Power BI Desktop update – feature of the month (Sept 18)

Here’s a summary of the updates Microsoft released for Power BI this month. 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 Advance Card custom visual. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

We think this is a great feature as Cards are a key component of a report that can, if used and positioned correctly, make headline numbers very clear and visible. The problem with the standard Card visual though is they’re pretty limited in terms of formatting and presentation options. The Advance Card (which is surely missing a d isn’t it? – advanced) introduces more formatting options, and in doing so supports more and additional text. It also supports Conditional Formatting enabling them to support and display KPI based measures as such.

We contemplated picking the Aggregations preview feature as our feature of the month, but we have a few questions we want to answer and explore around this one first, including:

  1. Does Power BI automatically switch to using the Aggregations table when a supported fact / dimension combination is selected, or does the developer need to incorporate something into the model or the report that’s not covered in this months demo video?
  2. We assume as they have to be set as Import tables (not Direct Query tables) that Aggregation tables are limited to the 8 refreshes per day (or 48 in the case of Power BI Premium)?
  3. We’ve also found that data sets that contain Direct Query connections don’t support some Power BI features and functions, and data sets that contain Aggregation tables will most likely (if not always) contain Direct Query connections. Will these limitation reduce or disappear completely with time?

If you have any other thoughts on this then we’d love to hear from you. Or if you have any questions please feel free to ask those below.

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


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