We’ve been a little busy with project work recently, so we’ve fallen behind on these monthly blogs and updates. We won’t therefore use this blog to take a detailed look at a new feature as we normally would, but rather use it to provide a summary of the feature updates for November 2017 through to March 2018. We will however still pick our feature of the month for each month and include a link to a video that demo’s this. We’ll also include any thoughts and use cases for each we think add value.


November 2017 

This month Microsoft released 11 updates for Power BI:

  • 8 reporting
  • 1 analytics
  • 1 data connectivity
  • 1 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 Rule-based conditional formatting for table and matrix. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

This feature is particularly useful if like us you want to apply RAG colours to your matrix & table data, setting value ranges for Red, Amber and Green for example.

The locking of objects on the report page is also a useful feature for those who find themselves doing report demos in Power BI Desktop.


December 2017

This month Microsoft released 14 updates for Power BI:

  • 8 reporting
  • 1 analytics
  • 5 data connectivity
  • 0 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 the Text filter custom visual. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

This feature is particularly useful where you have multiple dimensions, such as Product and Customer, that have text values that align or overlap. Or, where you have multiple measures represented on multiple charts on a report page where a Product, Customer etc. slicer isn’t suitable for some reason – either because there isn’t the room on the page or there’s no relationship in the connected model to support this.

Picking a feature of the month was quite difficult for December. Q&A for report creation and the additions to bookmarking are also well worth a look.


January 2018

This month Microsoft released 17 updates for Power BI (which includes 7 new custom visuals):

  • 7 reporting
  • 1 analytics
  • 1 data connectivity
  • 8 other (incl. custom visuals)

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

Due to the holiday break in December perhaps there wasn’t much to shout about this month, but Microsoft still released some updates which feel like tying off loose ends to us. The feature we’ve picked out as the highlight for this month is Show dates as a hierarchyWatch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

Some may see this new feature as almost a bug fix, but it certainly will help report developers when adding date dimensions to reports, particularly where separate Year, Quarter, Month and Day attributes haven’t been added to the model the report is connected to.

The ability to increase the space available for axis labels in charts, and the ability to increase the padding between bars and columns will also prove useful to many – particularly the former which addresses an issue we’ve bumped into many times ourselves.


February 2018

This month Microsoft released 21 updates for Power BI (which includes 7 new custom visuals):

  • 6 reporting
  • 3 analytics
  • 1 data connectivity
  • 11 other (incl. custom visuals)

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 Sync Slicers. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

As described in the video, towards the end of the section marked, a way forwards for some report developers in some cases will be to add a Slicer page to each report. Such a page would probably be the first page in the report and all remaining pages would display data for the items selected on this page. Some report pages may continue to display their own unique Slicers where this is relevant and required.

We’re also very happy to see the introduction of a search on the Formatting and Analytics panes, particularly the former which seems to get longer with each monthly update. Having so many customisation options is great for report developers, but the flip side to that coin is it can become confusing and overwhelming. We’re using Enhanced Theming as much as possible to select what we think are the best defaults, but not all formatting and analytical properties are supported by Enhanced Theming.


March 2018

This month Microsoft released 19 updates for Power BI (which includes 7 new custom visuals):

  • 5 reporting
  • 0 analytics
  • 3 data connectivity
  • 11 other (incl. custom visuals)

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 Improved default visual placement. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

We actually use a series of report templates to reduce report development time (by up to 75%) and to achieve a better and more consistent look and feel. This feature will reduce report development time further (by an extra 5% perhaps).

The Report page tooltips feature is potentially a very interesting and powerful feature, but at the time of writing its very much in preview right now. For this reason we’ve not selected this as the feature of the month, but this feature does allow a report page to display even more data and insights, either specific to a chart or specific to a measure. We’re not sure we agree with the name given to this feature as the tooltip isn’t linked to a page, instead each is linked to a chart or a measure. Perhaps a better name was Tooltip report pages as each tool tip is created on its own page which is then assigned the page property of tooltip = on

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