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  • Writer's pictureLachlan McLeod

Power BI Update: March 2024

Get ready to elevate your data analytics game with Power BI's latest updates! From simplified visual calculations to effortless mobile layout creation, Power BI is revolutionizing the way you visualize and interact with your data. Join us as we explore the highlights of Power BI's newest features, including auto-generated mobile layouts, refined data bars, and enhanced DAX query writing with Copilot. Stay ahead of the curve and unleash the full potential of your data analytics projects with Power BI's cutting-edge tools and enhancements. Let's dive in and transform the way you analyze and present your data!


Visual calculations update (Preview)

Now you can easily create and modify visual calculations within the service. To add a visual calculation, simply click on "New calculation" from the menu when viewing a visual in your published report.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Once your report is published and contains visual calculations, you can edit them by selecting the desired calculation and clicking "Edit calculation."

Used with permission from Microsoft.

For further information and guidance on using visual calculations, check out the announcement blog and documentation provided by Microsoft Power BI.


Mobile layout auto-create (Preview)

Creating mobile-optimized report layouts just got a whole lot easier with Power BI's latest update. Gone are the days of manually adjusting layouts for mobile viewing – now, with a simple click of a button, you can generate a mobile-friendly layout in no time.

When you're in Power BI Desktop and switch to the mobile layout view, you'll notice a new option: the Auto-create button. Clicking this button triggers the auto-create engine, which analyzes your desktop layout and intelligently organizes visuals for optimal mobile viewing.

What's more, the auto-create feature takes into account both visible and hidden visuals, ensuring that any dynamic changes made through bookmarks are reflected accurately in the mobile layout. And if the generated layout isn't quite right, don't worry – you can easily edit and fine-tune it to suit your preferences.

To access this convenient feature, simply enable the "Auto-create mobile layout" preview option in Power BI Desktop settings.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

It's time to streamline your report design process and create stunning, mobile-optimized reports effortlessly.


Data bars in matrix subtotal/total conditional formatting

The latest update brings a significant improvement to data bars in Matrix and Table visuals. Now, you have more control over how data bars are applied, with three options to choose from.

Firstly, you can apply data bars to "Values Only," meaning they'll appear based solely on the values within your visual. Secondly, you can extend data bars to cover both individual values and their corresponding totals with "Values and Totals" option. Lastly, if you prefer, you can opt to display data bars exclusively for the overall total with "Total Only."

This enhancement allows for cleaner and more customizable tabular visuals, reducing unnecessary clutter and ensuring your reports are presented clearly and concisely. It's another step towards empowering users with greater control and flexibility in their data visualization efforts.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Data labels alignment

Significant improvements have been made to data labels in charts, offering more flexibility in how they're aligned. Now, when utilizing a multi-line layout featuring title, value, and detail labels, users can horizontally align them. This enhancement allows for cleaner and more organized visualizations, ensuring labels are neatly positioned for better clarity.

To experience these enhancements, users can follow a simple three-step process. First, navigate to the Data Labels section within the Power BI interface. Then, click on Layout to access the options for adjusting label alignment. Finally, explore the Horizontal alignment options to align labels according to your preferences. This user-friendly approach empowers users to create visually appealing reports with ease.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Write DAX queries in DAX query view with Copilot (Preview)

The DAX query view with Copilot is now available for public preview, offering a powerful tool to enhance your query-writing experience. To access this feature, enable it in the Preview section of Power BI settings. Once activated, you can launch Copilot directly from the ribbon or by using the shortcut CTRL+I.

Fabric Copilot revolutionizes the way you work with DAX queries. It allows you to generate DAX queries using natural language, provides explanations for DAX queries and functions, and offers assistance on specific DAX topics. Whether you're a seasoned DAX user or just getting started, Copilot can significantly boost your productivity and streamline your workflow in the DAX query view. Don't miss out on the opportunity to explore this innovative feature and unlock new possibilities in your Power BI projects.

Used with permission from Microsoft.
Used with permission from Microsoft.

Selection expressions for calculation groups (Preview)

Calculation groups are getting a significant upgrade with the introduction of selection expressions. These expressions, now available in preview, allow users to control what happens when multiple selections are made within a single calculation group or when no selection is made at all. This feature not only enhances error handling but also opens up new possibilities, such as automatic currency conversion. Selection expressions consist of an expression and an optional dynamic format expression, offering users greater flexibility and customization.

One of the key benefits of this enhancement is potential performance improvements, particularly when evaluating complex calculation group items. Users can define and manage selection expressions using familiar tools within Power BI. These expressions can be specified for two scenarios: multiple or empty selections and no selections. Default values are provided for each scenario, ensuring smooth functionality even without user-defined expressions.

Let's delve into some examples to understand how selection expressions work in practice. For instance, when dealing with multiple or empty selections, users can specify an expression to inform users about the applied filters. In cases where conflicts or empty selections arise, the specified expression is evaluated to avoid errors. Another practical application is automatic currency conversion, where users can set default conversion rules, simplifying the process for report authors and users alike. These enhancements aim to streamline the user experience and provide more intuitive functionality within Power BI.


Edit your data model in the Power BI Service - Updates

Exciting updates are rolling out this month for data model editing in Power BI Service, making it even easier to manage your semantic model online. One significant enhancement is the introduction of autodetect relationships, which simplifies the process of creating relationships between tables. Accessing the Manage relationships dialog in the Home ribbon and selecting 'Autodetect,' Power BI will automatically find and establish relationships for you, saving time and effort.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Another handy addition is the ability to sort columns within your semantic model directly from the web interface. This new feature allows for easy organization and customization of your data, enhancing usability and clarity. Additionally, improvements have been made to the row-level security editor, offering a more intuitive experience for users. Features such as IntelliSense for DAX expression definition, validation of DAX expressions with a click of a button, and the option to revert changes ensure smoother workflow and better control over security settings.

Used with permission from Microsoft.

For the rest of the Power BI March 2024 update, click here, or if you would like to discuss Power BI for your business, email or give us a call on +61 746 596 700.


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