Christmas has come early for Power BI users, as the penultimate update cycle of 2019 includes some of the most requested improvements of recent months.
Having already built a strong reputation for delivering updates based on customer feedback, the latest cycle should come as no surprise to loyal users, as Microsoft once again demonstrates its commitment to customer satisfaction.
Covering reporting, analytics, visualisations, data connectivity, data preparation and template apps, November’s updates have something for everyone, including the new Decomposition Tree visual, which has been one of the most requested ideas on the Power BI forum.
A new, modern ribbon that aligns Power BI Desktop with Office 365 has also been introduced, offering users more functionality when using the platform.
Continue reading for a full breakdown of November’s most significant updates:
Power BI is well known for introducing engaging custom visuals, helping users clearly display information and deliver important insights to their audience.
One of the most interesting additions this month is the Advanced Gauge visual, which allows users to easily compare an actual value, like key business indicators, against a target value.
True to Power BI’s reputation, there are a lot of customisation and configuration options to explore, as users can make their gauge a full or semi-circle, with the ability to display various metrics in one visual.
Other important configurations include conditional formatting options for the gauge fill colour, colour control for the target indicator and axis/number formatting.
It’s another update that promises greater creative license during the reporting phase, helping readers digest and retain information and data.
Decomposition Tree (preview)
Described as one of the most requested features for Power BI, the Decomposition Tree visual has finally been revealed, further enhancing the reporting process for users.
Performing root-cause analysis by viewing the performance of individual categories within a group, the visual allows users to deconstruct a group to see how each aspect is performing according to a selected measure.
Once the visual has been turned on and added to the page, two buckets will be displayed in the field well, called ‘analyse’ and ‘explain by’. The numeric field you want to break down is added to ‘analyse’ and the fields you want to apply this to is added to ‘explain by’.
As the different fields are expanded, the path will begin forming a tree that users can zoom in and out of to analyse the information presented, using the headers and darkened lines to highlight which part of the tree is being explored.
This highly customisable visual will give users the ability to assess the separate categories, providing a detailed breakdown of the available data and how it contributes to the overall group performance.
Modern Ribbon (preview)
In a bid to modernise the editing experience for its users, Power BI is previewing a new ribbon that is currently used in Office 365.
Seen as an improved version of the previous ribbon, it includes a range of new and exciting features, designed to enhance the functionality of the platform.
A themes gallery has been added, where users can see what colours will be applied, while the dynamic ribbon’s content will be tailored to the unique view of the user, removing disabled buttons in the data and modelling view.
The ribbon will also collapse into a smaller, single line version, to save space for users when they’re working, while glitches that previously made the ribbon freeze have now been fixed.
Microsoft have promised a range of future updates for the ribbon, including flexible controls and a greater choice of themes, so it’s worth keeping an eye out for upcoming update cycles.
Take advantage of your data…
While it’s easy to become obsessed with collecting masses of data and storing it away in a dark corner of your business, without effective analysis the information counts for nothing.
Platforms like Power BI can take this data and transform it into important insights that can help grow your business and deliver better results to clients.
If there are elements or features you don’t quite understand, Power BI’s extremely active forums can help you figure it out and we’re always on hand to show you the ropes.
As we enter the final weeks of 2019, now is the perfect time to take the leap and experience the true potential of Power BI for yourself.