A summary of the changes introduced in the September 2019 update to Power BI
Part five of a six-part series of blogs

This month sees the welcome (if belated) introduction of Excel-style custom number formats, as well as more (and easier-to-create) themes and a host of other minor improvements.

  1. New features in the September 2019 update of Power BI
  2. Custom number formats
  3. Themes are easier to create (and there are more of them)
  4. More things can be conditionally formatted
  5. Other new features in this update (this blog)
  6. Features waiting in preview as of September 2019

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

Posted by Andy Brown on 20 September 2019

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Other new features in this update

There are a host of new features this month which aren't quite big enough to get their own blog page.

Seeing information about visuals

You can now right-click on a visual to see information about it:

About a visual

This tooltip appears when you right-click on a visual then hover over it.

 

Here's what you see for the visual above when you select About as above:

Stack bar visual

What you see for the bar chart visual. It's not that exciting!

The point behind this is that there is a feature waiting in preview which will allow you to right-click to unpin your least favourite default visuals from the palette, so you can just focus on what you use most.

Improving people's awareness of drill-through

One of the problems of drill-through was that people didn't realise that you could do it.  Microsoft were obviously aware of this, because they've added an instruction to the default tooltip for visuals:

Right-click to drill through

Here I've set up drill-through so users can right-click on a region to see a breakdown of its sales on a separate page. The tooltip automatically reminds people that this feature exists!

Two new DAX functions

The REMOVEFILTERS function is an alias that you can now use for the ALL function (although only within a CALCULATE function).  For example, in the following measure you could have used ALL instead of REMOVEFILTERS:

Percent of total = DIVIDE(

SUM(Purchase[Quantity]),

CALCULATE(

SUM(Purchase[Quantity]),

REMOVEFILTERS(Region[RegionName])

)

)

Slightly less pointlessly, you can use the CONVERT function to convert data from one type to another:

DAX Convert function

Converting a string date to DATETIME format.

As the example above shows, the people who add new DAX functions in Microsoft don't seem to have told the people who create the red squiggly error lines what they've done.

Copying data profiling data to the clipboard

A fairly new feature is that you can see information about the quality of data in Query Editor:

Viewing column profiles

For example, you can choose to see a profile of each column.

Starting from this month, you can now copy any part of this to the clipboard:

Copying profile data

Click on the ellipsis button at the top right of each part of the column profile to copy it.

Here's what you get if you copy the column distribution histogram above:

Copying data

You don't get the histogram - just the underlying data as a table, the start of which is shown here.

 

New template for Google Analytics

A third-party company have added a new four-page Power BI report allowing you to view your Google Analytics data (joining a range of existing available templates).  I've blogged separately about this here.

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