June saw another blog buster feature update from Power BI desktop. It is essential to stay on top of these features in order to improve efficiencies and effectiveness in your Power BI reporting. The Data Bear team will give a short summary of the useful features from the June update. Please visit Power BI’s blog post for the full feature update.

Here is a short summary of the features that stood out to us. The biggest update is arguably that automatic page refresh is now generally available in Power BI desktop. This is a follow-up from the automatic page refresh launch of last year. This feature allows Direct Query sources to update automatically. Building reports on the mobile layout have been greatly advanced. This is a welcome feature as the adoption and use of mobile devices for access to Power BI becomes more common and widely used. Other smaller cosmetic changes are the hierarchical slicer that is now generally available, the modern ribbon is generally available and the small but useful line chart dot formatting options.

Power BI reporting

Automatic page refresh generally available in the Power BI June Update

Automatic page refresh is becoming more and more relevant in order to monitor critical events. Machine up time or failure detection is critical to know as soon as possible in the manufacturing world. It can cost companies millions if operational breakdown goes undetected. Something to take note of is that Power BI allows access to real time data and visualizations only through DirectQuery.

Power BI supports two types of refreshes, fixed interval and change detection.

Fixed interval updates a report page in Power BI based on a fixed interval. Every time the interval is reached a query gets send to the data source which in turn update the report page.

Change detection search for changes in the data source and updates the report page once a change is detected.  Power BI can be configured to set the frequency of change detection.

Both Premium and Pro supports automatic page refreshes. Pro has a minimum refresh interval of 30 min and Premium’s default is set to a minimum of 5 minutes. With Premium you can update the refresh interval to as fast as 1 second.

Enhancements to mobile authoring

Power BI’s mobile app is an incredible way to keep data at your finger tips and gives management the ability to be on the floor assessing operations while being able to view Power BI dashboards from the comfort of their smart phone. June’s release provide users with useful new features for phone layout optimized dashboard building . These new experiences and capabilities are:

  • New phone emulator
  • Updated visualization pane
  • Support for overlaid visuals

If you don’t know where to find the phone layout, head over to View > Mobile Layout.

Hierarchical slicer

We often have to use multiple slicers in a report in order to drill down to the necessary granularity and filtering that we require. This can consume a report page and take up a lot of valuable space. Power BI has resolved this now through the hierarchical slicer feature. This is a great way to make filtering more systematic and to enhance report layout space.

To use hierarchical filtering is quite simple. You follow the same method when adding different drill down layers in a chart. In the example above we would like to filter by year, region and product. As shown in the above image you now have all the filtering option neatly underneath each other. This is a great addition to report building.

Hierarchical select options

You have two selections option in the hierarchical selection. Multi select and single select. In multi select you can choose any combination as shown below.

Single select is useful when you want to restrict the user to only select on filtering option. As in our example you will only be able to select one year.

Dot formatting in a line chart

This month’s release allows users to choose different colored dots for categories across all of your series. This is a useful feature when you are pointing out a particular point in your line chart.

To enable this feature simply go to Data colors in the formatting pane and switch on show all. This will allow you to set the particular colors for certain categories in your data.

Power BI consistently collaborate with external companies and users in order to create custom visuals. Please head over to the Power BI June update to find out more about these visuals.

This is it for the short overview of Power BI’s June update. Have fun in using these features and we are looking forward to keep you up to date with the latest features of Power BI.

More great posts here.