May 31, 2024

May 2024: Top Power BI Updates with Soheil, Microsoft MVP


Soheil Bakhshi | Microsoft Data Platform MVP | Principal Consultant in Data & Insights | Author | Blogger


Unsure how to navigate Microsoft’s monthly Power BI updates? Principal Consultant at Theta and Microsoft MVP Soheil Bakhshi shares his top picks for the most impactful updates that organisations should know. With special mention to the latest in Microsoft Copilot for Microsoft Fabric.

Enhanced Power BI Copilot Capabilities

The latest enhancements to Coplot streamline how users interact with data through conversational AI to boost productivity. These are the key enhancements I think would be worth checking out:

Copilot for Power BI Experience with Microsoft Fabric

You can ask questions in natural language, while on Power BI experience within Microsoft Fabric, about the data and receive visual answers in the form of graphs (even from data not immediately visible on the current report pages). Previously, we could only ask questions about the data being visualised and available on a report page, but this new functionality goes beyond the data available on the report pages.

  • Improve decision-making.
  • Gain immediate, understandable insights.
  • Reduces the time needed to access and analyse data.
  • Allow for a more fluid interaction with complex data models.
  • No longer need to navigate through multiple report pages or semantic models to find information. Instead, we can instantly obtain insights from across the entire sematic model

Copilot for Power BI Desktop

You can also ask Copilot to suggest and explain DAX queries in Power BI Desktop.

  • RUN DAX queries without requiring keeping them.
  • Previously, we had to either accept the generated query by clicking the Keep query button or closing Copilot, to be able to RUN the generated query.
  • Now, we RUN the DAX query first and decide to Keep or Discard the DAX query later.

Tweak context to conversationally improve generated DAX queries.

  • Copilot was losing the context of the already generated DAX query, needing us to ask again with an enhanced prompt.
  • Now, Copilot remembers the DAX query previously generated, meaning that we can now conversationally ask Copilot to change the generated DAX query.

The enhanced DAX query features in Power BI Desktop can boost productivity by allowing users to test and refine queries efficiently. Users can run queries before saving, avoiding unnecessary clutter, and iterate on these queries conversationally, keeping the context intact.

The following short video shows how it works:

For a more technical definition and extended summary, visit the official Microsoft announcement here.

View reports in OneDrive and SharePoint with live connected semantic models

Last May, Microsoft announced the integration of Power BI with OneDrive and SharePoint Online, which brought many benefits. This meant we could render Power BI reports directly on OneDrive or SharePoint Online. In addition, the built-in version capability available on both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online.

From May 2024 onwards, both OneDrive and SharePoint Online support rendering Power BI thin reports directly without needing to have Power BI Desktop installed or downloading the PBIX file itself.

The following short video shows how it works:

For a more technical definition and extended summary, visit the official Microsoft announcement here.

Excel’s Pivot Table-Like behaviour on Matrix Visual

From this release of Power BI Desktop (also available in the service), the developers get the familiar behaviour to what we used to see in Pivot Tables in Microsoft Excel. From now on, we can select between Compact, Outline, or Tabular layout to modify the data arrangements on the Matrix visual.

  • Power BI developers who come from an Excel background feel at home when working Matrix Visual in Power BI.
  • Improving their usability and productivity.

For a more technical definition and extended summary, visit the official Microsoft announcement here.

Image from Microsoft website

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