Power BI Desktop update – feature of the month (Apr 19)

Here’s a summary of the updates Microsoft released for Power BI Desktop in April 2019. Full details on this months updates can be found on the Power BI blog Apr-19.


The feature we’ve picked out as the highlight for this month is the Data ProfilingWatch the below video to see this feature in action, the video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.

We picked the preview release of this feature as our feature of the month in October 2018, and we believe the general release of this feature, along with the improvements made, make it worthy of another mention. We believe checking and using the column profiling will be good habit for those loading data into Power BI Desktop to get into. We’ve found it can highlight many things, including data anomalies which aren’t as easy to spot once the data has been visualised. An example of this may be where unique values are expected but aren’t returned or where blank and NULL values shouldn’t be present but are (particularly in what are in theory primary and foreign keys).

In all, there weren’t too many updates to should about this month. The Report Drill Through is a nice edition but we think this could start to become hard to manage and maintain if used extensively. The ongoing improvements to the Filter pane gives report developers a opportunity to reduce the number of Slicers on the report page, but we think those attributes users commonly want to slice reports by should remain as Slicers on the report page.

The Conditional formatting of both visual titles and URL buttons, images etc. is a nice feature we think, but we think referring to these as Conditional formatting is a little misleading perhaps. This feature allows visual titles and URL links to be dynamic with values passed to them like parameters. We traditionally tend to think of conditional formatting as the setting of colours, font sizes etc; so perhaps Dynamic titles and URL’s may have been a better more accurate name for these.

Data flows are perhaps still over looked by some, but the reusable nature of these and their support of incremental refresh makes them something developers should seriously look at and consider using.

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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