Power BI – January’s Update Cycle

New year, new updates. Although January is almost over, this month’s Power BI update cycle proved to be as exciting as ever.

For those who are new to our blog, Microsoft’s monthly updates are introduced in direct response to customer feedback, designed to enhance existing features and improve the overall user experience.

The entire Office 365 toolset benefits from these cycles, including Power BI, whose changes are discussed and analysed in greater detail within our blogs.

Covering Reporting, Modelling and Analytics, January’s updates featured highly-anticipated improvements to the Power BI Report Server, including the addition of row-level security support.

With ten key changes announced for reporting, users can continue harnessing their company’s data to create engaging and interactive reports.

Report Server – Row-level security

January saw the introduction of one of the most highly-requested features for the Report Server – support for row-level security within Power BI reports.

This feature allows report authors to set up roles in the Power BI Desktop and assign users or groups to those roles in the Power BI Report Server portal once it has been published.

However, unlike the Power BI service, users will not be allowed to view content in a report until they have been successfully assigned a role, allowing users to manage reports, only sharing information with approved individuals.

Reporting – Dot plot layout in scatter charts

For those users who enjoy creating visually appealing reports by showcasing data within charts and informative graphics, Power BI’s substantial update to their scatter charts is an exciting improvement that gives individuals greater creative license.

During the reporting process, this new feature allows individuals to use categorical fields on the x-axis of the scatter chart, meaning dot plots can be created to better illustrate data.

Easily enabled, this new update requires the creator to add a categorical field to the x-axis and remove unwanted information from the Details bucket, eliminating unnecessary confusion for new users.

This update can also be used in combination with Power BI’s other formatting features.

Reporting – Copy value and selection from table & matrix

Another highly-requested update during January is the ability to copy a specific value or selection of data from a table or matrix, ideal for those users who need to transfer data from Power BI to other applications like Dynamics CRM or Excel.

The ‘Copy Value’ option will add the unformatted value to your clipboard, while ‘Copy Selection’ will add a tabular version of all the data currently selected in your table or matrix.

The copied data will retain all the formatting that was originally applied, which is especially useful for those who want to reuse a selection of data in another programme for quick calculations.

Analytics – Colour saturation upgrades

While the conditional formatting experience for table and matrix has received a lot of care and attention in previous months, the colour saturation feature for cartesian charts hasn’t benefited from the same treatment.

However, Microsoft has addressed the feedback from its users, upgrading all the generally available visuals that previously used colour saturation to have the same conditional formatting experience as the table and matrix.

This update gives users access to all three types of formatting currently available, allowing creators to easily format a range of visuals with greater precision and ease.

The year ahead…

With January coming to an end, 2019 is now well and truly underway, and it’s crucial that businesses of all sizes are prepared for the challenges ahead. Harnessing data, creating insightful reports and sharing useful information with your wider team are all vital to the growth and success of your organisation.

Microsoft’s commitment to quality is clear to see, with monthly update cycles designed to improve existing services, while new features are introduced to enhance functionality. Customer feedback is taken on board and has a major part to play in determining the monthly updates.

If you’re looking to implement Power BI within your business, consult our in-house team of specialists and find a solution that will give you a competitive advantage this year.