As organisations begin to recognise the importance of harnessing their data, services like Power BI have grown in popularity, allowing businesses to uncover important insights and spot emerging trends.

In response to this growth, Microsoft has remained committed to delivering monthly update cycles that contain highly requested features, taking customer feedback on board to provide users with the tools needed to build engaging reports.

Microsoft maintained this monthly consistency in August, introducing a host of exciting updates that cover a range of key areas, including reporting, analytics, visualisations, template apps, data preparation and data connectivity.

This includes the introduction of Perspectives support for Personalise visuals, allowing end users to make inline tweaks to visualisations, so they can interact with the report through a more focussed view.

In this blog, we have taken a closer look at some of August’s most significant updates and the impact these will have on our clients.

Rectangle lasso select for data points

Earlier this year, Microsoft released a rectangle select for visuals, allowing users to conveniently select multiple visuals at once instead of interacting with them individually.

In the most recent update cycle, this support was extended to data points for line, area and scatter charts, enabling users to create a selection rectangle by holding down the Ctrl key and dragging within a visual.

Once users have dragged over the data points they want to include, previous selections will be preserved, and already-selected points will be removed. Meanwhile, holding down the Shift key and dragging will add new points to your existing selections.

This tool can also be used when viewing a report, allowing users to create a selection rectangle with a simple click and drag. However, it’s important to remember that this action will count as starting a new selection and will not preserve any currently selected points.

Currently, the maximum number of data points you can select is limited to 300, but Microsoft has expressed its intentions to further expand the support in future releases.

Perspectives support for Personalise visuals

For those of our readers with limited Power BI experience, Personalise visuals is a preview feature that allows end-users to customise visualisations in reading view, such as changing a measure or dimension.

As mentioned earlier, the introduction of Perspectives support for this feature will allow users to choose a subset of a model to provide a more focussed view, enhancing the end-user experience in both tabular and multi-dimensional models.

Once the tabular editor has been downloaded, users can create the perspective by opening the report in Power BI Desktop, before launching the editor from the External Tools tab of the ribbon.

From there, you can add fields to the perspective through the Tables folder, before saving the perspective and Power BI report. Then, if you navigate to the Format pane on the page, there will be a new section for Personalise visual.

Initially, report-reader perspective is set to default fields, but through the dropdown menu, users will have access to every perspective they’ve created. This update is designed to give readers greater freedom over how they interact with reports.

Drill down Pie PRO by ZoomCharts

Custom visuals have always been popular in Power BI, as they allow users to build visually appealing reports that clearly display data and trends, encouraging users to thoroughly digest the information provided.

Last month, as part of the ZoomCharts Advanced Visuals Suite, Drill Down Pie PRO was introduced to the platform, delivering smooth animations and rich customisation options, along with the signature drilldown functionality associated with ZoomCharts.

Allowing developers to create engaging Power BI reports, the feature is ideal for building reports that offer intuitive, quick and easy data exploration experiences across every device.

With multilevel drilldown, users can explore various data categories by clicking directly on the slice. The visual clues will indicate the number of drilldown levels available, whilst also serving as a navigation guide.

The custom visual comes with a range of other key features, including rich customisation options and on-chart interactions, allowing businesses to deliver insightful reports that readers enjoy engaging with.

Harnessing data with ease…

With businesses looking to make up for the past few months of Covid-related disruption, many are turning to Power BI to help them harness their data and uncover business-enhancing insights.

With Microsoft routinely introducing new and exciting features, Power BI offers a suitable long-term solution for organisations looking to embark on a new data journey.

Rather than introducing new features without thought, every update is tailored to address existing issues, whilst giving users greater creative freedom when it comes to the reporting process.

If you’d like to unlock the true potential of Power BI for your business, then contact our in-house team of specialists and find a solution that meets your unique requirements.