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Power BI April 2024 Feature Summary

Welcome to the April 2024 update! Here are a few, select highlights of the many we have for Power BI. There are new updates for line enhancements, supporting folders in workspace, dynamic subscriptions for Power BI and paginated reports.

There is more to explore, please continue to read on.

Did you miss it, or want to hear it again? We are excited to release the FabCon Day 1 Keynote to the Microsoft Fabric YouTube Channel!

If you aren’t already, be sure to subscribe to the Microsoft Fabric Channel! Check out the amazing announcements & demos from Arun, Amir, Wangui, and other awesome presenters. The Day 3 keynotes will be released later this month, and more content will be released regularly moving forward.

Make sure you check out the blog post from Arun, that highlights the announcements from FabCon you can find that here: Announcements from the Microsoft Fabric Community Conference

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We are thrilled to announce the general availability of Exam DP-600, which leads to the Microsoft Certified: Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate certification.  

Microsoft Fabric’s common analytics platform is built on the instantly familiar Power BI experience, making your transition to Fabric Analytics Engineer easier. With Fabric, you can build on your prior knowledge – whether that is Power BI, SQL, or Python – and master how to enrich data for analytics in the era of AI. 

To help you learn quickly and get certified, we created the Fabric Career Hub. We have curated the best free on-demand and live training, exam crams, practice tests and more. 

And because the best way to learn is live, we will have free live learning sessions led by the best Microsoft Fabric experts from Apr 16 to May 8, in English and Spanish. Register now at the Learn Together page.

Also, become eligible for a free certification exam by completing the Fabric AI Skills Challenge. But hurry, the challenge only runs from March 19 – April 19 and free certs are first-come, first-served! (limit one per participant, terms and conditions apply). 

  • Version number: v: 2.128.751.0
  • Date published: 4/8/24

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New Visual – 100% Stacked Area Chart

Introducing the new 100% Stacked Area Chart, now available in our core visuals gallery. These visuals display the relative percentage of multiple data series in stacked areas, where the total always equals 100%. It’s perfect for showing the proportion of individual series to the whole and how they change over time. Find it in the visual gallery, on-object dialog, or format pane, right next to the Stacked Area Chart. Give it a try and share your feedback with us!

Line enhancements

Take your line charts to the next level with our new line control features.

  • Adjust line color transparency under Lines > Colors > Transparency.
  • Control the color and transparency of each series by selecting them in the ‘Apply settings to’ dropdown.
  • Use Monotone and the new Cardinal smooth type for full control of smooth lines.
  • Choose from before, center, and after step lines to align your visual with your story.

Try out these new features and enhance your line charts.

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These new line enhancements are just the beginning – there is more to come. Try them out and stay ahead of the curve. We would love to hear about your experience and the amazing things you can achieve with these new features.

Enhance Q&A with Copilot-generated Linguistic Relationships

Improving your linguistic schema is an important step in making sure that the Q&A visual can understand the wide range of questions people might ask about their data. This is why, back in September, we added a new section into the Q&A setup menu to help you add linguistic relationships to teach Q&A about words which qualify or relate your data.  

But we also know that coming up with all the different words people might be using to refer to your data can take time and effort, and we’ve been working on ways to make that process easier for you! In November, we introduced a way for you to quickly generate new synonyms for the names of tables and columns in your model; this month, we’ve introduced the same functionality for linguistic relationships!  

When you open a report with a Q&A visual, if you have Copilot enabled and you’ve already added synonyms, you’ll now see a banner prompting you to get relationships with Copilot as well.  

Unlike with synonyms, Copilot-generated relationships will not be used to understand natural language inputs until you have approved them, so make sure you accept the ones which work for your model!  

Allow Copilot to help interpret Q&A questions.

You can also now use Copilot to improve the Q&A engine’s term recognition when you ask questions! This new feature will trigger when you ask Q&A a question which uses words or phrases which Q&A doesn’t recognize, but which it detects might be referring to data entities like tables or columns. Then, Copilot will also check those unknown words or phrases to see if there is any reasonable match — and, if so, return the answer as a visual as though a suggested synonym had been applied.

This feature is not a replacement for synonyms! In fact, adding synonyms for the entities in your semantic model is even more important to create good matches, as they increase the surface area to check for similarities. It will widen the range of inputs Q&A will recognize, but like a multiplier, it will improve recognition for well-modeled data much better than it will for poorly modeled data.  

This feature will be automatically enabled when you choose to get synonyms with Copilot, but you can also turn it on or off manually in the suggestion settings menu in the Synonyms tab in Q&A setup. 

Storytelling in PowerPoint – Improved image mode in the Power BI add-in for PowerPoint

We’ve made saving Power BI content as an image simpler and more powerful.

First, we’ve added a new dropdown menu to the add-in’s footer. In that menu, you can choose whether you want to see live data or a snapshot. So now it is much easier to find where to switch between live data and a static image.

Second, for snapshots, you now have two options:

  • Public snapshot: Anyone who can view the presentation can view the image.
  • Snapshot: Only those who have permission to view the report in Power BI will be able to see the snapshot.

Third, we’ve disabled the default snapshot, so that the slide thumbnail doesn’t show the image by default (this also applies when you copy & paste the slide into an email for example), but only after the add-in is loaded and the required permissions have been checked.

And lastly, we honor this setting also when you open the presentation in PowerPoint for the web. You still cannot change a live view into a snapshot in PowerPoint for the web, but if you or someone else has changed the view to snapshot in the PowerPoint desktop app, this will be respected, and you will see the snapshot also in PowerPoint for the web.

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Storytelling in PowerPoint – Continuous slide show auto refresh

PowerPoint allows you to continuously playback a presentation. This is especially useful when you want to present information in public displays without any human interaction.

If a presentation that is running continuously has slides that include the Power BI add-in, the data in the add-in might become outdated, since the add-in gets the data from Power BI when the slide is loaded, or when the user manually refreshes the data being presented.

With the new automatic refresh in slide show feature, you can set the add-in to automatically pull fresh data from Power BI while the presentation is in slide show mode, ensuring that the presentation will always show the most recent data.

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To enable automatic refresh, go to the add-in footer, select Add-in options, choose Slide show settings, check Automatic refresh in slide show and set the desired frequency.

Note that auto refresh only happens in slide show mode and not while you’re editing the presentation.

Storytelling in PowerPoint – Auto populating the slide title

When you add the Power BI add-in to an empty slide that doesn’t have a title yet, the Power BI add-in is here to help. It offers you suggestions for the slide title based on the content of you add-in. The title can be the report name, the page/visual name, or both. Just select the desired option and hit Add title.

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Introducing the Fabric metadata scanning sample app

We’re delighted to announce the availability of the new Fabric metadata scanning app. This sample application builds upon the metadata scanning capabilities of Fabric’s set of Admin REST APIs collectively known as the scanner APIs. This new app can be used as a reference for admins interested in utilizing the Scanner API to catalog and report on all the metadata of their organization’s Fabric items.

The Fabric metadata scanning sample app handles all the steps for calling the scanner API including authentication, parallelism, throttling, and incremental scanning. In addition, it provides a central configuration file which can be easily modified to suit the specific needs of the caller. Currently authentication is supported both by using a service principal and a delegated token.

The app is available as a Microsoft open-source project, and is open for suggestions and improvements here:

https://github.com/microsoft/Fabric-metadata-scanning/

Dynamic Subscriptions for Power BI and paginated reports

We’re pleased to announce that you can now send dynamic per recipient subscriptions to up to 1000 recipients instead of the earlier limit of 50 recipients from the data in the Power BI semantic model. For existing subscriptions, we will automatically send subscriptions up to 1000 recipients if your Power BI semantic model contains that many rows of data. You need to edit the subscription if you don’t want to automatically send subscriptions. Learn more about creating dynamic per recipient subscriptions for Power BI Reports and paginated reports.

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Supporting Folders in workspace

The Power BI Mobile apps support folders in workspace. So, you can access items that are organized in folders inside of your workspace directly from the mobile app.

Workspace and folders are Fabric entities, which means that you can add items that are not necessarily Power BI items to a workspace. But the Power BI Mobile apps only support a subset of Power BI items. Therefore, only the Power BI item will be accessible when you are browsing the folder content from the app. If a folder contains only non-Power BI items, it will appear empty in the mobile app.

New “Clear barcode” action in the report footer

When a field in your model is marked as a barcode, you can use your mobile device camera to scan the barcodes of real objects to filter reports that are built on this model. This feature is extremely useful for retail, where you can scan the barcode on a piece of merchandise to get a report showing data about the item directly in your mobile app (for example, inventory information, product selling data, etc.).

To make it easier and more intuitive to use barcodes and based on feedback we’ve gotten from our users in stores, we’ve added a new button to the report footer that makes it a one-click action to clear any previously scanned barcode from the report’s filter.

Learn more about scanning barcode from the mobile app

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Open Power BI items in full screen mode

We continue to simplify the experience of using the Power BI Mobile apps, always keeping in mind the frontline workers who need quick access to their content. In this monthly update we’ve made it possible to open Power BI items on full screen, so users can view their data at its max.

Opening an item on full screen is supported both for launch items and when using a universal link.

A launch item is a Power BI item (report, page, app, etc.) that the user has selected to automatically open when they open the app. Now, you can also tell the Power BI Mobile app to open this item in full screen mode.

To set a launch item to open in full screen mode, go to Settings > Launch item and enable the Open in full screen toggle.

Using an MDM tool that supports an AppConfig file, mobile device administrators can also configure a launch item to be opened in full screen mode for their users.

You can also add the query parameter? fullscreen=1 to a Power BI item’s link. When you use a link with this parameter on your mobile device, the mobile app will open the item in full screen mode.

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Financial Reporting Matrix by Profitbase

Making financial statements with a proper layout has just become easier with the latest version of the Financial Reporting Matrix.

Users are now able to specify which rows should be classified as cost-rows, which will make it easier to get the conditional formatting of variances correctly:

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Selecting a row, and ticking “is cost” will tag the row as cost. This can be used in conditional formatting to make sure that positive variances on expenses are a bad for the result, while a positive variance on an income row is good for the result.

The new version also includes more flexibility in measuring placement and column subtotals.

Measures can be placed either:

  • Default (below column headers)
  • Above column headers
  • In rows

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If you have multiple fields showing on your column headers, you can now decide which of these fields you want a column subtotal for.

This is in addition to the already existing features of the Financial Reporting Matrix:

  • Adding custom rows
  • Applying company/customer specific themes
  • Expand/collapse columns
  • Conditionally hide columns
  • + much more

Highlighted new features:

Get the visual from AppSource and find more videos here!

Horizon Chart by Powerviz

A Horizon Chart is an advanced visual, for time-series data, revealing trends and anomalies. It displays stacked data layers, allowing users to compare multiple categories while maintaining data clarity. Horizon Charts are particularly useful to monitor and analyze complex data over time, making this a valuable visual for data analysis and decision-making.

Key Features:

  • Horizon Styles: Choose Natural, Linear, or Step with adjustable scaling.
  • Layer: Layer data by range or custom criteria. Display positive and negative values together or separately on top.
  • Reference Line: Highlight patterns with X-axis lines and labels.
  • Colors: Apply 30+ color palettes and use FX rules for dynamic coloring.
  • Ranking: Filter Top/Bottom N values, with “Others”.
  • Gridline: Add gridlines to the X and Y axis.
  • Custom Tooltip: Add highest, lowest, mean, and median points without additional DAX.
  • Themes: Save designs and share seamlessly with JSON files.

Other features included are ranking, annotation, grid view, show condition, and accessibility support.

Business Use Cases: Time-Series Data Comparison, Environmental Monitoring, Anomaly Detection

🔗 Try Horizon Chart for FREE from AppSource

📊 Check out all features of the visual: Demo file

📃 Step-by-step instructions: Documentation

💡 YouTube Video: Video Link

📍 Learn more about visuals: https://powerviz.ai/

Follow Powerviz: https://lnkd.in/gN_9Sa6U

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Drill Down Scatter PRO by ZoomCharts

ZoomCharts has just launched the latest addition to their suite of user-friendly custom visuals – Drill Down Scatter PRO. It provides all the features you would expect from a great scatter chart visual, but what sets Scatter PRO apart is the ability to easily drill down. Simply click on a data point and see all the values underneath it.

This way, you can quickly find your answers while also gaining a full understanding of where they come from. Furthermore, the visual’s UI is designed to be smooth and user-friendly for PCs and touch devices, and with cross-chart filtering you can use Scatter PRO to build incredible reports for immersive data exploration.

Main features:

  • Drill Down: Create a multi-level hierarchy and drill down with just a click.
  • Dynamic formatting: Apply custom marker colors, shapes, or images to each data point directly from data.
  • Trendlines: Show a linear or polynomial regression line on the chart.
  • Thresholds: Display up to 4 line or area thresholds on each axis.
  • Area Shading: Highlight up to 8 custom areas with rectangles or ellipses.

🌐 Learn more about Drill Down Scatter PRO

Documentation | ZoomCharts Website | Follow ZoomCharts on LinkedIn

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Image Gallery

The Image Gallery is the first visual to be certified by Microsoft that allows for the display of high-quality images and their exportation along with other report content. There is no need to upload images to the Cloud, a CDN, or use any datasets. Simply import your images directly into the visual and share them instantly with your colleagues.

This visual boasts several impressive capabilities:

  • Microsoft certification ensures that the visual doesn’t interact with external services, ensuring that your images are securely stored and encrypted within the report, consistent with your report’s sensitivity settings.
  • Automatically saves your selected image in preview mode, allowing your colleagues to view the exact image you have highlighted.
  • Images can be uploaded or removed exclusively in Edit Mode. Users in View Mode can only view the images.
  • The visual is compatible with Power BI’s export functionality to PDF and PowerPoint.

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LINK: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/power-bi-visuals/pbicraft1694192953706.imagegallery?tab=Overview

Horizontal Bar Chart

A space-saving horizontal bar chart designed with category labels placed inside the bars for clarity

This horizontal bar chart serves as an efficient filter to navigate through your data more effectively, optimizing space by placing the category labels within the bars themselves.

This visual boasts several impressive capabilities:

  • Microsoft certification ensures that the visual doesn’t interact with external services, ensuring that your images are securely stored and encrypted within the report, consistent with your report’s sensitivity settings.
  • Adjustable Bar Thickness and Spacing: Offers the flexibility to adjust the thickness of the bars and the spacing between them. This allows for optimal use of space and improves readability, especially when dealing with large datasets.
  • Tooltip Details on Hover: Displays detailed information about each category when the user hovers over a bar. This feature provides additional context and insights without cluttering the visual.
  • Data-Driven Category Labels: Automatically updates category labels based on the data source. This ensures that the chart remains accurate and up to date, reflecting any changes in the underlying data.
  • Support for Hierarchical Data: Allows users to drill down into hierarchical categories within the chart. This functionality enables a more detailed data analysis without leaving the context of the initial visual.
  • Export Options: Offers the ability to export the chart as an image or PDF, facilitating easy sharing and reporting outside of Power BI.

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Link: https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/power-bi-visuals/pbicraft1694192953706.horizontalbarchart?tab=Overview

Trends

Introducing the “Trends” visual for Power BI – your gateway to leveraging Google Trends data for strategic business analysis. This innovative visual tool allows you to compare brand popularity, monitor market trends, and gain insights into consumer search behaviors directly within your Power BI environment.

With Trends visual, you can:

  • Analyze the ebb and flow of brand interest over time to identify market opportunities and competitive threats.
  • Compare the popularity of products to inform marketing strategies and product development decisions.
  • Understand seasonal trends to optimize your marketing campaigns and inventory planning.

Securely integrated and easy to use, “Trends” transforms your Power BI reports into a dynamic analysis tool, offering a comprehensive view of the market landscape. Dive into data-driven decision-making with “Trends” and stay one step ahead in the competitive business environment.

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Multi-pane Card 1.1

New visual: Multi-pane Card can be used to group and show data in multiple collapsible panes in Power BI reports. It is an alternative to multi-row card visual, but it can combine columns into a few groups and put each group’s data in each pane. It is suitable to show data in detail with a reduced number of report pages.

Screenshot 1 (Show data in 3 groups: Area and Population, GDP and Foreign Exchange Reserves for countries)

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Data can be sorted by a specified column and numbers can be converted to a human readable string. You can also set up how many rows that you want to show on the card. Using these features, it will be very easy to show “Top 10 best performing stores” or “Top 10 worst performing stores” for retail businesses.

Screenshot2 (Combined with drilldown choropleth map to show the top 10 richest countries by GDP per capita for each continent and subregion)

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You can go to Microsoft AppSource( https://appsource.microsoft.com/en-us/product/power-bi-visuals/mylocsinc1648311649136.tcard )to download and try it.

To learn more on how to use it, please read tutorials (https://www.mylocs.ca/tutorials.html#multi-pane-card).

Introducing Copilot pane in Power BI Desktop  image

Earlier this year, we announced preview of Copilot for all customers with Premium/Fabric capacity in Power BI web. We’re thrilled to share that the same Copilot experience for report creation is now available for preview in Power BI Desktop. With our current preview, users can create reports faster and easier in the Power BI Desktop experience. You can now open the Copilot pane in report view and ask Copilot to:

  • Create a report page – Copilot will create an entire report page for you by identifying the tables, fields, measures, and charts that would help you get started.
  • Summarize a semantic model – Copilot will help you understand your Power BI semantic model by summarizing the data in your model.
  • Suggest a topic – Copilot will suggest topics for your report pages.

Click here to learn more about how to get started.

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That is all for this month! Please continue sending us your feedback and do not forget to vote for other features that you would like to see in Power BI! We hope that you enjoy the update! If you installed Power BI Desktop from the Microsoft Store, please leave us a review.

Also, don’t forget to vote on your favorite feature this month on our community website. 

As always, keep voting on Ideas to help us determine what to build next. We are looking forward to hearing from you!

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