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Changes for the June 2020 update of Power BI Desktop
Part five of a six-part series of blogs

This month's update doesn't include many changes - the biggest being probably the emergence of the hierarchical slicer from preview.

  1. Power BI June 2020 update - summary of new features
  2. Hierarchical slicers
  3. Much-improved mobile report designer
  4. Individual dots on line charts
  5. Automatic refresh (this blog)
  6. AI insights in Query Editor

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 28 June 2020

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Automatic refresh

Sounds good, doesn't it?  However, there's one massive caveat - this feature is only relevant if you're using Direct Query.

Direct Query

Direct Query means that there is no intermediate data model between your reports and your data.

 

Direct Query is ideally suited for situations where you have a very large amount of data which changes often (for example, transactional data from a retail store).  However, Direct Query has many disadvantages, which is why it doesn't feature much in Wise Owl blogs or courses!

Setting up automatic refresh

If you've linked to a Direct Query source of data, you can set the page refresh type for any page's properties:

Page refresh

Make sure you don't have any visual selected on your page, then change its properties as shown here.

 

Change detection

Automatic page refresh as shown above is fairly self-explanatory, but you can also use change detection:

Change detection

Change your refresh type using the drop down list.

 

Once you've done this, you can add a change detector:

Adding a change detection

Click on the link shown to specify what should trigger updates.

 

You can then tell Power BI when it should update your data:

Change detection measure

As an example, you could tell Power BI to refresh all of your data only when the number of purchases changes.

Obviously the above example wouldn't save much processing time, because Power BI has to go to the underlying data source at regular intervals to recalculate the value of the measure you're using for change detection.

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