A run-through the new features in the August update of Power BI Desktop
Part four 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 (this blog)
  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

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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Q and A improved and incorporated within Power BI Desktop

So here's how this works.  You've created a report, and want to ask a question about your data:

Asking a question

Click on this tool to ask a question.

A box appears, into which you can type anything which comes into your mind!

Ask a question in the box

Microsoft are clearly trying hard to make it so that you can type natural language, and the results are pretty good.

 

It works fine if you follow the prompts:

Autocompletion for Q&A

If I choose from the things being offered, things normally go well.

Here's what the above query would give:

Count of purchases

The number of purchases by region - as requested!

 

In general you get pretty good results, and the Intellisense is much less annoying than it used to be.

One question I have though: you used to be able to set synonyms for words (so a field called Quantity could be also referred to as Sales), but this button is now greyed out.  I can't find any reference to this online - is it just me?

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