As we approach the end of another month, it’s time to look back at some of May’s most important Power BI updates.

Regular readers of our blog will be well accustomed to the monthly Power BI update cycles, as Microsoft implement service-enhancing changes in direct response to customer feedback.

This month’s updates cover a range of key areas including reporting, analytics, visualisations, modelling, data preparation and data connectivity, with some of the service’s most popular features now being made generally available.

Another highly anticipated update allows users to curate featured tables for Excel, giving businesses the tools needed to enrich Excel sheets using company data.

Read on for a more detailed look at this month’s Power BI update cycle:

Apply all filters (preview)

As a service, Power BI prides itself on giving businesses an efficient way of analysing masses of data, using engaging visuals to illustrate their insightful reports.

In a bid to optimise the filter pane for query reduction, Microsoft has given users the option to apply all filter changes at once. Before, users could only choose to apply the basic filter instantly (default option) or add an apply button to each filter.

Whilst the default option was more suited to those who prioritised interactivity over query reduction, the second option required an additional click for each applied filter, making the process a lot less efficient.

With this update, users have an option to add a single apply button to the filter pane, allowing creators and end-users to apply all modifications at once. This time-saving update can be used at a report-level, although it must be turned on before it can be used.

This ‘Apply’ button can also be customised in the filter pane section of the format pane, through various font colour, size and family settings.

Apply filters para

Curate featured tables for Excel (preview)

As mentioned in the introduction, users now have the power to curate featured tables to be referenced in Excel, allowing them to enrich Excel sheets with authoritative enterprise data.

Within Excel’s data types gallery, users can find data from featured tables in Power BI datasets, and feature specific data on customers, products and suppliers.

Through Power BI’s certified and promoted datasets capabilities, businesses can allow employees to find and use relevant data to make better informed decisions. Once an Excel sheet is linked to curated, organisational data from Power BI, then users can get important data straight from the source.

To begin curating a featured table in Power BI desktop, users must first turn on the preview by going to file, options and settings, options and then selecting ‘Featured Tables’ from the preview features section.

From there users can choose from the various table options, providing dialogue in the required fields to set up the table. Once the dataset has been published to Power BI service, the table will be displayed in Excel’s data types gallery.

Packed bubble chart by xViz

Finally, regular users of Power BI will be interested to know that xViz have release a new visualisation, with the packed bubble chart offering a new option for businesses.

Rather than being spread over a grid of X and Y-axis, a single category and value field is all that’s needed to create the visual, with the bubbles tightly packed together compared to the original bubble chart.

The category field defines the individual bubbles and value represents the bubble size, with users given the option to add interactive features like drill down, grouping or clustering with additional category fields.

Conditional formatting can also be used to highlight the bubbles based on different business rules, giving users more creative freedom when compiling their reports.


Dig deeper into your data…

In order to grow, your business must identify trends that will give them an edge over their competitors, and this can only be achieved if you have a clear understanding of what your data means.

Services like Power BI give businesses the tools needed to transform information into insights, with easy-to-use features making it suitable for those with very basic expertise.

With monthly update cycles constantly improving the service, users can be safe in the knowledge that any issues they experience will be addressed and corrected.

If you’d like to implement Power BI and see how it can help your business, contact our in-house team of experts for more details.