Power BI is constantly updated and both programmers and users of the platform and its dashboards must keep abreast of developments in order to enjoy all the possibilities of the tool.
Although Power BI receives monthly updates, Microsoft offers a preview so that all kinds of users of the tool can know what to expect and be able to keep up with the pace of platform changes.
These previews are released twice a year and include the most interesting new features for the next six months. This presentation is a detailed guide with the most important changes.
The wave of launches from October 2019 to March 2020 brings with it new capabilities related to the digital transformation of businesses. These capabilities include:
- A unified platform for Enterprise BI: News for data protection, shared and certified datasets, data lineage functionalities, open platform connectivity (XMLA Read/Write), datasets of more than 10 GB in premium Power BI, usage metrics for administrators, among others.
- Self-service analytics for all: Includes a new experience for the consumption of reports, customization of the home and home for portable devices.
Microsoft introduces new data protection features that make use of existing security options to protect information and threats. With them, Microsoft offers greater control over the sensitive data found in Power BI.
You can classify and tag reports, dashboards, datasets, and dataflows in the Power BI service, set specific permissions based on labels for Power BI exported documents, monitor sensitive data in use, and use Microsoft Cloud App Security to maintain control over users and their activity, protect data based on real-time risk analysis, and set specific controls based on labels.
Among other things, this means that the level of confidentiality granted to a set of data will be maintained if we export it. In addition, if we access it from an external device, the download will be blocked, if a high level of confidentiality has been selected.
Integration with Microsoft Cloud App Security provides a clear overview of the security status of all Power BI appliances as well as the entire Office suite.
The release date for this functionality in preview mode is October 2019.
Shared and certified datasets
With certified and endorsed datasets, the company can establish its authority. In this way, it can encourage collaborative use of data. With the options for certifying or backing up datasets, it is possible to get a single true version of the sets. Backing up a dataset can be given by its creator, for example, and means that it guarantees its value with its own reputation. However, in order to certify it, the dataset must have gone through the company's data governance process.
Data lineage functionalities
One of the new features that Power BI will have is the vision of the data lineage. It is a new way to visualize the origin and use of data among various Power BI artifacts that will also support APIs to extract information from the data. This vision will allow to have an overview, 360 vision, in Microsoft's words, of the Power BI artifacts from the data source to all workspaces. In this way, it will be much easier to understand the relationships between artifacts and manage Power BI projects.
The target date for the introduction of the new data lineage functionalities in preview mode is October 2019.
Open platform connectivity
Last March, Microsoft introduced as a novelty the possibility of visualizing Power BI datasets in external BI tools. Now, with this new update, it is possible to offer read and write access to the datasets. In this way Microsoft offers additional connectivity to external tools to allow monitoring and life cycle management, among others.
This functionality will appear in December 2019 preview mode.
Datasets over 10 GB
Until now, Power BI datasets could have a maximum size of 10 GB after being compressed. In this new update, Microsoft removes the size limit for Power BI Premium datasets to match Azure's analysis services, scalability, management, and open platform connectivity. Thus, datasets will be limited only by capacity size, not weight.
This new feature is scheduled to be introduced in preview mode in October 2019.
New experience for consuming reports
Power BI will offer a new user experience, both for the consumer of the report and for its author. It can be customized with the colors and style of the brand or company. In addition, Power BI will have a new look & feel with a navigation section fully customizable by the author, in which you can link unlimited Power BI content, as well as non-Power BI content, such as Power Point presentations, videos, Word documents ...
Information about the author has also been added in the title, so that we can contact him directly and ask for information, and the date of the last update. Another novelty is that as a consumer of the report, there will be the possibility of customizing the data being displayed according to specific needs.
This functionality has been available in preview mode since last July, but is expected to be available for general use in October 2019.
Power BI is preparing many more new features for its tool, both for Power BI Embedded, Power BI Mobile, Power BI Report Server and Power BI template apps. You can have a look at Microsoft's page to discover them all, as well as their release dates.