With the summer months now in full swing, it’s not just the warm weather brightening up the day, as Power BI’s recent updates promise to lift the mood of its loyal userbase.

As the social distancing measures are slowly relaxed, Power BI has become vital for businesses looking to recover from the financial uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 crisis, allowing them to transform data into business-enhancing insights.

For this reason, Microsoft has once again demonstrated its commitment to quality, introducing a range of exciting updates in direct response to customer feedback.

This month’s updates cover many key areas, including reporting, analytics, visualisations, template apps, modelling and data connectivity, as well as improvements to the layout of the mobile app.

There are plenty of other exciting updates to analyse, and this blog will take a closer look at the impact some of these will have on our clients:

Agile HR Analytics

With the lockdown measures slowly being lifted, organisations will soon be looking to stagger workers back into the office, as operations show the first signs of returning to normal.

For this reason, the Agile HR Analytics solution could provide the perfect way for businesses to keep on top of their HR data and discover useful insights for strategic decision making.

Using these dashboards, HR data can be viewed from different perspectives and drilled through from summary level to individuals, allowing you to analyse historical data and future trends.

Diversity metrics and absenteeism can also be analysed, while staff turnover and training effectiveness can be monitored to see where improvements should be made.

The app, which can be connected to your HR data using provided templates, also contains AI-enabled charts to show you the key factors that drive high performance explained by education, experience and tenure.

Enhancements to mobile authoring

An increase in the number of people working from home has understandably led to more employees relying on the Power BI mobile app to access important insights.

Therefore, it only makes sense that Microsoft have introduced an improved mobile layout authoring experience and additional mobile layout capabilities to provide users with greater creative freedom.

The enhancements introduced in June’s release will make it easier for businesses to build compelling and interactive reports that have been optimised for mobile devices. These experiences and capabilities include a new phone emulator, updated visualisation pane and support for overlaid visuals.

In the mobile app, users can now easily find their desired visual by searching for its name, while a fine-grained grid offers more flexibility in resizing and placing visuals, with a longer canvas allowing users to add more visuals.

It’s a significant step forward for Power BI, especially for those organisations that are looking to implement a new culture of remote and flexible working moving forward.

Line chart dot formatting options

As always, we like to round up the Power BI update blogs by touching on some of the latest visualisations that have been introduced to the platform.

This month, rather than looking at an entirely new visual, we are instead focussing on an improvement that has been made to the popular line chart.

Now, users can have different coloured dots on their line charts to represent separate categories across all their series, allowing them to highlight specific points where necessary.

This can be switched on in the Data Colours tab of the formatting pane, where the categories are located, and the dot colours can be selected. Meanwhile, the Revert to Default option can be used to remove all the dots from the chart.

Remember, this update will show dots for your categories across all your series, but in future updates, this feature will be extended to allow more control over choosing specific series.

Come back stronger…

With social distancing measures slowly being lifted, the first signs of business returning to normal can be seen, as organisations prepare for life after Covid.

As part of their preparations, it’s crucial that they do everything they can to ensure their recovery is strong and swift, utilising all the tools at their disposal to improve their chances of early success.

This includes taking advantage of the data they have stored, transforming information into insights and spotting trends early so they can capitalise on them.

Business intelligence tools like Power BI could be key for businesses during the initial months, so it’s important that such technology is introduced before people return to work.

If you’d like help with finding the right Power BI solution for your business, then contact our in-house team for advice.