May 2017 PBI Desktop, Boston BI Update

Power BI Desktop May 2017 Update

This was another great release with both new features that can change Power BI projects as well as useful, incremental improvements across the product. Here are my three favorites:

  • Relative Date Slicer

For years various date dimension and DAX measure customizations have been needed to provide the same functionality and the UI advising the user of the date range selected. Similar to DAX Time Intelligence functions this might not be the answer for financial calendars but, in many scenarios such as daily or weekly operational management or streaming data this indeed could be the Plan A.

  • Report Level DAX Measures

As of about five weeks ago you couldn’t even connect to a published Power BI data model and if you were fortunate to have access to an SSAS model you were limited to the measures contained in that model. As of today, a Power BI report author can both connect to these models and optionally create measures on top of them. Teams can be even more productive splitting up these roles – data model design/dev versus report author.

  • New Table Visual (Preview)

To put it lightly, tables and matrix visuals were limited as of last summer (conditional formatting, drill down, quick calcs, etc). Now, particularly given the cross-highlighting support, they’re very valuable and usable in many report designs. (See a specific number of interest (at a detailed level)? Just click it and analyze the other visuals)

*A close 4th place is the combo chart data labels. When you’re trying to maximize the use of the report canvas and have many multi-measure relationships to visualize combo charts are basically required and now they’re much more UI friendly.

**I have a few thoughts on what will be announced at Insight Summit but this deserves it’s own post and I have to get back to work.

Boston BI Update

  • Our next meetup is 5/24: Power BI Show and Tell
  • We’re starting to update the LinkedIn Group to align with Meetup.
  • The PUG site is starting to come along too – definitely need volunteers on this front.
  • We’ve confirmed our June speaker and will announce at the May meetup

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