Power BI Updates – April 2020

Power BI Updates – April 2020

Power BI is a constantly evolving tool which continues to deliver updates to its functionality and usability. We have built a large number of solutions for our clients which utilise Power BI in some form or another. Every new feature and upgrade has the potential to boost the quality of the Power BI dashboards we deliver or enable a solution to something previously out of reach. As always, we write up a summary of Power BI updates which stood out over the last quarter and which we are excited to work into out future solutions. There are several additions which are particular relevant during these times of quarantine as we strive to be productive through remote collaboration.

E-Mail Subscription support for external e-mail addresses

Email subscriptions are a convenient way to ensure that everyone who needs to receives regular Power BI updates on whatever particular aspect they need. The Subscribe button allows a user to set themselves up for this service and access the most regular report page, dashboard or paginated report directly from their email inbox at whatever interval best suits them. Previously, this was only available to users within the organisation’s email domain. With this update, admins will be able to toggle whether email subscriptions to external domains is permitted. With increased demands for remote collaboration sometimes straining conventional distribution processes, this is a welcome addition especially for eclectic, cross-functional and ad-hoc teams. 

Also included as part of this update is a improvement in audit logs, enabling administrators to have a clear view of who is subscribed and is receiving what updates. This is useful in ensuring that there are no lapses in the dissemination of sensitive dashboards with the expansion in the number of new viewers. Additionally, there are now more comprehensive e-mail notifications for when subscriptions fail, so you're not left hanging, waiting for a report email which will never arrive.

Enhanced connectivity for Snowflake

Previously, users of the very popular cloud data platform Snowflake would have to rely on an on-premises data gateway in order to use their data in Power BI. This new update incorporates this functionality into a connector within the Power BI service. Included in this update is smoother integration between Snowflake and Azure Active Directory, allowing for more streamlined user access management, linking Azure account credentials with Snowflake. With so many organisations utilising Snowflake as a major part of their data platform, simplifying how data gets from their data warehouse into Power BI is a step forward in getting from source to report. 

New Power BI tab for Microsoft Teams

Collaboration tools haven’t had as much of a workout as under these lockdown conditions. Microsoft Teams is no exception. With this new ability to incorporate Power BI reports directly into the Teams platform, ensuring that access to relevant reports is as frictionless as possible is easy. With the data a team needs all in one place within the collaboration tool, there are fewer steps involved in disseminating or accessing these dashboards, especially when during extensive remote collaboration sessions, where it isn’t exactly simple to make sure that everyone is looking at the same thing.

Copy a Visual as an Image

This one is a change which every single Power BI user, from beginner to advanced, will be glad to have. No longer do you have to get out your screenshot tool in order to capture sections of a report to share outside of Power BI. Whether you're pasting to email, messenger or some other collaboration tool, now with a single click your selected  visual is copied directly to the clipboard. Not only that, but a selection of relevant metadata is copied as well. This includes the report title, a link to the report, a time stamp of when it was copied, the status of any applied filters and whether or not the report is flagged as containing confidential information. A small quality-of-life upgrade, but one which can help individuals be more data-driven in their basic communication.

If you use Power BI and would like to sharpen your skills, BizData offers remote training sessions which can help you do just that. Check out the Training section of our website for more details: