BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Garnet Magic Quadrant)

It has been a great week in the world of Microsoft BI, with the release of the Gartner Magic Quadrant and how well Microsoft is doing in this space.

Other than that, nothing else to report on this week.

Power BI – Gartner Magic Quadrant

As you can see from the image above Microsoft is leading as a Visionary as well as in the ability to execute. And I personally agree with this view. With the implementation of Power BI into the Microsoft BI stack, it is only going from strength to strength. And I have no doubt that when we look at next year this time, Power BI will be even more awesome.

You can read the blog post from the Power BI Team here: Gartner positions Microsoft as a leader in BI and Analytics Platforms for ten consecutive years

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Data Insights Summit 2017, Integrate Reports into SharePoint, Dual KPI, Featured Data Stories, Apply Filters to your report per User, Grid Custom Visual)

There have been some really great updates coming out especially from the Power BI team in the past week. So let’s get into it.

Power BI – Data Insights Summit 2017

I can remember that the Data Insights Summit of 2016 was a great success and heard some great content and really deep dive information was shared at the summit. I would really love to attend, so I need to see if I can make it work this year.

For those of you interested here is the link to the website:

Power BI – Integrate Power BI Reports into SharePoint

I do know that this is one of the features that have been requested by a lot of people. Not only does this mean that the people in your organization do not have to log into the Power BI service, but that it is a seamless experience that is all contained within SharePoint.

I actually did try this myself and as they said, it was as simple as a copy the URL, add the Power BI Web part and you are good to go. Really amazing!

The only small catch is that you will have to have a Power BI Pro user license to use this functionality. And I feel that most organizations or companies that are using SharePoint online this should be really be an issue. As larger organizations or businesses will require the Pro features. And for the low price the amount of Pro features is ever increasing.

You can find the blog post here: Integrate Power BI reports in SharePoint Online

Power BI – Dual KPI

I did blog about this last week with regards to the new Custom Visual for the Dual KPI. And now there is a great video by Guy In a Cube which explains how it works, and how best to use it.

You can find the blog post here: Visual Awesomeness Unlocked: Dual KPI custom visual

Power BI – Featured Data Stories

Congratulations for the winners in the Featured Data Stories in Power BI, there were some great winners and content that the community posted.

You can find the details and additional data stories here: Congratulations to this month’s Featured Data Stories Gallery submissions

Power BI – Apply Filters to your report per User

Here is a great blog post from Kasper De Jonge, where he explains how to filter a report based on the user who has logged in. This does use the Row Level Security but it does it in a different way, to only filter the data.

I am sure that in some instances this would be really useful.

You can find the blog post here: Automatically apply filters to your report per user

Power BI – Grid Custom Visual

Here is another really great custom visual. Where it allows you to have a grid with pagination. So that you do not have to try and fit all your data in a grid onto one page.

Here is the link to the Custom Visual: Grid Custom Visual

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (February Desktop Update, iOS Mobile App with Q&A, Dual KPI Custom Visual, PowerApps Common Data Service) – Excel (Get & Transform Updates for January)

I had to re-write this, as I had a suspicion that the Power BI Desktop would be released soon and here it is, along with other updates.

Power BI – February Desktop Update

This Power BI Desktop update is here, and I have to say that there are some awesome additions and new improvements. So I will highlight below what I think are most relevant.

Report View

It is great to finally have the word wrap not only on the headers but also on the actual rows in the data.

Also having the capability to change the font size for the X and Y Axis in your charts is really handy. As sometimes the font was just too large. Along with this is the chart line thickness, which also can be a great guide for the users consuming the report to highlight something specific and draw their attention to that.


I am sure that this will continue to expand and great to see that you now have got the options to calculate the Percent of Row Total and Percent of Column Total.

Data Connectivity

There are some great additions in here and having the capability to select related tables from ODBC and OLE DB connectors.

As well as having the capability to having unified text & CSV connectors, as well as being able to connect to the PowerApps Common Data Service.

Query Editor

I do really enjoy working in the query editor, and now having the option from the column header to select the locale directly from the column header.

As well as now the ability to insert steps into existing queries very easily. Which I have found in the past was not too difficult, but this new addition makes it a lot easier and seamless.


And finally they have included the options to find Solution Templates as well as Partner Showcases very easily. This can assist you if you are looking for a particular solution template, or looking for a partner to potentially assist you with your Power BI project.

You can read all the updated details here: Power BI Desktop February Feature Summary

Power BI – iOS Mobile App now with Q&A

It is fantastic to see how the mobile app has evolved and I think that having the Q&A in the mobile app is really a smart move. Very often you want to find some piece of information that is not currently in a visual. And by using the Q&A you can find the information you are after.

And I have no doubt that you can also actually ask a question and it will translate that into words and bring up the visual you are after.

Here are the blog details: Now in preview: Conversational BI with Q&A on Power BI mobile apps (iOS)

Power BI – Custom Visual – Dual KPI

This is another really interesting visual from Microsoft, the dual KPI. This gives you the ability to have two KPI’s where you can compare different measures over the same timeline. I am sure that this can bring some valuable insights into your data.

You can download the visual here: Dual KPI

Power BI – PowerApps Common Data Service

As you can see above you can now connect to the PowerApps common data service. With the preview release they have enabled 10 perspectives to connect Power BI to. I am sure that as time goes on this list of perspectives will increase.

If you are using PowerApps and want to see how to connect and enrich your data using Power BI, read the blog post below.

Create Power BI reports and dashboards with PowerApps Common Data Service

Excel – Get & Transform updates for January 2017

For those people who use Excel it is great to see that they have updated the Get & Transform with the following.

  • New OLE DB connector.
  • Enhanced “Combine Binaries” experience when importing from any folder.
  • Maximize/Restore buttons in the Navigator and Query Dependencies dialogs.
  • Support for percentage data type.
  • Improved “Function Authoring” experience.
  • Improved performance for OData connector.

As you can see from the list above, there are some great additions as they keep on building on the existing features and I personally have used the Combined Binaries and it works really well and makes things a lot easier when working with Excel and CSV files.

You can find the blog post here: January 2017 updates for Get & Transform in Excel 2016 and the Power Query add-in

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (January Service Update, Push data to Power BI Streaming, Mobile Apps update Jan 2017)

I cannot believe that is already February which means that really soon there should be the next Power BI Desktop release.

Here are this week’s updates, which I hope you will find informative.

Power BI – January Service Update

There are quite a few service updates this month with some of them being more for the monitoring and administration of Power BI, which is vital.

They have created a new AD Role for a Power BI Admin, so that you no longer have to be an Office 365 Admin to look after Power BI.

They have also enabled Audit Logs for Power BI, which is really key to ensure that you can see what is happening with regards to Power BI, especially when looking for how the business is using Power BI.

As well as already mentioned before is the Email Subscriptions, New APIs for Custom Visuals, Real Time Streaming Generally available and finally the ability to stream data to Power BI using Microsoft Flow. Which has more details below.

You can read the blog post here: Power BI Service January Feature Summary

Power BI – Push data to Power BI Streaming

This is really a great addition to the Power BI offering, and I personally have tried this myself and it is really easy and simple to get going. I showcased it to the organization I am currently contracting in, and they were really amazed.

I can see this being the opening door, in terms of how easy going forward it is going to be to stream data, real-time into Power BI.

You can find the Blog Post here: Push data to Power BI streaming datasets without writing any code using Microsoft Flow

Power BI – Mobile Apps Update Jan 2017

In this month’s Mobile Apps update, they have now enabled Single Sign On (SSO) with Active Directory Federation Services, which now means you can sign on with your Organizational account and access SSRS reports.

They have also removed the 100 row limit on tables and matrices. As well as updating the Annotate & Share for Android Devices.

You can find the blog post here: Power BI Mobile apps feature summary – January 2017

Power BI – General Availability of Streaming Datasets

It is great to see that the Power BI Streaming datasets is now Generally available. As with the previous details, I have no doubt that as companies evolve, there will be sutiations where they will want to monitor data in real-time and in other instances be able to historically track trends and patterns. Now with this capability it is a lot easier to do both.

The blog details are here: Announcing General Availability of Power BI Real-Time Streaming Datasets

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Email Subscriptions, New APIs for Custom Visuals, Accounts Receivable Solution Template for SAP, Help Improve Direct Query) – SQLBI (Vertipaq Analyzer 1.7) – SQL Server (Power BI Reports in Technical Preview, Getting Started with Technical Preview of Power BI Reports)

It appears that we are now getting back into the swing of things, and this means more updates and additions to the Business Intelligence World.

Power BI – Email Subscriptions

This was a feature that I know I have personally been waiting for as well as a lot of other people.

And yes this is very basic at the moment but you have to start from somewhere. And with this initial public preview you have the option to subscribe to a report page, which will be emailed to you Once a day when there is a change.

The great thing is that they are already letting me know that in a future release I will be able to subscribe other people also. And I have no doubt as the year progresses there will be additional updates.

You can read the blog post details here: Introducing email subscriptions in Power BI: stay informed when it matters

Power BI – New APIs for Custom Visuals

As you can see above there are 2 new Custom Visuals in the Gallery.

For me personally this is great, whilst I do not develop custom visuals, what this update does mean that there will be even more amazing and imaginative custom visuals in the near future.

I would love to see what other people have actually developed internally for their own datasets, so if anyone is willing even to share a picture of the Custom Visual please let me know.

For those who do develop Custom Visuals here is the blog: New APIs available for custom visuals developers

Power BI – Accounts Receivable Solution Template for SAP

As with the other solution templates, the people from Simplement have created a solution template for Accounts Receivable for SAP.

You can find the details here: Announcing the Accounts Receivable Solution Template for SAP

Power BI – Help Improve Direct Query

Below is a survey from the Microsoft Power BI Team with regards to people who use Direct Query.

Survey Link: Direct Query Survey

Blog Link: Help Improve DirectQuery!

SQLBI – Vertipaq Analyzer 1.7

I have to say that the new additions in the Vertipaq analyser are really awesome.

I like that you now have the ability to analyze your Power BI Files and see what is taking up all the space.

As well as the capability to extract all your DAX Measures. Which when working on a larger project and having to document all the measures this can be quite a cumbersome task. And along with this you can easily format the DAX expressions you the DAX formatter which I think is worth it.

You can watch the video with a great explanation of the updates here: VertiPaq Analyzer 1.7

SQL Server – Power BI Reports in Technical Preview

I know that for On-Premise customers this is something that they have been waiting for. Now you can download and install the technical preview with a lightweight installer that will take minutes to install and get you going.

What really is interesting is that you only need SQL Server 2008 or later database engine. And then SQL Server Analysis Services 2012 SP1 CU4 or later. So that means you do not need SQL Server 2016 to run this in Premise.

As well as there is a technical preview for Power BI Desktop.

And finally they have also added more functionality into the On-Premise version which is to connect live to Analysis Services Tabular and Multidimensional.

You can find the details on their blog here: Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services: January 2017 Technical Preview now available

SQL Server – Getting Started with Technical Preview of Power BI Reports

As with the above link, there is already a blog post explaining how to install and configure your Reporting Services to test Power BI On-Premise.

I read through this blog post and I have to say that it is really quick and simple to get this up and running. Compared to how installations were in the past, this is like a breath of fresh air.

You can find the blog post details here: Getting started with the Technical Preview of Power BI reports in SQL Server Reporting Services

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (January Desktop Release, Featured Data Stories, Mobile Phone Reports Generally Available, Embed Power BI report into Salesforce, Auditing & Assign Pro Licenses with PowerShell

I cannot believe that 2017 is already where and straight out of the blocks we have already got some new features and changes to play with.

So let’s get into it and I have a feeling that this is the year that Power BI is going to dominate and become one of the leaders in the Self Service Data Analytics area.

Power BI – January Desktop Release

It is great to see that the Microsoft Power BI team, has changed the release cycle to be releasing earlier in the month.

In terms of the updates it is great to see that they have once again made some more headway with regards to the table header wrap and more on the table & matrix conditional formatting. I am confident that at some point Power BI will get to be in a similar position in terms of tables and matrix as you can do in Excel.

The new aggregations for the string and Date Time columns is really good and makes it really easy to use these now, especially with the Earliest and Latest.

As well as now Phone Reports going into General Availability so it is now available for everyone.

In terms of Data Connectivity there is a new connector for Visual Studio Team Services and an Enhanced SQL Server Connector that supports SQL Failover option.

And then finally in the Query Editor the capability to extract values from a nested list.

You can find the blog post here: Power BI Desktop January Feature Summary

Power BI – Featured Data Stories

IT is great to see how many people are submitting data stories and as you can see there is a great Sales Scorecard that was featured.

You can view this blog post showing all the data stories: Congratulations to this month’s Featured Data Stories Gallery submissions

Power BI – Mobile Phone Reports Generally Available

Whilst the option to have Mobile Phone Reports has been there, it has not been generally available until now.

This is really great to see that you have the option to create it within Power BI Desktop and ensure that when the users view the reports on their mobile phone, without the mobile app, they will get to see a consistent experience.

You can find the blog post details here: Power BI mobile phone reports now available everywhere

Power BI – Embed Power BI Report into Salesforce

This is a blog post from the Microsoft Power BI blog, in which Catalin goes through all the steps on how to configure this for your own Salesforce data.

Here is the link to the blog post: Embedding a Power BI report into Salesforce

Power BI – Auditing & Assign Pro Licenses with PowerShell

This is a blog post as well as a video with how to implement and get the Audit Logs from Power BI.

As well as to assign Power BI Pro Licenses using PowerShell.

You can find the blog post here: Using Power BI Audit Log and PowerShell to assign Power BI Pro licenses

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (PowerPivotPro & Microsoft Helping displaced workers, Visualizing weather from Microsoft OMS) – SSAS (Memory Usage (1200 Compatibility Only) report using Power BI) – SQL Server (SP1, SSRS Updates

Another week close to Christmas and another week of great news in the Business Intelligence world.

Power BI – PowerPivotPro & Microsoft helping displaced workers

A quick mention on how it is great to see both the people at Power Pivot Pro & Microsoft are working together to help people find employment.

The great thing about Power BI, is all that you need is a computer and an internet connection and you are good to go.

You can find the details here: PowerPivotPro and Microsoft help displaced workers with near-free Power BI Training Dec 7th

Power BI – Visualizing weather from Microsoft OMS

This is a great blog post where the people from Microsoft explain how using OMS they can leverage the weather data that they collect and publish it to Power BI.

If you currently use Microsoft OMS this could be a great resource.

You can read up about it here: Visualizing weather information in Power BI with data from Microsoft OMS

SSAS (SQL Server Analysis Services) – New SSAS Memory (1200 Compatibility Only) report using Power BI

Here is another really great resource of information from Kasper De Jonge, where he has updated his SSAS Memory usage report, with the latest versions of SSAS, but also to use Power BI to visualize your memory usage.

Also Kasper has put it on GitHub which means that it is open for anyone to use, as well as to contribute and hopefully make it into an amazing Memory usage report.

You can find the details, as well as how to download the file here: New SSAS memory usage report using Power BI

SQL Server – Service Pack 1

It is not often that there I would blog about a service pack, but this is an exception. As you can see above Microsoft have made available a whole host of features that were previously only for the Enterprise Edition which is now available in not only Standard Edition but also Web, Express & LocalDB.

One thing to note is that it would appear that all of the licensing updates are in the RDBMs space.

There are 3 updates for SSAS whichi is firstly that SSAS is NUMA Aware, I know that this is something people have been asking for, for a long time. As well as Memory Allocation and Heap Fragmentation.

You can find the blog post here, which has all the detailed information, as well as what additional update there are in SP1: SQL Server 2016 Service Pack 1 (SP1) released !!!

SQL Server – SSRS (SQL Server Reporting Services) updates with SP1

Not only where there the licensing features with SQL Server 2016 SP1, but also updates to SSRS, as you can see above the SSRS team is listening to what clients and customers are asking for and have updated the Details view.

They have also updated the Execution logs, so that you can now get some basic information in terms of who is accessing and viewing mobile reports.

And finally direct navigation options for KPI’s, which makes it easier to navigate to a direct link when viewing a KPI.

You can find all the details here: What’s new in SQL Server 2016 SP1 for Reporting Services