Friday, June 15, 2018

Bits of BI – June 15 accordance with Thomas LaRock I decided to also start my round-up of news from around the block of SQL Server, Technology or anything vaguely related to BI. And I might include some other things as well if I feel like it.
My plan is to do a weekly round-up, let’s see how that works out.

So here’s the second edition of Bits of BI!

  • 24 Hours of PASS: Summit Preview 2018 was held on June 12 and 13
    24 1-hour sessions on Performance Tuning, Azure Data Lake, Digital Storytelling, Advanced R, Power BI and more. The recordings will be posted on the Learning Center.
  • New Stack Overflow Public Database Available (2018-06) by Brent Ozar (@BrentO)
    There is a new (and bigger) version of the Stack Overflow database available for export which you can use to play with, tune queries or do demo’s on.
  • Easier set up of datasets in Power BI by Kay Unkroth
    Recent UI changes for gateway connections make changing the gateway connection or data source definitions easier. If you have gateway admin rights you can add the definitions directly in the UI or pass the information on to the gateway administrator. - Bits of BI June 15 - Gateway Status

That concludes this edition of Bits of BI, feel free to share it with others!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Bits of BI – June 6 - bits-of-biIn accordance with Thomas LaRock I decided to also start my round-up of news from around the block of SQL Server, Technology or anything vaguely related to BI. And I might include some other things as well if I feel like it.

My plan is to do a weekly round-up, let’s see how that works out.

So, without further ado: here’s the first edition of Bits of BI!

  • Query Folding in Power BI by Nicky van Vroenhoven
    Let me start this first Bits of BI with a little self promotion. Recently Jan Mulkens (@JanMulkens) persuaded me into giving my first presentation at a Power BI User Group, which is held on July 10 in Mechelen, Belgium. You can find it on the MeetUp page of the Flemish Power BI User Group. My session is on Query Folding in Power BI, I’m very excited to be presenting and a little bit scared also, but I’m sure that will work out fine!
  • Power BI Desktop June Feature Summary by Amanda - Bits of BI - June 6 - high contrast

    Amongst others, this update includes:

      • High contrast support for reports

      • Some advanced formatting options

      • Longer phone reports

      • Filtering and sorting in the data view

      • Connector updates

      • National cloud selector

      • Subscribe others to email subscriptions in Power BI by Christopher Finlan

        The ability to subscribe to reports and dashboards was added in an earlier release, but now we can subscribe others as well:

        • Pro users can subscribe other Pro users to reports and dashboards in

        • Screenshots of your reports are send whenever the data changes (data refresh settings can impact the frequency) and include a link to the report

        • Additionally, for Premium workspaces: any users, security groups or distribution lists can be added as well regardless of whether the recipient is a Pro user

      • Microsoft + GitHub = Empowering Developers by Satya Nadella

        As you probably have heard by now: Microsoft has acquired GitHub. Microsoft sees three opportunities ahead:

        • They will empower developers at every stage of the development lifecycle

        • They will accelerate enterprise developers’ use of GitHub

        • They will bring Microsoft’s developer tools and services to new audiences

      On his new website and blog ( Hugo announced his new Execution Plan Reference, a encyclopedia of execution plans. He started out with a set of operators explained in detail and more will be added when time passes.
      You can visit his Change log to see what has changed recently.

      I hope you found this first edition of Bits of BI useful, feel free to share them with others!


      Tuesday, May 29, 2018

      My Data & BI Summit Recap

      I finally came around to writing a wrap-up for the Data & BI Summit in Dublin last month.
      No fancy pictures or colors, just a to-the-point summary.

      New features

      • Incremental refresh – Premium (included in May update as preview feature)
      • Drillthrough with current filters and parameters (included in May update)
      • Common Data Service For Analytics (preview live)
      • Theme file additions coming soon:
        • Theme export
        • Background added to themes
        • Table/matrix headers
      • Persistent filters (per user) in the service
      • Buttons to trigger action (included in May update)
      • Q&A and linguistics
      • App workspaces without Office365 group


      • Optimize your model (size)
      • Make use of Query folding in Power Query
        • Applies to Import mode only
        • Filter first, Transform later
        • Use supported transformations first, non-folding steps at the end
        • Writing a SQL query in Get Data prevents folding
      • Create a blank query with #shared to show a document library of all M functions (Blog)



      • Use App Workspaces for DTAP
        • DEV_Finance
        • UAT_Finance
        • Finance
      • Use Onedrive for Business for versioning your pbix-files, with the same folders as the App Workspace
      • Use the API’s with PowerShell to copy resources between workspaces
        • Chriss Webb (@cwebb_bi) wrote a successful script in response to a video from Adam Saxton (@GuyInACube)

      Best practices and notes

      Visualization | Model

      • Driving table for measures
      • Hide unused columns
      • Totals in matrix and tables insensitive to row filters
      • Uniform naming of measures and calculations
      • Sync slicers
      • Add descriptions where possible
      • Make sure filters are not hardcoded


      • Add an about page with last refresh date time and description of Model
      • Version the Model
      • Schedule datasets using Admin account for one place to monitor failure notification emails
      • Use one drive as source control
      • Golden dataset

      Further reading


      Thursday, April 26, 2018

      Data & BI Summit Day 1 Keynote

      The kick-off is by Rose Spitzer (@RoseSpitzer), General Manager of the Power BI User Group.

      John Doyle Sr. Director Product marketing

      Video: Heathrow Airport showcase

      Ben Watt

      Park run: Every saturday a 5K run
      It started out small but now has 1427 different places and over 34 million people participating!


      Amanda Cofsky (@MissAmandaN) Power BI Program Manager

      She starts her story with a New York taxi demo and shows some interesting new features to come:

      • Incremental refresh (Premium users only)
      • Drillthrough with filters and parameters (this will be released in May!)

      Q&A explorer


      John Doyle enters the stage again and talks about the roadmap for 6-9 months

      Colin Murphy

      Colin starts another set of demos, starting with the Common Data Service for Analytics (CDSA)

      Show details for table data under the graphs

      Datapools (preview): Entities from CDS
      Datapools are also available as a Power BI connector in Power BI Desktop.
      You can add entities from different data sources.
      Use case: Combine promotional data with CRM using Power Query online