Power BI improvements for September

by | Sep 27, 2019

As we approach the final few months of 2019, it’s time to take a closer look at some of September’s most significant updates.

Microsoft’s unrivalled commitment to quality has been the catalyst for more Power BI improvements, with new and exciting features added in direct response to customer feedback.

Covering reporting, analytics, visualisations, data connectivity, data preparation and template apps, September’s update cycle contains a wealth of changes that have been designed to improve the overall user experience.

Now, when creating reports, users will immediately recognise a new modern default theme, with Power BI introducing a range of built-in theme options for its userbase to utilise.

Read on for a full breakdown of some of this month’s biggest updates:

Reporting – Colour and text classes in themes

When it comes to writing your own custom theme JSON file, the process can often be tedious and time consuming, as you struggle with the settings to deliver the perfect report.

To help with this, Power BI has expanded the colour classes within its theme file, allowing users to format many of the colours without interfering with the visual styles.

With new colour classes added to the existing list, users can now edit all visual elements within a report just by setting six colours, meaning reports can be tailored to meet the unique requirements of your business, without any unnecessary hassle.

The classes include, foreground, foregroundNeturalSecondary, foregroundNeutralTertiary, backgroundLight, backgroundNeutral, background and TableAccent.

Combined with four primary text classes that allow users to edit and format individual labels, these new features have been designed to improve the efficiency of reporting.

Reporting – New default themes

Along with the new theme JSON options, Power BI has also updated its available themes.

Changing its default theme for new reports, Microsoft’s design and research team have also added a range of visually appealing options to offer users more variety, such as Innovate and Bloom.

Aligning with Microsoft’s design language and following best design practices for visuals, the new default setting is an improved version of the original, making it easier for users to create and tailor engaging reports.

Some of the visual updates with the new default theme include, larger text, smaller bubble sizes for scatter visuals, wider line strokes for charts and expand/collapse options for matrixes.

Previous themes can still be accessed under the ‘more themes’ menu if you would prefer to use them instead.

Analytics – Custom format strings

When using the modelling view, you can now customise how the field will be displayed in visuals by entering in a custom format string.

By selecting the field in the field list, you can then click the custom format option in the formatting card, which will allow you to choose from a list of commonly used strings.

There is also an option to enter in your own string using the input box – Power BI will support most of the VBA style syntax, with only a few exceptions.

Once it has been entered, the custom format string will be reflected in the data and report view, allowing users to navigate and analyse their data with ease.

With Power BI constantly looking to improve the efficiency of its app, these updates will allow businesses to harness their data and spot emerging trends.

Delivering value to your business…

Each month, Power BI users are presented with a range of new opportunities, as Microsoft introduces new features to the app.

Rather than implementing unneeded changes, the update cycles take your needs into consideration, introducing features that will deliver value to clients, while enhancing the user experience.

For businesses who handle masses of data and need help transforming this into important insights, Power BI can help you unlock the untapped potential within your organisation.

If you’d like help finding a solution that meets the unique requirements of your business, contact our in-house team of experts.