Power BI improvements for March

by | Mar 24, 2020

Despite the spread of coronavirus and the uncertainty caused by recent events, Microsoft’s Power BI update cycles have continued as usual.

As always, these updates have been shaped by customer feedback, introducing features that address some of the most pressing issues currently faced by users.

This month, the updates cover a range of key areas, including reporting, modelling, visualisations, template apps, data preparation and data connectivity.

These include new button actions to offer users increased functionality and a series of exciting custom visuals that give users more creative license during the reporting process.

Read on for a closer look at some of March’s most significant updates:

Dual axis for line chart

One of the most requested updates this month, the dual axis for line chart, allows users to include a second Y-axis on their chart.

With this feature, it’s possible to plot two trends with different ranges along the same X-axis progression, providing readers with more detailed insights.

By dragging fields into the new secondary Y-axis field well, the chart will automatically draw these values into the right side of the chart, opposite the original Y-axis.

Once the new Y-axis has been added, the lines can be formatted in the associated card of the formatting pane, allowing users to change the appearance of their chart to meet their own requirements.

This visual update is yet another way in which Power BI users can harness and display their data.

New button actions

This month, two new action types for buttons have been added to the service: page navigation and drill through (preview).

The new page navigation feature streamlines the entire button creation process, as previously, users had to save a bookmark for their destination page and create a button that referenced that bookmark.

Now, the page navigation action has been built-in, meaning users can create an entire navigation experience without having to take all the original time-consuming steps.

Meanwhile, the new drill through action type will allow people to contextually navigate to a drill through page, which is extremely useful for those wanting to increase the discoverability of important drill though scenarios.

To successfully set up a drill through button, users will need to have a valid drill through page in their report, before creating a button with ‘Drill Through’ as the action type, and the page as the ‘Destination’. Conditional formatting can then be used to change the button text based on the selected value.

Waterfall chart by xViz

A monthly Power BI update blog would not be complete without mentioning one of the exciting new custom visuals that has recently been added to the service.

Labelled as one of the most popular visuals in the financial world, the xViz Waterfall chart displays the cumulative effect of sequential positive and negative values contributing to the final total.

The chart can be used for a number of important functions, including variance analysis, breakdown analysis, displaying running totals, displaying multiple totals and total column values.

Designed with a custom sort option, the Waterfall chart can be sorted with another column, while switching between horizontal and vertical orientations for closer analysis.

In recent months, xViz has also released many other popular visuals, enhancing the user experience by giving people the opportunity to display their data in an interesting and engaging way.

Delivering important insights…

With entire workforces currently working from home due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s crucial that productivity is not impacted and that businesses take advantage of emerging trends.

Using the masses of data collected, businesses can transform information into insights through platforms like Power BI, ensuring opportunities are spotted early to facilitate business growth.

For those organisations looking to use Power BI long-term, the regular update cycles ensure that the service is constantly refreshed, with new features added to enhance the user experience.

If you need help finding a solution that meets the unique needs of your business, then contact our in-house team and begin strategising.