Power BI gets bigger each year, and 2021 is no exception. Microsoft has released new functionalities for the Power BI ecosystem. Here, we share Inviso’s picks for the top Power BI features of the year so far:
- Power Automate Visual
Power Automate is a Microsoft solution used to automate administrative tasks and complex workflows. The new Power Automate visual will allow developers to create actionable insights with a single click. One example of this is incorporating the ability to send an email with a report on company sales data sent to clients and/or sales reps. A visual in the email report might represent a decline in sales over the last three months, and the manager wants to email the sales rep to see what’s happening with this client.
In the past, this task would require a manual effort of creating the email, copying the data, and then sending the email to a sales rep. While this process might be easy enough for one emailed report, it’s not as manageable for 20. Now, developers have the availability to provide this functionality with a single click by placing a Power Automate button on the report canvas, so tasks like this can be fully automated – providing truly actionable insights.
- Power BI service: Email subscription attachment (Premium & PPU)
This new functionality provides the ability to add an attachment to a regular email sent to users. It’s a perfect fit for reports that handle data and are only revised at specific times, like every month or every two weeks. Sending an email reminder to the users of the report is helpful but including an attachment with the report details is even better!
- Power BI dataflows DirectQuery support
Querying large datasets is always a challenge. With DirectQuery, developers have the availability to connect to a dataset and pull results instead of importing the data. Dataflows technology provides a centralized ETL process that will host the data, providing flexibility, scalability, and easy configuration on the Power BI service. All of this functionality is encapsulated into the powerful M (Power Query) language, with most of the critical transformations available in the Power Query UI.
- Small multiples
Have a visual with a legend on it that contains a lot of values? Think the best solution is to create multiple versions of that same visual for each legend/category? This is no longer an issue with small multiples. Just drag and drop the category you want of the visual to be broken out, and automatically Power BI will create multiple versions of the visual, one for each category, allowing the user to perform side-by-side analysis.
- Streaming dataflows
Streaming dataflows provides availability to connect to near real-time data. Developers can use the Power BI service to connect to two data sources that are currently supported: Azure Event Hubs and Azure IoT Hubs. The UI provides a diagram view that shows the step-by-step dataflow process for connecting to the data, transforming of the data, and the output of the process. This can be achieved with no-code development.
- Datasets discoverability
Self-service is an important topic in the Power BI world. Datasets discoverability reports allow authors to search and find trustworthy datasets that can be used to develop new reports. Admins can use the existing functionality to certify datasets, highlighting the ones that are trustworthy.
- Modern visual tooltips
Drilldown and drill-through are core functionalities on a Power BI report, and both of these functionalities are now available when the user hovers over the visualization, improving the user experience. Also, developers are able to change the style of the tooltip by changing the colors and background color, improving the design of the tooltip.
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All in all, these types of enhanced capabilities in Power BI make it an even more powerful tool for turning data into the coherent insights businesses need. Reach out to us if you are interested in discussing ways Power BI could work for you – our expert team is here to help!