This month’s Power BI update is slightly different to the others which we’ve taken a look at so far, being primarily focused on Report Server.
The update has a clear focus on improving the navigation within reports, and brings with it a host of additional formatting options for greater personalisation and customisation.
Page and Bookmark Navigators
Summary: This feature allows you quickly create buttons that allow the user to navigate to or from a page or defined bookmark.
Once the buttons have been created there are a whole host of formatting options:
Our thoughts: Page navigation and bookmark navigation was possible in previous versions, but this new update really streamlines the process and takes away the time-consuming need to repeat steps on each page. The page navigation responds to page order and naming automatically, adding greater user experience with minimal investment in time and effort for the developer.
The same applies for Bookmark Navigation. Once the Bookmarks are created, the creation of bookmark navigation buttons is also quick and easy.
Summary: This feature allows you to change the sort order of your legends in your graphs such as stacked column charts, for example sorting by Year or Country.
Our thoughts: The flexibility of the additional sort option really adds to the display of the chart information, and is one of those small but satisfying features we’ve been keeping an eye out for.
Pie and donut chart rotation
Summary: If you use Pie charts you may run into the problem of the data labels being difficult to read for the small portions of the pie chart since the text is horizontal and can become bunched together. With this update, users can rotate the Pie Chart in order to better display the legend:
Our thoughts: Again, a small improvement which can really impact the readability of the data within your report. Any enhancement which can improve the comprehension and reading of the dashboard or report is beneficial, as it can reduce the time to insight and make your reports more intuitive and accessible than ever.
Our thoughts: A great move for the development of Power BI, which will bring a peace of mind that security patches will now automatically ship.
Summary: In addition to the standard text options like font size and colour, the latest version of Power BI has changed the formatting options of text. These formatting options appear everywhere there is the ability to format text throughout the application. It is now possible to bold, italicise and underline your text via familiar buttons:
Our thoughts: A standardisation of the interface always makes interacting with an application easier and more intuitive.
Text Formatting – Super/subscript and bulleted lists
Summary: In addition to the change that text formatting options have presented, the text box feature has been updated to include the ability to make text superscript/subscript and create bulleted lists.
Our thoughts: Having fully featured formatting options in the text box adds to the flexibility of Power BI and helps to allow the user to define exactly how they wish their reports to appear.
There have been some Modelling changes in this version of Power BI:
- SWITCH performance optimisation – the user should see improved performance if the SWITCH function has a large number of values, or if the value expression contains measure references.
- Bitwise functions in DAX – this version has added some additional functions for using in DAX
- BITLSHIFT and BITRSHIFT which allow you to shift a number left or right by a specified number of bits respectively.
- BITAND, BITOR and BITXOR return a bitwise AND, OR or XOR of two numbers respectively.
January’s focus on report server features a number of small improvements which have the potential to make a big impact on the look and feel of your reports. We always welcome the addition of features which helps you make an attractive and engaging report.
It’s always exciting when there are changes to Power BI and we are keen to try these options out and seeing what effect they have on the look and feel of dashboards for the user.
Read more of our Power BI insights here