Microsoft has finally released the September 2017 Update for Power BI Desktop with a ton of exciting features added in the Reporting area.
There are five major features contain in this release which makes Power BI strong enough to choose over other self service BI vendors. We will discuss each of these one by one.
Drill through to another report page
To support the Drill through in Power BI, A new Drill through filters well is added now on the Fields Area. Drill through filters will allow users to create a new report page in their report that is focused on the single entity and can be navigated from your main report page/visual to get the filtered results with the correct filter context applied.
For example, say I want a page dedicated to data about a single Product.Once the page is made, I add the Product category column to the Drillthrough filters area.
Now from any other page in my report where I have a chart using that same Product category, I can right click a data point and drillthrough to the Products page.
When you drillthrough, Power BI will pass through the specific category you right clicked on as a filter on the drillthrough page. In my example, since I right clicked on a row where the Product was XYZ, the drillthrough page was filtered to only XYZ.
Another feature of drillthrough pages is the back button. When you add a drillthrough filter, Power BI will automatically add a back button to the top left of your report page. When you click this button in reading mode or ctrl+click on this button in editing mode, you will be taken back to the page you were on before.
This is a very useful feature for your users consuming your reports since it helps them with navigation. However, if you don’t want the drillthrough button, you can delete it. You can also make your own back button by adding a shape or image to the report and turning on the Back button toggle.
Explain the increase/decrease insights (preview)
This update also comes with report insights feature that will use machine learning algorithms over the data inside the Power BI. With this feature, you can right click on a bar or a particular data point in a chart and ask Power BI to explain why the data point has increased or decreased compared to the data point before it. It’s exciting & pretty cool! You can also pin those insights on your report. This only appears to be working with date time data but I am hoping that it will be included for the other data types as well.
A New Ribbon chart
There is a new default chart type is added in the Power BI Visualization pane.The chart is more like an advanced version of stacked column chart.
Theming preview update – chart style controls
This is a new addition to the themes customization released to set up corporate themes on your reports. This is going to be a real time saver. You can define the theme options in your JSON theme file with the appropriate configuration required for each chart type. Once this is set up, You do not need to go & individually set up each chart on the reports.
You can find the JSON files on custom themes in the Power BI themes gallery.
Sample JSON Code:
“dataColors”:[“#01B8AA”, “#374649”, “#FD625E”, “#F2C80F”, “#5F6B6D”, #8AD4EB”, “#FE9666”, “#A66999”, “#3599B8”, “#DFBFBF”, “#4AC5BB”, “#5F6B6D”, “#FB8281”, “#F4D25A”, “#7F898A”, “#A4DDEE”, “#FDAB89”],
Keyboard shortcut helper dialog
There are new shortcuts added to Power BI. This will definitely boost the productivity for all the users.
Keyboard shortcut helper dialog box is accessible by pressing the “?” key when looking at your report.
High density scatter chart sampling
Power BI team has provided the new option in the scatter chart for the higher density sampling which is accessible in the General Card of the formatting pane. This new algorithm will better preserve the shape of your data while also surfacing outliers. To do this, Power BI team implemented the algorithm which prioritize showing points that aren’t going to be hidden by neighboring points. This sampling algorithm will allow to represent a large number of data points without sacrificing performance and load time.
You can watch the detailed video below for the September 2017 Power BI Desktop update.