BI-NSIGHT – Data Insights Summit (Watch online for Free) – Power BI (Service Update, Mobile App Update, ClickDimensions Content Pack) – Excel 2016 (Power Pivot Update) – SharePoint 2016 (RTM Released)

There has been quite a bit of activity this week, but just enough so that it was not hectic to try and keep up with all the updates.

Data Insights Summit – Watch Online Free

Just a quick note that you can watch the Data Insights summit online for free, of selected sessions.

I have no doubt that the keynote will be where there will be a whole host of updates and great information.

Here is the link to the article: Data Insights Summit—free online Excel and Power BI sessions

Power BI – Monthly Service Update

There are some really great functional updates in the Power BI Monthly service update.

With the updates in the dashboards it makes it easier to print from Full screen mode, change the width and also to enable or disable the Tile Flow. As per the picture above, is that what your required output is.

It is also great to see that they are always looking to improve the Q&A by adding trend lines, putting in the gauge and area charts. And finally improving the auto-complete which will help the users answer the questions that they are trying to ask. Which I feel in turn means that they can get their answers quicker and easier.

You can read about it here: Power BI Service March Update

Power BI – Mobile App Update

There have been a few updates to the Power BI Mobile app recently for all the mobile platforms.

Having the new report gallery for iPhone and Windows 10 makes it that much easier to find your reports.

A feature that I really like is the offline capability as often you might not have an internet connection, but at least that means due to the reports auto refreshing and the caching you have the ability to still be able to view your data and reports.

The updates to the special tiles is also great to see, as I am sure that the adoption of Power BI on the mobile platform means that this updates make people use their mobile devices even more often.

My final piece that I want to touch on is the ability to view the reports on all mobile platforms. As often the dashboard gives you some great insight into what is happening, but you need some more detail. Or the ability to drill down on your mobile device, and now you can do this and see the underlying report and interact with it. Which often makes the understanding of the dashboard item, and potentially gives you the ability to action something.

You can find out all about the Mobile Updates here: Power BI Mobile Apps Update – March 2016 & New offline capabilities for Power BI Mobile apps

Power BI – ClickDimensions Content Pack

This week there is yet another content pack, and on this occasion it is ClickDimensions which is email marketing and marketing automation for Microsoft Dynamics CRM

This is a great way to interact with your data and see how successful your email marketing campaigns where.

You can find out about the content pack here: Explore your ClickDimensions data with Power BI

Excel 2016 – Power Pivot Update

It is great to see that once again Power Pivot in Excel 2016 is getting some attention.

I think that it is great to be able to save the diagram view as a picture as often that is a really easy way to visually show the mapping of your tables, and ideally if it has been built with best practice in mind, showing the star schema.

Also the enhanced edit relationship makes it a lot easier and quicker to create relationships.

You can find details here: New feature updates for Power Pivot in Excel 2016

SharePoint 2016 – RTM

It seems in my mind that the release of SharePoint 2016 has not got the publicity that I imagined or thought that it would receive.

But it is great to see that it has been finally released and I have no doubt that soon I will see some blog posts about the new capabilities.

You can read about the release here: SharePoint 2016 RTM and the Future of SharePoint event

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI (Developers – Opening up the Content Packs, Weekly Service Update,Visual Scroller) – SharePoint 2016 (White Paper) – Excel 2016 (Use Excel like a Boss)

It has been a crazy last few months from the Microsoft BI stream, and finally as the year winds down they appear to also be looking to take a much needed break.

So this week’s BI-NSIGHT is short and sweet.

Power BI – Developers details

It was great to see how Microsoft have embraced not only the end users for Power BI, but also started adding a whole host of additional features and information for the Power BI Developers.

One thing that caught my attention in their blog post was the following: Over time, we intend to fully open this Developer experience up so that anyone can build Content Packs and submit them to us for publishing to the gallery.

I think that just as they did with the Visuals, by opening or creating a framework, this will allow a lot of additional companies and users the ability to be able to submit content packs to be part of Power BI. And this can only then lead to having more sources, which in turn means a greater possibility for there to be a content pack in the future that you can simply click and have all your data there ready to use.

I look forward to see what they can bring to the table going forward.

You can find more details here: Power BI for Developers: A look back at our Developer & ISV ecosystem efforts this year

Power BI – Weekly Service Update

Power BI Update

I was a bit late in terms of getting my blog post out, but at least I can include the latest Power BI weekly service update details.

One of the things that I really enjoy with the weekly service updates, is that very often what the Power BI team is putting into the Service, does filter down into the Power BI Desktop.

So this week there are some great new additions.

The pinning of your entire report as a dashboard is fantastic. As I often found that the dashboard tiles, whilst it is very good often meant that you could not fit in all the information that you want to see. This does not mean that you should overcrowd the dashboard. But at least you can put in meaningful information.

As well as now having the ability to manually refresh the tiles is great. As I was actually having this problem last week.

For both using the Images as slicers and the Visual Interactions, this has been mentioned before and it does make it a lot easier to create your reports and filters so that they have more functionality.

You can read up all about the updates here: Power BI Weekly Service Update

Power BI – Visual Scroller

Once again the quality of new Visuals that are coming and being released in the Power BI Visuals amazes me.

And this visual is once again a really elegant design, but at the same time it is really powerful.

I can see a lot of organizations or companies using this going forward. It takes up a small amount of screen real estate but it can show so much meaningful information that scrolls through.

You can find it in the Power BI Visuals Gallery here: Power BI Visuals Gallery

SharePoint 2016 – Whitepaper

With both SQL Server 2016 and SharePoint 2016 around the corner it is great to see that they have released a white paper.

Specifically, it details the information around how using Excel within SharePoint will be handled and implemented in SharePoint 2016. Which also relates to the Power Pivot Add-in.

I have downloaded the paper and I have no doubt that there will be a wealth of other information that will be within the white paper. I always find the white papers a really interesting read and often find out some really great details.

You can use the following link to find the blog post: White Paper Published: Deploying SQL Server 2016 PowerPivot and Power View in SharePoint 2016

You can download the White Paper here: Deploying SQL Server 2016 PowerPivot and Power View in SharePoint 2016

Excel 2016 – Use Excel like a Boss

There is a great blog post by the Office team.

It show cases how easy it is to use the Business Analysis features directly out of Excel when you start up Excel.

From each of the sections, you can see the Cash Flow, Stock Analysis and Calendar Analysis.

This just is another great feature that can be used to analyse your business.

You can read about all the details here: Use Excel 2016 like a boss

BI-NSIGHT – Power BI Content Pack Adobe Analytics – SharePoint 2016 IT Preview

There is not a lot on the go this past week, but here are the latest updates.

Power BI Content Pack – Adobe Analytics


Another great Power BI Content Pack with regards to Adobe Analytics. It once again gives the users of the Adobe Analytics a great platform to view there data as well as interact with their data.

You can read about it here: Exploring your Adobe Analytics data in Power BI

SharePoint 2016 IT Preview

SharePoint-2016-Preview-tilted (1)

Today I read about the new release of the SharePoint 2016 IT Preview. It does appear that they are integrating quite a bit of what they have learnt and implemented in SharePoint Online into SharePoint 2016.

It is also good to see that they are looking to create a Hybrid scenario, which is similar to what they are doing with SQL Server 2016.

The one thing that I did find out is that they are depreciating support for Excel Services in SharePoint 2016. And I am sure that this will cause some concerns with existing SharePoint 2013 customers. I am not sure if I read it properly but it would appear that this might be a hybrid feature. But this still means that you would need to upload your Excel files to SharePoint Online, as well as finding ways to refresh the data in the Excel files.

You can read about the SharePoint 2016 IT Preview here: Announcing availability of SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview and cloud hybrid search

And you can find the link here for what has been depreciated from SharePoint 2016: What’s deprecated or removed from SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview




BI-NSIGHT | Power Pivot &  DAX in Power BI – SharePoint 2016 – Power BI AS Connector – Power BI Designer Preview Update – New Power BI Content Packs

In a week there have been a whole host of updates and changes within the Microsoft BI space. So let’s get to it.

Power Pivot & DAX in Power BI

This is related to my blog past that I created earlier this week (Power Pivot and DAX in Power BI). And it was amazing to see that later on in the week there was a Power BI Designer update which now also allows DAX calculations as well as a whole host of other changes.

The thing that I want to highlight in terms of my blog post. Is that once you have created your Power Pivot Model, and then created a Power View report in Excel, everything that you can do in Excel, will not be available to you when you upload your Excel workbook into Power Pivot. So this will give you some additional functionality which is currently not available by default in Power BI.

Below is a screenshot of the dashboard that I created using Power Pivot and Excel.

SharePoint 2016

Microsoft last week also released some information with regards to SharePoint 2016 and what we can expect. The major take away that I got from this blog post from Microsoft was that I was looking for any new features with regards to BI. And there was a little glimmer of hope, where they said that they were looking to build a hybrid approach, so that companies could leverage the best of both. They did not go into too much detail, as it is still a long way off their release date. But to me it does look promising in terms of having some of their amazing work that they have done in the cloud space (Power BI), put back into the on premise space.

You can read their blog post here: SharePoint Server 2016 update

Power BI AS Connector Update

Last week Friday, Microsoft also released an update for the Power BI AS Connector. It was great to see that they added some additional features.

Starting with the Automated checks to ensure that your account can connect to the Power BI Service. This will ensure that once you have resolved all the errors, you will then be able to successfully connect to Power BI.

Support for Network Proxy, which is great as a lot of companies have network proxies in place for various reasons. And now you can still connect to Power BI via your network proxy.

Notification when a new Power BI AS Connector is available. Which I think is really great and a feature that I see in some of Microsoft’s other products (Power Query). I find it great, so that I do not have to go and make a reminder to go and look to see if there is a new version, it will just notify me that there is.

There is now support for all languages, which is a good thing. As not everyone has their native language in English.

They have also resolved a whole stack of bugs and diagnostics. The one that I really liked is that it will now let you know if your password has expired. Meaning that you cannot connect to the Power BI Service. This is great, because in the past I have had services running where the password for the domain account expired. And it took at times a lengthy amount of time to actually find the cause of the issue!

You can read the blog post from Microsoft here: What’s new in the April release of the Analysis Services Connector?

Power BI Designer Preview Update

I have to say that this is a major update in terms of the offering for the Power BI Designer.

I am not going to go into detail for all the updates, but just highlight the ones that I think are game changers.

Initial Support for DAX Measures

As per my blog post at the top, I could see that they had already provisioned Power BI to be able to seamlessly work with DAX measures. And now it is available as part of the Power BI Designer. This is really great and something that a lot of customers and users have been asking for.

This will enable people to create great reports and dashboards, because they can now create their custom DAX measures which will also improve the reporting experience.

As part of the support for DAX Measures they have also included the following:

  • Formula bar, so that you can now create your DAX Measures in the formula bar, with the intelli-sense and using Multiple lines
  • Comments, this allows you to put comments into your DAX Measures, which is great because if you come back at a later point, at least you can have some idea of what you were doing. As well as if other people are going to be working on your data, they can have some comments to guide them in terms of what you were doing with the particual DAX Measure.
  • Saving Incomplete Measures, this is another great feature, because there have been loads of times when I have either been chatting to someone, or you want to go and validate some data before adding it to your DAX measure. And in the past it would either error, or you would have to cut it out, remove the DAX Measure and then come back and add it in again. This is really useful.

Data Types, formatting, rename and delete in the Report View

I have bundled all these updates into one here, because they all relate to working within the Report View.

What this means that if you want to change a data type, or the formatting, renaming a column or measure, or even delete the column or measure, you can now do this directly in the report view.

I see this as a great feature. As once again when working in Power Pivot, you always have to open Power Pivot if not open, go back in, make the change to your column or measure, then go back into your sheet, which will reflect the update and then continue on working. As you can just see from my typing out what would need to be done how much time that takes.

Instead now in Power BI Designer you can just right click, make your change and you are done! Such a time saver as well as great functionality.

You can read about all the other features and updates here: 16 New Updates to the Power BI Designer Preview

Power BI Content Packs

Today the Power BI Team also announced and released to additional content packs for Power BI.

I think that these content packs are really a smart move from Microsoft. It is a great starting point, because often there is so much new data, that to try and understand where to start or what to look for can be quite daunting. So Power BI gives you a launching pad to start from.

The two additional content packs that got release today are below:

Monitor and explore your Microsoft Dynamics Marketing data with Power BI

Stream sensor data to Power BI with Temboo

I want to quickly highlight that with Temboo, if you have any IDE (Integrated Drive Electronics) this allows you to go and upload it directly into Power BI. And the data can be uploaded in real-time. Which then means that your reports and dashboards will also update in real-time. To me there are so many sensors as well as people putting these types of devices into their own homes, that this is a great feature.

Go and click on the video to see what they are doing. Really powerful stuff.

That’s it for this week! Looking forward to see what is going to be coming out next week! Stay tuned.