The last week was full of Power BI related announcements, news, new versions and reference stories. In this blog post I would like to summarize some of those announcements for you. In the last week there have been more blog posts (11) than days in the week. An amazing job the overall Power BI team has done. But enough words said – just get into the announcements from this week:
- Power BI Desktop November Update (2015-11-20)
- Reference story – Squash World Championship use Power BI for data analysis (2015-11-20)
- Power BI Desktop – now supports 45 Data Connectors (2015-11-20)
- Education is important – New Online Power BI edX Course (2015-11-23)
- The November Release of Personal Gateway is available! (2015-11-23)
- Globe Maps are now supported! (2015-11-24)
- Pin a range from Excel to your Power BI dashboard! (2015-11-24)
- Power BI mobile apps November 2015 update (2015-11-24)
- How to use the new R Script data connector (2015-11-24)
- And another update in this week: Power BI Service (2015-11-24)
- Visualize your VMob data in Power BI (2015-11-25)
Power BI Desktop November Update (2015-11-20)
This monthly update included 26 new features – from 6 new data connectors to 15 new reporting features. The improvements can be grouped in the areas Reporting Authoring, Data Modeling, Data Connectivity and Data Transformations.
Some of the highlights (and there are many more):
- SSAS Multidimensional Live Query Mode!! Finally it’s here – you only have to select it in the preview window and you are instantly able to browse a SSAS cube. Remember – this is the first version of SSAS multidimensional connectivity – more functionality (like hierarchy, display folders, KPI trends, translations ..) will be added incrementally. Also be aware that you cannot publish those report (at the moment) to powerbi.com!
- Support for R scripts, Azure Data Lake and SAP Hana is added
- DirectQuery to SQL Server, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL DataWarehouse are no longer in preview!
- Visual Interactions –> YOU define which controls affect each other! (Image source: Power BI blog)
- Display categories with no data!
- Play axis for Scatter charts
- the Z-order of controls can now be defined
- Support of KPIs in Tables, Matrices and Cards (from SSAS or Excel PowerPivot models)
- Add images to Tables (define a field as of type Image URL)
- a new Power BI Documentation Website – helpful and great as always! Thank you Power BI team!
- Automatic Date Features (a “full” date hierarchy is generated by Power BI for datetime fields. The chart itself gets Drill down/Up icons to support navigation through the different aggregation levels).
- Directly execute functions in the Get Data / Navigator window in order to get a preview and better understanding of function results .
- Credentials can now be set on either Server or database level
If you want to see all those new features in action you should definitely watch the release video (embedded below) and not to forget: download the new version of Power BI Desktop.
Source of information: Power BI Blog >> Announcing the Power BI Desktop November Update <<
Reference story – Squash World Championship use Power BI for data analysis (2015-11-20)
A great reference story about integrating Power BI, IOT, Microsoft Band, Azure Stream Analytics, mobile phones and many other technologies to bring sport and fitness data into a single analysis solution. Very cool to see all those technologies working together and serving one slogan: Bring your data to life!
More about the reference story >> Visualizing data for the Squash World Championships with Power BI <<
Power BI Desktop – now supports 45 Data Connectors (2015-11-20)
With the Power BI Desktop November update (I think you already read about the new features some lines above ) there are now 45 native data connectors that are supported.
The full Power BI announcement post: >> Power BI Desktop – Expanding list of Enterprise Data Connectors <<
Education is important – New Online Power BI edX Course (2015-11-23)
The Power BI team announced a new online course for getting started with Power BI. Short lecture-based videos combined with demos, quizzes and hands-on labs. Directly brought to you by the Power BI team [Instructor Will Thompson].
Source of information (and the About video of the course) >> Analyzing and Visualizing Data with Power BI – New Online edX Course <<
The November Release of Personal Gateway is available! (2015-11-23)
The new version of Power BI Personal Gateway is released with a full range of new features and bug fixes. You can download the new version from the Power BI portal. New with this version comes a new notification hint in the Power BI portal if there is a new Gateway version available.
The major improvements include:
- R scripts can now be refreshed with Personal Gateway (R support was introduced with Power BI Desktop November update –> see above) and those scripts can now be refreshed by Personal Gateway
- Refresh of SAP Hana data
- Enable Fast Combine in Personal Gateway (in some cases you get data refresh errors if you combine data from various sources in Power BI service – enable Fast Combine to solve those).
The detailed announcement post: >> November Release of Personal Gateway now available! <<
Globe Maps are now supported! (2015-11-24)
It’s the middle of the week and another announcement is made – GlobeMaps are now made available in Power BI. 3D maps in Power BI – all coming from a custom visual!
Note: This custom visual (Globe Map) is not the same as Power Map for Excel (also known as 3D Maps in Excel 2016)!
Power BI Blog post >> Visual Awesomeness Unlocked – The Globe Map <<
Pin a range from Excel to your Power BI dashboard! (2015-11-24)
With this update, you can pin parts of your Excel workbooks to a Power BI dashboard (as a tile). You can select any part of your Excel file an pin it to your dashboard – it does not matter if it is a chart, table, pivot table, pivot chart or many other Excel parts – Just pin it!
Note: currently only parts from workbooks that are stored Onedrive for Business can be pinned!
Power BI blog post: >> Pin a range from Excel to your dashboard <<
Power BI mobile apps November 2015 update (2015-11-24)
The Power BI team did not forget about the mobile apps – those also got their monthly update! Functional improvements included picture enhancements to dashboards, improved chart data visualization, updated welcome experiences, …
Download, install and try the Power BI mobile apps!
The announcement post >> Power BI mobile apps update – November 2015 <<
How to use the new R Script data connector (2015-11-24)
In this great blog post (as a first part of an announced blog post series) the capabilities of the new R connection functionality were introduced. The text itself guides you through an example how to integrate and R script and use the results Power BI.
Power BI blog post: >> Visualizing and operationalizing R data in Power BI <<
And another update in this week: Power BI Service (2015-11-24)
To close the circle of updates – the Power BI service got it’s weekly update. This update included several improvements like
- Pinning of Excel ranges to Dashboards
- Info message – Where is your data stored!
- View your Dashboards and Reports in Chromeless mode (?chromeless=1 is the answer)
- Improved loading of On-Premises Reports
- Share Dashboards directly to another user’s workspace
- How to close your Power BI account (I hope you will not do that.. )
The Service Update announcement post >> Power BI Weekly Service Update <<
Visualize your VMob data in Power BI (2015-11-25)
There is a new content pack added for VMob data. Cited from the announcement post: “VMob uses real-time contextual analytics to give retailers the ability to create highly personalized marketing campaigns which reach customers at the right time and place.”
The announcement post >> Visualize your VMob data in Power BI <<