If you are a Power BI Developer, Data Analyst working with Power BI, Business Intelligence (BI) Consultant, or other data professional that uses Microsoft Power BI on a regular basis, you should be aware of a Power BI update of features released each month.
If you follow the Microsoft Power BI update regularly, you can upgrade your analytics and business intelligence solutions. Consequently, you can take them to the next level in terms of data connectivity, data visualizations, data analysis, etc.
In fact, many of these announcements trigger discussions among other users as well and spark numerous blog posts. As a result, your in-house or external customers may demand innovative features in their Power BI dashboards and reports.
We have already published Power BI updates in Service, Mobile, and Paginated reports for the first quarter on our blog. Here, we will focus on the additions that came to Power BI in these areas in May, June, and July. Let’s jump in!
Power BI update of features in the Power BI Service
Data loss prevention (DLP) policies are generally available
Data loss prevention policies had been in Preview mode in Microsoft Power BI since last year. Finally, they have become generally available.
In fact, numerous businesses use Microsoft 365 DLP policies for Office 365 apps, SharePoint, Teams, etc. to follow governmental and industry regulations. These policies for Power BI Premium workspaces allow for:
- automatic identification of sensitive data uploads with certain sensitivity labels,
- triggering automatic risk remediation actions (alerts to security admins and customizable policy tips for end users).
Consequently, DLP in Power BI allows you to:
- classify and protect your Power BI data:
- classifying sensitive information and installing a process for how to interact with it,
- setting alerts to notify users when sensitive information is in datasets,
- strengthening your security posture and reducing the risk of sensitive data being saved on the cloud without your knowledge;
- detect sensitive information using custom keywords by defining unique internal terms as a custom keyword sensitive information type and using it as a trigger for DLP in Power BI;
- create complex conditions in DLP for Power BI, enabling security admins to create advanced rules by implementing AND/OR/NOT operators (for example, locating sensitive data with no proper labels according to the organization’s guidelines).
New Power BI Tab configuration experiences in Microsoft Teams
Another useful Power BI update is the new configuration experience in Microsoft Teams. As a result, Microsoft has significantly simplified the tab User Interface (UI), and now you can:
- create tabs faster,
- use links to configure tabs,
- help you save default filters in your tabs.
Once your tab loads, you land on a new landing page where you can:
- paste a link (for example, to interactive and paginated reports, apps, or scorecards),
- browse Power BI workspaces to select the content you need, or
- click through to create a new Power BI report.
Often the same report is used by numerous teams, channels, or during different meetings. As a result, you need to filter it to satisfy the needs of each team working with the report.
In such cases, you can use links, with your changes, to customize the reports and dashboards so they load with accurate content to support specific collaboration.
Storytelling in PowerPoint: Embed visuals from Power BI organizational apps
Another useful update is the possibility of embedding visualizations from your organizational apps directly into your PowerPoint. All you need to do is to paste the link to the data visualization in your Power Point presentation.
To get the link, you need to open the visual’s More Options menu. Then, select the Share option, and, finally, click on Link to this visual, or Open in Power Point:
Introducing a new admin setting to control email subscriptions for B2B guest users
If you are a Power BI tenant admin, you now have more control over email subscriptions for B2B guest users.
As a result, you can empower B2B guest users to set up and subscribe to email subscriptions. The new Power BI feature allows them to:
- create their own email subscriptions, or
- be recipients of your organization’s email subscriptions.
Therefore, if you need to enable B2B guest users to access content in Power BI Service but also prevent them from distributing content via email subscriptions, this new capability will fit perfectly into your needs.
You can find this feature enabled in the Power BI tenant settings section of the Admin portal.
Power BI Guidance Documentation
Finally, Microsoft has announced a new series of auditing and monitoring articles that currently are an element of the Power BI implementation planning guidance.
It is a series including:
- key actions,
- decision-making criteria,
- recommendations for multiple topics (like tenant setup, workspaces, data security, and information protection), or
- usage scenarios to better understand and implement common patterns for using Microsoft Power BI.
Updated dataset details page
Another major enhancement is the revamp of the dataset details page. From now on, when you click on a data model item in the OneLake data hub and workspace view, you are directed to the new version of the page. Apart from a new look, it has also a few new capabilities that improve the user experience.
These new features entail:
- actions that can be performed on a data model (creating a report, refreshing the data, or viewing the refresh history under the refresh menu),
- dataset metadata displayed in a description to gain insights and make last refresh time easier,
- related items displayed to explore existing items associated with the selected dataset,
- dataset schema provided to gain a comprehensive view of tables and columns (for example, clicking on a table provides a table preview with an export option using a Paginated report in the background).
Moreover, the related items list now showcases all the downstream and upstream dependencies. As a result, you can easily identify the data sources, composite model relations, reports, and dashboards that are associated with the data model.
Preview Power BI update of features in Service
Edit your data model in the Power BI Service (Opt-in)
For a long time, Power BI Developers had to use Power BI Desktop to modify models and their reports. It changed when there appeared the possibility to edit reports directly in the Service.
This year, this capability was extended by adding the option to modify data models on the web as well. As of now, this feature is available in preview mode, and workspace admins need to enable it first to allow users to test it.
Once this option is active, you have the ability to, for example:
- edit relationships on the web,
- create measures using DAX functions,
- manage row-level security
directly in the Power BI Service, instead of using Power BI Desktop.
This new update in Power BI is still fresh, so there will be upgrades. It was introduced in April, and there has already been one modification: improvement of layout limitations.
As a result, all the changes in the layout settings in the Service will be saved for future sessions. It includes any additional custom layouts and any visual alterations (for example, the size or location of cards).
Keep in mind, though, that currently all the changes to layout made in the Service will be saved exclusively within the Service. Therefore, they will not be uploaded to Power BI Desktop files or the other way around.
Power BI Admin Monitoring
Due to the growing emphasis on governance, compliance, and policy, customers are increasingly seeking enhanced transparency into workflows. To satisfy this need, the admin monitoring workspace was renovated to deliver curated insights to better manage, administer, and govern your Power BI tenant.
As a result, in the preview mode, you can see the Feature Usage and Adoption dataset and report. They can equip tenant admins with insights based on inventory metadata and audit logs, empowering them to:
- understand the actions of other users,
- track Power BI tenant usage and adoption growth,
- support audits and ensure compliance.
The Admin Monitoring Workspace is available only to Power BI tenant admins, who can choose to share the workspace, specific reports, or dashboards within it with others in their organization.
Power BI update of features in Paginated reports
Drill through in Paginated reports
When it comes to Paginated reports, business users are now able to add drill-through reports. Drilling through reports can serve as a validation of summarized data. Moreover, it can provide granularity within another report to enable users to digest details and analyze data in a separate view.
These are reports that users open by clicking a link in another paginated report. Usually, such data visualizations contain details about certain items from the main summary report.
For example, a main paginated report can present a summary of sales data, and when a user clicks a customer ID on the list, a drill-through report with customer details opens.
Changes to Power BI Paginated reports consumption of Power BI Premium capacity
Another important update is the change in how Paginated reports use Power BI capacity and how it is reported.
The end goal here was to simplify the current model to make it:
- more understandable,
- closer related to user actions,
- easier to manage and address report execution time.
As a result, many customers can see a net reduction in resource consumption for the same Paginated report workload.
Power BI update in Mobile
Datasets in Power BI Mobile Apps
Power BI Mobile didn’t have a lot of improvements in the 2nd quarter of 2023. The only one announced in May, June, or July was the possibility of seeing datasets on your mobile device.
As a result, when you navigate to a Power BI workspace and select the “dataset” pill at the top, you will get the list of datasets that you have access to with the option to get the metadata pane (name, owner, sensitivity label, and latest refresh status). This pane also allows you to trigger a dataset refresh directly from your mobile app.
Moreover, owners will also get push notifications once the schedule refresh fails. They will see the failure details and be able to retry the refresh while they are on the go.
Power BI update of features in Embedded
Have a quick start in Power BI embedded
When it comes to Power BI Embedded Playground, there is a new demo experience to simplify the process of exploring embedding Power BI in your application.
Consequently, you can now generate code to preview how the report will fit in your Power BI app. Even if you haven’t yet created your own reports, you can generate demo code for a sample report:
Once you are happy with the embedded content, you can choose the solution that fulfills your needs best and follow the relevant guide to create the necessary code.
You can also use Microsoft’s Client API to improve the interactions between the report and your app. Moreover, you can customize the look of your data visualizations and the feel of the report in your app.
You can test and interact with these APIs in the “Explore our APIs” or “Developer Sandbox” sections:
Instant creation of Power BI reports in Jupyter Notebooks
Another improvement in Embedded is the ability to create new Power BI reports directly from data within the Jupyter notebook. As a result, you can get instant insights without switching between different tools or performing any exports from the notebook.
This enhancement complements the existing ability to embed Power BI reports in Jupyter notebooks. It allows you to enhance your notebook with Power BI content to create a compelling data story.
The Power BI report you create through Jupyter Notebook will be an auto-generated report. It will be based on the Dataframe you passed as input. You can customize, modify, save, and share Power BI reports with others in your organization. Moreover, you can use this report to explore your data or as a foundation to create your own custom report.
All in all, the 2nd quarter of 2023 brought a few exciting features to Power BI Service, Paginated reports, Mobile, and Embedded. From now on, you can get a new experience when exploring datasets in Power BI Service, edit datasets directly on the web instead of using Power BI Desktop, use drill-through in Paginated reports for better data analysis, refresh datasets directly from Mobile, or create Power BI reports directly from a Jupyter notebook.
It is about time to try out all the above services by yourself. You should check by yourself which ones can help you deliver more efficient, insightful BI dashboards and reports with data visualizations for your in-house and external customers or users with different reporting and analytics needs.
Finally, if you are interested in what the 2nd quarter brought to Power BI settings in terms of Reporting, Modeling, and Developer features, we highly recommend checking out our latest blog post.
Talk to our expert
Are you looking for expert skills for your next data project?
Or maybe you need seasoned data scientists to extract value from data?
Fill out the contact form and we will respond as soon as possible.