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Our take on the April update to Power BI (announced on May 6th!)
Part four of a five-part series of blogs

It was announced 6 days after the end of the month, but the April 2020 update to Power BI was worth waiting for - if only for the fact that you can now select visuals by clicking and dragging with the mouse. See our take on the new features in this update in the latest in our series of monthly update blogs.

  1. April 2020 update to Power BI
  2. Three significant changes to your everyday Power BI use
  3. Custom theme editor
  4. Other changes in the April 2020 Power BI update (this blog)
  5. Features waiting in preview

We've been creating our idiosyncratic monthly blogs on Power BI updates since November 2016, and also deliver online and classroom Power BI courses.

Posted by Andy Brown on 09 May 2020

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Other changes in the April 2020 Power BI update

Other new features introduced into Power BI in this month's update include the ability to conditionally format totals in matrices and tables and improvements to Query Diagnostics and Q+A visuals.

Conditionally formatting totals in tables and matrices

When applying conditional formatting to the values in a table or matrix, you can choose the scope of this change:

New totals only option

The new drop down when applying conditional formatting.

Here's what you might get when you choose Values and totals in the dropdown above:

The values and totals option

I've gone from a minimum of 0 (light pink) to a maximum of 20,000 (red).


When you choose any option other than Values only you have to set a custom minimum and maximum value:

Minimum value

You can't choose Lowest value from this dropdown when you choose to format totals (not quite sure why).


In a slightly apologetic update note, Microsoft say:

Limited conditional formatting

Clearly there is more planned for this feature!

Improvements to Query Diagnostics

This feature was introduced in last month's update, and I explained how to use it then:

Starting query diagnostics

You can tell Power BI to time how long it takes different visuals or queries to load.

However, the Diagnostic Options button above is new.  Clicking on it brings up this dialog box:

Diagnostic options

Performance counters introduce yet more options to log resource usage every half-second.

I feel I'm running the risk of losing readers at this point!

Improvements to the Q+A visual

Microsoft's obsession with this feature continues - it receives more love than almost any other part of Power BI.  From this month Power BI will suggest questions to ask:

Suggested questions

For the Wise Owl Create-a-Creature database, here are the questions Power BI suggests asking.

For those who like Q+A visuals much more than I do, you can also now create new vocabulary based on measures in your model, and not just on calculated columns.

I feel guilty, but I still think the Q+A visual is pointless!  No expert system can possibly predict the best way to analyse any dataset.

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