Here’s a summary of the updates Microsoft released for Power BI Desktop this month. Full details on these updates can be found on the Power BI blog.
The feature we’ve picked out as the highlight for this month is the Conditional formatting updates for formatting options. Watch the below video to see this feature in action; The video will automatically start and end in the relevant places.
In most cases, but thankfully not all, it’s the bad data that report users should be most concerned with most of the time – where action inducing insights are most urgent and important.
But whether it be good or bad data report users are most interested in (and lets not forget the good), the more options report developers have at their disposal to guide and direct users to this data the better.
Until recently the only obvious options were KPI Tiles and some conditional formatting options in Tables and Matrix tables (the later of which are now essentially Pivot Tables, and are even referred to as such within Power BI Themes). But now report developers can apply conditional (KPI like) formatting to many visuals, and this update allows them to apply the same to Cards and Gauges.
Many of the updates this month feel like tying off lose ends, which aren’t very exciting but are welcome none the less.
The Consistent font sizes across visuals (which are now point rather than pixel based) is certainly welcome, and it will be nice to see the same consistency applied to the remaining elements including Text boxes.
We’ve also come across use cases for Slicer visual filters in the recent past (so only those customers with sales are listed for example). And the more familiar Power BI desktop feels to new uses (Office users) the better. However, Microsoft may want to consider whether making Power BI feel too much like Office is a wise move. Microsoft’s first attempt at Power BI was in the form of add-ons to Excel (Power View, Pivot and Query). This wasn’t hugely successful, most likely due to the limitations of Excel. However, some peoples perception back then was that a serious BI tool needs to be something different, something over and above Office. This perception may remain, or it may have changed by now.
Please do post any questions or comments you have below, we’d love to hear from you