Power BI Desktop update – feature of the month (Oct 17)

This month Microsoft released 13 updates for Power BI:

  • 6 reporting
  • 3 analytics
  • 2 data connectivity
  • 2 other

Full details on this months updates can be found on the Power BI blog.

The feature we’ve picked out as the highlight for this month is bookmarking.

The bookmarking feature gives report developers another tool for guiding users through a report, and in the process potentially telling a story or highlighting key insights. This is particularly useful if the consumers of the report aren’t particularly familiar with the data, or (and more likely) with the Power BI interface i.e. how to drill down, use slicers, use focus mode etc. Users who have less time will also like this feature as it reduces think and click time.

In the below example of ours, we’ve used bookmarking to guide users from the Executive Summary report page to other key parts of the report.


Clicking the second bookmark listed (Actual Procedures by Month) presents the user with a line chart from the second report page presented in focus mode (see image below). Without bookmarking the user would have to click on the second report page tab, locate the chart and then click the focus mode icon above the chart – OK not exactly tedious but still time saving and less fiddly.


To give another example; clicking on the fifth bookmark listed (Lost Activity by Suite) takes the user directly to a report page, drills down one level on a column chart and then presents this chart in spotlight mode (another feature update this month) – see image below.


The report page shown in the above can be seen in its default state in the image below, which can also be accessed via a bookmark.


In this instance we’ve chosen to use bookmarking to guide users through all key parts of the report. This means users can work their way through the entire report by just clicking bookmarks. Users with a better understanding of the data and Power BI can continue to navigate their way through the report manually if they wish.

A number of settings can be associated to a bookmark, including

  1. the report page
  2. Filters
  3. Slicers
  4. Sort order
  5. Drill location
  6. Focus mode and Spotlight

Cross highlighting can’t currently be bookmarked, but this is something Microsoft say they definitely plan to implement soon.

It’s even possible to link a bookmark to a shape or image on a report page, and in doing so reduce or remove the need to use the bookmark pane. We’ve taken this approach in the below example.


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Do have a play with this and please do share your thoughts and experiences.

The reports shown in the above images are based on Report Templates that myself and my colleagues at Cloud2 have developed. Many best practices have been incorporated into the templates and as a result using them reduces report development time considerably. The templates also provide a consistent and branded look and feel across all Power BI reports. More examples of reports based on our Power BI templates are shown below. If you’d like to find out more please do get in touch with us.


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We hope you found this useful and/or interesting. If so please like, share or comment.


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