Power BI improvements for February

by | Feb 28, 2020

Last month, we switched our focus to Power BI’s report server, but now we’re back to the original format, analysing February’s most important feature improvements.

Once again, Microsoft has taken community feedback on board, delivering two of the top community requests; incremental refresh for Power BI Pro and hierarchical slicer.

February’s most significant improvements cover various key areas, including dataset management, reporting, modelling, visualisations, template apps, data preparation and data connectivity.

There has also been a range of new and engaging visuals added to the service, allowing users to build insightful reports by highlighting their data in an interesting and easy-to-read format.

Read on for an in-depth analysis of February’s biggest changes:

Incremental refresh

As mentioned in the introduction, this update was highly requested from the community, as users wanted the incremental refresh feature to become generally available.

Now supported by Power BI Pro licensing, it is no longer a Premium only feature, which means all users can unlock the true potential of larger datasets.

In addition to this, incremental refresh operations now observe the time zone specified in the dataset settings page, allowing users from across the world to access the features.

With this, larger datasets will benefit from faster and more reliable refreshes, as only the recently changed data is targeted, without the need for long running connections to volatile source systems.

In turn, this reduces resource consumption, as less data means less memory is needed to successfully process the information.

Updates to the new ribbon (preview)

The recently added ribbon has also benefitted from updates, with improvements made to the title bar, keytips and accessibility.

Due to popular demand, Microsoft has reintroduced the save, undo and redo buttons, which can be found on the left side of the bar, while the sign-in feature has been added on the right side.

These new updates allow users to navigate and select buttons in the ribbon and title bar using keytips, which can be activated by clicking Alt + Windows Key. Once these have been switched on, users can then press the shown keys to navigate between buttons.

As part of the improvements to accessibility, Ctrl + F6 can be used to quickly work through the ribbon section. From the ribbon, you can tap to move between bars and use the arrow keys to move between elements.

These improvements will give users increased functionality, while allowing them to work more efficiently with the use of shortcuts and keytips.

Funnel and Pyramid chart by xViz

Given Power BI’s reputation for allowing users to create visually appealing reports, our monthly update blog wouldn’t be complete without mentioning one of the latest visuals.

This month, xViz added the Funnel and Pyramid chart, which is a two-in-one visual that functions in two different visualisation modes; default and 3D.

Its highly customisable nature allows users to configure every aspect of the visual through the advanced conditional formatting options, giving them greater creative license when building their reports.

The visual is perfect for sales and SEO analysis, as users can utilise the hierarchical visualisation to analyse data across various locations.

As always, the visual can be downloaded via AppSource.

Harnessing your data…

By now, regular readers of our blogs will be familiar with the benefits Power BI can bring to their business and how the platform’s features are regularly updated in response to customer feedback.

However, there are still many businesses that are slow to make the change, collecting masses of information without any intention of transforming it into business-enhancing insights.

Modern business rewards proactivity, and without it, you risk falling behind the competition and allowing them to challenge your industry-leading position.

Finding the right solution could take your business to the next level. If you’d like help finding one that meets your unique requirements, then contact our team of experts for more information.