Blogging all things data

Power BI Updates May - July 2019

Power BI Updates May - July 2019

Power BI continues to evolve, rolling out new additions to its feature set. Over the last couple of months there have been some noteworthy developments. As always, at BizData we keep a close eye on the evolution of Power BI to get in on the ground floor of new features in order to utilise them in the solutions we develop for our clients. This blog post covers some of the more interesting and noteworthy items that have come out as Power BI updates since May that we think are worth shining a spotlight on. 

Siri Integration Preview for Power BI Mobile iOS 

If you are an iOS user, Power BI Mobile can now be made to respond to your voice commands. Currently deployed as a preview build, you can now have the option to add any of your frequently used reports to Siri Shortcuts, associating it with a voice shortcut. Doing this will enable the ability to access the Power BI dashboard of choice hands-free. The manner in which you use this to increase your productivity is up to you. 

Bring Your Own Key Preview for Power BI Premium 

Power BI Premium capacity grants access to powerful data encryption, but a new update allows it to be better integrated into your existing security processes. Bring Your Own Key (BYOK) functionality means that you can store your own encryption keys within Azure Key Vaults. Power BI Premium will then use these keys rather than managing them automatically, allowing for greater integration with your existing data security processes. This is great news for organisations with strict data compliance requirements. 

Power BI Aggregations

If your organisation works with extremely large datasets, you’ll be pleased to hear that Power BI Aggregations have entered general availability. This massive scalability upgrade allows you to perform faster analysis of extremely large volumes of data, consisting of trillions of rows and petabyte size files. A revamped caching and dataset system has enabled this enhancement of the DirectQuery feature. Because of this, analysis can be done directly over the top of a data source, without the need for data duplication or optimisation process.  

Improved Power BI Dataflows 

Faster compute times are always welcome. With the latest update to the Power BI dataflows engine, calculations of computed entities are up to twenty times faster than before. This means faster data refresh rates and an overall increase in dataflow ingestion, combination and transformation. Very large, terabyte-sized dataflows no longer have to be a processing bottleneck in your Power BI environment.

Power BI Report Server Updates 

For those who are using an on-premises reporting solution, a recent update to Power BI Report Server has introduced a swathe of new tweaks and features that will improve quality of visualisation in numerous small ways. The addition of tooltip formatting, improved page alignment, better data labelling and streamlined keyboard navigation means even better looking, more polished reports for end users. A completely revamped modelling view GUI expediates data wrangling and a new Performance Analyser allows every aspect of a report generation to be scrutinised to pinpoint what is causing bottlenecks.  

Certain DAX functions have been made more robust, enabling functionality such as improved filter control and more precise string lookup. It is an overall, feature packed update which should be of great interest to on-premises users. 

If you’re a Power BI enthusiast and would like to get up to scratch on all its latest additions or you’re someone just starting out with data visualisation and would like to be taken through the fundamentals, try out private online Power BI mentoring to strengthen your skills