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Changes in the July 2020 update to Power BI Desktop
Part six of a six-part series of blogs

This month's modest update allows you to use Excel financial functions in DAX, show a gradient legend and change your slicer header, among other minor changes.

  1. Changes in the July 2020 update to Power BI Desktop
  2. Using financial functions from Excel in Power BI
  3. Gradient legends
  4. Customisable slicer headers
  5. Relative time filters
  6. Q + A updates (this blog)

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 23 July 2020

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Q + A updates

Yet more updates to the Q&A visual!

Some of these features are shown as being in preview, but they're available in the default version of Power BI so I've included them in this blog.

A quick refresher to start

You can add a Q&A visual like this:

Adding a Q&A visual

Either click on this visual, or just double-click on the background of your report page.

 

Type in a question:

Example of Q&A

Here I've asked Power BI to show me total quantity sold by region.

 

Adding synonyms easily

It's now much easier to maintain a table of synonyms and exclusions.  First bring up Q&A settings:

Q&A settings

Click on the cog icon to bring up the Q&A settings dialog box.

 

Choose to show field synonyms:

Field synonyms

Choose the tab shown above.

You can either choose one of the suggested synonyms, or add your own:

Adding a synonym

Here I've decided I want to call my Region field Department, which isn't one of the default suggested terms.

Add this in:

Adding a synonym

Type the field synonym and press Enter.

You can now use Department as a synonym for Region:

Added synonym

The synonym has been added.

Microsoft claim that if you rename the title for a chart this new name will automatically be added to the list of synonyms for the relevant field, but I couldn't get this feature to work.

Excluding tables and columns

You can use the Field synonyms tab shown above to exclude tables and/or columns:

Excluding tables or columns

Here I've removed the ability to create Q&A visuals by centre or centre type, or by using the EnvironmentId column.

Ambiguous terms

There's a new colour in town!  You could already see red and blue:

Red and blue colours

Blue shows a term is understood; red shows it isn't.

 

You may also sometimes now see orange, showing a term is ambiguous:

Ambiguous term

You can click on the word date for this example to choose which date field you mean.

Better Q&A Pop-up

The pop-up which appears when you click on a Q&A button is now better:

Q&A button

A typical Q&A button.

 

To quote Microsoft: "you will now see the pop-out aligns with the Q&A visual experience. It [the pop-up] also contains any suggested questions you have defined in Q&A setup. Questions that have been saved to existing Q&A buttons will be consolidated under the suggested questions section in Q&A setup."

The Q&A pop-up

I admit that this isn't a feature of Power BI that I often use, so I'll leave it to you, the reader, to decide how much this pop-up has changed!

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