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Power BI Desktop update for May 2021
Part one of a six-part series of blogs

May's update to Power BI Desktop is a big one, encompassing new ways of viewing models, tables and fields, a new text box, smart narratives (to explain data) and a new anomaly detection feature (to explain exceptions).

  1. Power BI Desktop update for May 2021 (this blog)
  2. A new model view
  3. Standardised table and field lists across Power BI views
  4. New text boxes
  5. Smart Narratives
  6. Automatic detection of anomalies

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 19 May 2021

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Power BI Desktop update for May 2021

It's a big update this month, with a fair few features emerging from preview:

Feature Notes
New model view After months in preview, the new model view is now finally turned on by default, allowing me to blog about it!
Standard field lists Another feature which has been in limbo for a while: the representation of tables and fields is now standard across Power BI Desktop.
A new text box This was included in the Power BI update announcement as part of the smart narratives feature, but really it's a change in its own right.  The text box in Power BI Desktop has changed, and you can now add dynamic values to it.
Smart narratives Another feature emerging from a period in preview: you can now display smart narratives to explain your data.
Anomaly detection When analysing data (for example by displaying trend lines) you can now display and explain anomalies automatically.

The really big announcement, however, is that tooltips are metamorphosing.  Soon you'll be able to drill down and drill through automatically just by hovering over visuals.  This is such a major change that I was going to break my usual rule and blog on it (even though it's still in preview), but despite the claimed change it doesn't work on my copy of Power BI, even when I follow all of the instructions. 

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