Friday, December 3, 2021

My Favorite Power BI Desktop November Updates


It's already 2 weeks ago that it came out, but I'd like to highlight a few of my top additions to Power BI Desktop in November, being:

  • The New Format Pane
  • Page and Bookmark Navigators
  • The Scorecard Visual
  • The new Google Sheets Connector

New Format Pane

The first one being the introduction of the New Format Pane.
Because it is still in preview, you have to explicitly enable this feature in the options: File > Options and settings > Options > Preview Features > New format pane.
I especially like the merged font settings, but there's a ton of new features there, so be sure to check out the blog post (Introduction of the New Format Pane (Preview)) for all the updates. Also be aware there's a few known issues mentioned at the bottom of that blog post.

Page and Bookmark Navigators

O. My. God. Page and Bookmark navigators is going to save everyone so, much, time!
For example, creating page navigation is now just a click (ok, actually 3 clicks) away. This not only creates a bookmark and button for every page, it also keeps them in sync, it matches the order of your pages, deleting a page will update the bookmarks.
Next to that, there's also a ton of formatting and padding options. Just awesome!
The only thing I'd love to see added, is the fact that the page navigator would replicate to all your pages and also keeping it in sync after that. Alright, I guess I'll head over to ideas.powerbi.com 😀

Scorecard Visual

This month's update also brings the new Scorecard visual in Power BI Desktop.
This will let you create a Scorecard and goals right inside Desktop.

Picture taken from the Power BI blog post

Just be aware that as of now, the visual might not behave as expected in Power BI Desktop yet. Creating a scorecard from Desktop isn't working yet, but the Power BI team is working on a fix (to the service) and it should be deployed very soon.
This is of course tied to all the updates in Power BI Goals this month, which was also covered more extensively in this blog post last month: More easily integrate goals into all your business processes.
Updates include (a.o.):
  • Goal level permissions
  • Power Automate integration
  • Moving goals in your scorecard (drag & drop)
  • Adjusting columns in the scorecard view

New Connector: Google Sheets

Starting this month you can now easily connect to a Google Sheet with this new connector. You only need the Google sheet URL, authenticate through OAuth and you're done! And the Power BI team listened to you, because it was the most upvoted connector-related idea on the ideas site.

Wrap Up

And if you really, like really, want to keep those pie charts in your reports, you might wanna check out the update to the Pie and donut chart rotation. 😆 If you're not sure why I'm saying this, go read this paper by Stepen Few: Save the pies for dessert

That's all for now. Go download the November update of Power BI Desktop and play with all the good stuff! Let me know what you think are the best added features.

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Nicky