BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Mobile App Update, Improvements started – Top N Filters – Support for Custom Maps – Download Dashboards/Reports to .pbix – Better Date Range Filters)

Another week, another great amount of updates, I am sure that there will be additional updates later this week. I always look forward to them.

Power BI – Mobile App Update

It is great to see that now they have got the SSRS capabilities to Windows 10.

Along with this they have also enabled the feature on all versions of the Mobile App that you can drill through from any KPI or Mobile report to another mobile report or Custom URL. This means that you can now enhance the reporting experience with more meaningful data and insights on the go.

You can find the details here: SQL Server 2016 Reporting Services now available on Windows 10 mobile

Power BI – Improvements Started

Below are the improvements that they have started working on

Top N Filters

Supports for Custom Maps

Download Dashboards/Reports to .pbix

Better Date Range Filters

Power BI – Scheduled Refresh changes next refresh when uploading Power BI File – How to fix

What we are going to show below is when you upload an existing Power BI File into the Power BI Service, if you have an existing scheduled refresh via the Power BI Enterprise Gateway, that it modifies your scheduled refresh.

Current Scheduled Refresh scenario

  1. To start off with I will show you before I upload a Power BI Desktop file when it is set to run via a scheduled refresh
  2. As you can see from above it is set to run at 13:00
  3. Now after I upload my file, with it changes into the Service, I click on the ellipses for my dataset and I see the following:
  4. As you can see from above I uploaded the file at 12:32:22 which was the last time the data was refreshed.
  5. But now on the second line the Next refresh is set to 23:00
  6. And when I go and have a look under the Settings, then Datasets it currently has got the Schedule Refresh as shown below:
  7. As you can see from above the next refresh should be at roughly 13:00
  8. And to confirm that it is using the Enterprise
    Gateway
  9. In the next steps I will show how to quickly resolve this.

How to fix or resolve the Scheduled Refresh

  1. Go into your settings and click on your Dataset
  2. Then under Schedule Refresh, click on the button which says Keep your data up to dateYes as shown below:
  3. Click on the button to disable it so that once done it looks like the following:
  4. Then either scroll down and or click the Apply button as shown below:
  5. Once you have clicked Apply it will show the following to show that it is successful
  6. The good thing is that it still keeps your existing schedule.
  7. Now all that we need to do, is to re-enable the schedule refresh to get it working again by doing the following:
  8. Then under Schedule Refresh, click on the button which says Keep your data up to dateNo as shown below:
  9. Click on the button to enable it so that once done it looks like the following:
  10. Then either scroll down and or click the Apply button as shown below:
  11. Once you have clicked Apply it will show the following to show that it is successful
  12. Now when you go back to your Dataset and click on the Ellipses button you should now see that your scheduled refresh will refresh as expected.
    1. As you can see from above the last refresh date and time is the same, but now the Next refresh is for 13:00

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (May Service Update, Q&A for Enterprise Gateway, Solution Templates, UserName() in Power BI, Local Excel Files Upload, Download Dashboards / Reports to .pbix file, Forecasting Feature, Webinar Intro to Power BI for the Excel User – Newsletter

Here are this weeks updates

Power BI – May Service Update

There is a whole host of updates to the Power BI Service this week, and some great additions.

The first improvement is the increasing in the file size to 1GB. And whilst we all know that the compression is really good with Power BI and Power Pivot, there are times when you want to store more data. And now there is that capability.

The next update or improvement is the Row Level Security (RLS) in which they have added group support for Azure Active Directory (AAD), the ability to test your RSL roles and the capability to define and apply RLS to direct query models (on selected sources)

Along with this they have created the ability to have your favorite dashboards all in one place, which I think is great, because with so many dashboards it can become quite difficult to go through them all. And now you can easily have your favorites in one place.

And finally the improvements with Analyze in Excel in that it also will honor the RLS models from the cloud.

The entire RLS offering is quickly showing that they now are working towards a complete SSAS Tabular model as a PaaS.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Service May Update: File Size Increase to 1 GB

Power BI – Q&A for Enterprise Gateway

I have started using the Q&A features in Power BI fairly often as it is quick and easy to get the report results that I want. And I have had no doubt that this would eventually come to the On-Premise version of SQL Server Analysis Services (SQL Server 2016). And it is finally here which is great to see.

Not only that but they have also enhanced the Q&A experience so that it will prompt you to which answers you are looking for from your data.

Another amazing enhancement is that prompting to switch filters or values in your question, which can then lead to more insights into your data.

And then finally now the ability to be able to question your data on the report level also.

You can read up on the details here: Power BI Q&A for enterprise gateway connected data sources now available in public preview

Power BI – Solution Templates

Here is another great option from the Power BI team, in which I have no doubt that this will be further enabled as time goes on.

What this does is to create a solution template for creating a full data mart or data warehouse. Where it will do an initial full load and then complete an incremental load over time. This also enables the solution for the product to be created and then deployed for the customers. And by using this solution template everything is handled by the solution.

So for the end users they can view and interact with the reports and dashboards.

You can find more information here: Announcing Power BI Solution Templates

Power BI – Username()

The details of the blog post URL below are based on how to ensure that you can see if your Username() DAX function returns the correct username in the Power BI Service.

It very quickly and easily explains how to achieve this. All that is required is to enable Row Level Security (RSL) to your model. After which it will then display the correct username.

Here are the details: Using Username() in DAX with Row-Level Security

Power BI – Local Excel Files Upload

It is great to see that you now can upload your local Excel files to Power BI. I know that some people do not have access to Office 365 and this will give them the ability to use the Power BI service and get the insights that they are looking for.

You can find more information here: Using Excel Reports in Power BI is Easier than Ever with Local Files Support

Power BI – Download Dashboards / Reports to a .bpix file

It is great to see that this work has started. As it is something that I have been thinking about for quite some time.

I have sometimes uploaded a Power BI Desktop file, and then made changes in the cloud but not replicated the same changes to my Power BI Desktop file.

This will be awesome to see once it is completed.

Power BI – Forecasting Feature

I know that this was announced during the Data Insights summit and great to see that they have started working on this. And that it will give some capability to give forecasting to your data models.

I am interested to see how it will work once it has been implemented.

Power BI – Intro to Power BI for the Excel User

There is a webinar which will go through how to user Power BI for the Excel User

You can find details here: Webinar: Introduction to Power BI for the Excel user

Power BI – Newsletter

Here is a link below where you can sign up to the latest insights from Power BI

Sign up today to receive the latest insights from Power BI

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Enterprise Gateway Update, Custom Visuals Update, Mobile Apps Update)

Here are the updates for this week currently just some great updates around Power BI.

Power BI – Enterprise Gateway Update

We have been waiting for an update to the Enterprise Gateway for some time and it is great to see that there are some great changes that they have made.

The biggest one so far is the mapping of the UPN Mapping rules. This will enable the gateway administrators to map users from the cloud to on-premise user accounts or even to use CustomData properties.

Another great feature is the ability to create Power BI reports and dashboards directly out of the cloud using the Get Data feature within this service when connecting to On-Premise Analysis Services.

You can find out all the features here: Power BI gateways – April Update

Power BI – Custom Visual Update

As you can see from above they have included all the new Custom visualizations into one report. It is great to see that there are new visuals and no doubt meaning that it is easier to gain a greater insight into your data via visuals.

You can find out more about the visuals here: Custom Visualizations: Visual Awesomeness your way!

Power BI – Mobile Apps Update


I am sure it was the last week or two weeks ago that there was an update to the Power BI mobile app. And it is great to see that they are rolling out updates very quickly.

In this week’s update, which appears to be across all platforms there are the following updates.

The ability to generate and use QR codes, which has been used extensively in the past, and makes it a lot easier for people to get right to the information that they require.

SQL Server 2016 reporting services improvements around having the mobile reports displaying in the mobile app. Which is great to see that you can use shared datasets with parameters as well as faster load times. As everyone enjoys reports that run faster.

As well as having the global search within the mobile app, as well as recent reports or dashboards that you have just viewed. I do find that having the recent dashboards is a great feature to have, because often I am working on a few things and then it is quick and easy to go back to what I was previously working on.

And finally great to see some overall improvements, which enable the mobile app to just get that much better.

You can find all the details here: Power BI Mobile Apps Update – May 2016

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Service Update, Desktop Update, Dynamic Security in Service, Content Pack Dynamics AX Cost Management Pack) – SQL Server 2016 (RTM Release 01 June 2016)

There has been another busy week in the world of BI, here are the details.

Power BI – Service Update for Drilling into Data

It appears that the features that have put as part of the Power BI Desktop update are now also in the Power BI Service.

This is great and I have no doubt that further details will be release soon.

If you click on an actual item in a bar chart for instance you can then get the option to See Records as shown below

Which as you can see above it shows as being selected.

Now when you click on the actual item in the bar chart instead of it filtering your Power BI report, it shows you all the records that made up that total

Power BI – Desktop Update

There have been a whole host of great updates to Power BI Desktop, which I will highlight the ones that I have found very interesting below.

By far the two biggest features of the Power BI Desktop update are the templates and parameters. I have already seen some great blog posts on how to leverage both of these new features. ( Power BI Templates – Datachant )And this does mean that you now can create a consistent way of publishing your reports. As well as not having to re-create it ever time.

Next is the parameters, which is something that I would almost say is similar to creating a function using Power Query. But that it is a lot easier to create and then to use within your Power Query query.

Also the Drill action to see records is a great welcome as this will mean that now people can drill down to see the actual records in their data. Which is often requested by users.

Time Intelligence is something that people have been using work arounds for and is great to see that it is finally in the product. This will go a long way to helping with the development of the Power BI reports and dashboards, as very often everything is based around a time line of some sort.

Another feature that I am excited about is the Synonyms, as this is something that was in Power Pivot and I had used it often because the way the data or columns are structured vs what the business users or people refer to the same information is often very different. And I am finding that more and more often I am using Q&A to quickly build a dashboard item. And with the synonyms this makes it a lot easier to achieve this.

And finally under Data Connectivity there is a whole host of new features and updates which increases the ever increasing demand for additional data sets.

You can read all the details here: Power BI Desktop April update feature summary

Power BI – Dynamic Security in the Service

Here is a very good and interesting article where Koen Verbeeck explains how he got it up and running. And no doubt that this will be improved over time.

You can find out all the details here: Dynamic Security in Power BI

Power BI – Dynamics AX Content Pack for Cost Management

This is the third iteration for the Dynamics AX content packs from Power BI. This time it is for Cost Management which provides details for operation performance for Coo’s and CFO’s

This is another great content pack to see additional insights into the Dynamics AX data.

You can find more details here: Analyze your Microsoft Dynamics AX data with Power BI

SQL Server 2016 – RTM Release 01 June 2016

It has amazed me that they have been able to release SQL Server 2016 so soon. And there are so many great features in the new additional I am sure that a lot of companies will be looking to upgrade to get the new features.

Along with this, it is great to see that they have included some BI features into the standard edition listed below. Which means that we can at least leverage some of the BI features without the hefty price tag for smaller customers. Here is a quick overview.

  • Multidimensional DAX queries
  • BI Semantic Model or SSAS Tabular (But this does not include perspectives nor Direct Query Mode in the standard edition)
  • SSIS Azure, Hadoop & HDFS connectors
  • Ability to pin SSRS report items to Power BI Dashboards.

As well as a whole host of additional features and updates in the SQL Server 2016 product.

You can find all the details here: Get ready, SQL Server 2016 coming on June 1st