A run-through the new features in the August update of Power BI Desktop
Part nine of a nine-part series of blogs

This is a bigger update than most, largely because it includes two major new features emerging from preview (report themes and desktop Q&A), but it's the export to PDF feature which really catches the eye.

  1. New features in the August 2018 update of Power BI
  2. Exporting a report to PDF
  3. Report Themes
  4. Q and A improved and incorporated within Power BI Desktop
  5. Conditional formatting by field values
  6. Bookmark groups
  7. Showing slicer choices in the header - filter restatement
  8. Ability to change the categories of measures
  9. Summary of features still waiting in preview (this blog)

For a cumulative list of all of the updates to Power BI Desktop in the last few year or two, see this blog, or have a look at the Power BI courses that we run.

Posted by Andy Brown on 14 August 2018

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Summary of features still waiting in preview

What's coming to a (Power BI) desktop near you?  In their monthly blog, Microsoft have started to give hints on what they're working on.  So expect:

  • The ability to expand and collapse rows/colums in matrices; and
  • Significant improvements to scatter charts.

In the meantime the following features lurk in limbo, waiting to be released:

Preview features

The features waiting in limbo, as of August 2018.

Here's my take on each of the generally useful features shown above:

Feature Notes Rating Months
Shape map visual The release of the MapBox custom visual and ArcGIS visual makes it ever less likely that this will ever see the light of day. 4 7
New From Web experience Currently you can only import data from HTML tables; this will analyse web pages and allow you to import almost any content. 8 4
Custom data connectors You'll be able to define your own connections to data sources, using the M language. 2 7
Dates as a hierarchy When you create a date hierarchy, this will appear in the field well. 2 7
Report page tooltips You'll be able to specify that when a user hovers over a visual they will be able to see a scaled down preview of another page as a tooltip. 6 5
Python support The ability to specify a Python program which outputs data as a data source. 3 1
Incremental Refresh Policies For Power BI Premium only, to begin with, you'll be able to update only data which has changed. 7 4
Composite Models You'll be able to mix and match data sources (so have a report getting some data via DirectQuery and some not). 3 2

Notes:

  1. The subjective Wise Owl rating goes from 1 (of little importance for most Power BI Desktop users) up to 10 (will have a huge impact on your everyday report designs).
  2. The final column shows the number of months that each feature has spent in preview since I started tracking it.
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