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

Here’s a summary of the updates Microsoft released for Power BI Desktop 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 Live connect support for Q&A. Watch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

Just to be clear – this relates to Report Q&A and not the natural query language based Dashboard Q&A.

Report Q&A is a feature that can be used by report developers to add some pre-defined questions to their reports, accompanied by data visualisations that fully or partially answer those questions. These questions will be (or should be) questions that report consumers are most likely to want to ask of the data in the report.

Report consumers can access these questions and answers in both the Power BI desktop and cloud Service tools by clicking an action button in the report that’s linked to Report Q&A. At the time of writing, Report Q&A is not supported in the Power BI Report Server – but it will be supported soon if the usual update pattern is followed.

Until this preview feature became available, Report Q&A was only available if the Report and the underlying Data Set where created in the same Power BI Desktop file. But now this feature also works when connecting to SQL Server Analysis Services cubes/models (the very latest versions of SSAS and tabular cubes/models only). This feature isn’t currently supported when connecting a report to a Power BI Data Set published to the Power BI cloud Service.

As is the case every month, there’s other features that we could have picked as our feature of the month. ArcGIS maps is clearly becoming a more powerful and useful feature for presenting data in map form; and the smart guides (similar to the red guide lines we see in PowerPoint) will be useful to those creating reports.

Please do post any questions or comments you have below. We’d love to hear from you and we’ll certainly get back to you if you need us to.

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