Deployment Pipelines
With the ever-widening need for analytics and data, it becomes essential to develop an efficient and reusable deployment pipeline for faster delivery of content and reduce manual work and errors.
To address this gap, Power BI has introduced Deployment pipelines as a preview feature in its latest release. This enables enterprise BI team to configure development, test and production environments and incrementally transition content between environments. Currently, this feature is available only for Power BI Premium capacity users.
3. New action types for buttons
a. Page navigation:
For any Power BI report, page navigation becomes an integral part of the design. Until now, bookmarks must be created, managed and integrated into buttons as a work-around to mimic page navigation experience. With the latest update, the number of steps gets reduced significantly with new page navigation action type for buttons. In this Page navigation button, destination page can be selected directly, without the use of bookmarks. Conditional page navigation can also be setup to optimize space.
b. Drill through:
Drill through scenarios does not have the required visibility for the end-users in some reports. In order to enhance its discoverability, a new Drill through action type is introduced for buttons. To make use of this feature, a drill through page must exist which can be selected in the destination tab.
4. User Experience – Drop shadows and fill images
Power BI has introduced two new features that greatly enhance the user experience. Fill images support has been introduced for buttons. This combined with built-in button states can help developers create a better interactive experience in the report.
In addition to this, Power BI now has support for shadows in all the visuals. This gives a much-needed modern UI feel to Power BI reports. The drop shadow option is highly customisable with settings for size, blur, distance and transparency.
5. Customize themes
Until recently, custom themes in Power BI could only be created by writing or modifying a JSON file. With the new feature from Power BI, customizing your current theme has never been so simple. Most of the options in your theme can now be customized by selecting the Customize current theme option under the theming dropdown. Color scheme, font family and sizes, visuals, page settings and filter pane options can be formatted through this dialog.
In addition to custom themes, Power BI has also released a feature to export the current theme of the report. This feature comes handy to use your favorite theme across multiple reports with ease. Export current theme option is available under the theming dropdown.
6. Multi-column sort
Several business use-cases demand to sort by multiple columns for ease of understanding and perception. With its latest release, Power BI has resolved this by including a multi-column sort option for tables. Shift + click enables you to include multiple columns under sort and changing the direction of sorting.
7. Conditional formatting for totals and sub-totals
Conditional formatting of values in table and matrix visuals are crucial for communication of the right insights to the end-users. This feature was unavailable for totals and sub-totals, making them stand as an anomaly in a report. To sort this, Power BI has at last introduced this much-awaited feature, enabling conditional formatting for totals.
8. Change detection for auto-refresh
Page refresh for DirectQuery sources can be scheduled based on a change detection instead of a pre-defined time interval. This change detection can be based on a new measure or an existing measure in the model. Page refresh occurs only when the change detection measure returns a new value.
For example, in a transactional database, if the count of the transaction ID is defined as a measure, the report refreshes only when a new transaction is added to the table.
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