Power BI improvements for August

by | Aug 23, 2019

Summer may be coming to an end, but the Power BI update cycles certainly aren’t.

When it comes to improving their popular platforms, Microsoft aren’t ones for standing still and watching apps stagnate, instead they’re constantly looking for new and exciting ways to enhance the user experience.

Rather than introducing updates for the sake of it, time is spent listening to customer concerns, delivering changes in direct response to user feedback.

Covering reporting, analytics, visualisations, data connectivity and template apps, the latest update cycle came with a host of exciting features, all designed to make Power BI more effective and efficient.

One of August’s most significant introductions was grouping visuals – a highly-anticipated feature that allows users to easily organise groups of visuals, moving and resizing them as a set.

Reporting – Conditional formatting warnings

While Power BI prides itself on offering businesses greater creative freedom, the app also recognises the importance of alerting users when a mistake is made.

In recent times, Microsoft has expanded the number of places where conditional formatting can be applied, introducing settings such as titles and font colours.

Power BI has expressed a long-term goal to support conditional formatting for all formatting properties, which has increased the need for a correction system to spot errors in real-time.

In response to this, Power BI will now show a warning in the visual header and the formatting pane if certain issues occur, for example if the measure returns an unrecognised value or the measure to conditionally format was deleted.

This will allow users to analyse data accurately without mistakes slipping into the final report.

Reporting – Grouping visuals

Grouping was one of the most exciting demos from the Microsoft Business Applications Summit and for good reason too.

Allowing users to group visuals, textboxes, images and buttons together on their report page, objects can now be moved and resized all at once.

While this may sound like a relatively simple update, the change should make it much easier for users to work with reports that contain layered updates on multiple pages.

To group visuals, users can ctrl+click them and right click to select the group option, while right-clicking the group will display an option to ungroup later on.

With future grouping changes planned, this is a progressive update from Power BI which further demonstrates their commitment to enhancing the reporting process.

xViz visualisation suite by Visual BI

One of the biggest appeals of Power BI is the ability to create visually engaging reports, displaying important data in colourful graphs and charts.

Visual BI, the makers of the ValQ value driver tree visual, are releasing a suite of highly customisable visuals that are completely free to use up until 2000 data points.

One of the main visuals within the suite is the multiple axis chart, allowing users to display up to five separate axis values, each with a unique visual type: column, column stacked, line, spline, area, area stacked or area spline.

Again, this update aims to give users greater creative license when it comes to designing reports and displaying data, making it easier for readers to digest important information.

What does your data tell you?

While businesses scramble to collect and store masses of data, converting this information into usable insights is another challenge altogether.

Not only does Power BI allow businesses to create interesting reports using the data they have collected, but they’re also committed to improving the user experience over time.

Rather than ignoring consumer feedback, updates are implemented to benefit the existing userbase, helping companies unlock the true potential of their data.

If you’re looking to improve your data management and reporting strategy, contact our in-house team and find a solution that works for you.