Here's all that is new in Power BI's last update for 2020

Image via Microsoft Power BI (YouTube)

In the past couple of weeks, updates for many components of Power BI have been released. Automated template app installation configuration, large model support, new Admin APIs, and Service Principal authentication are just some of the additions that have been introduced to users within this timeframe.

Today, in its final update for Power BI for this year, Microsoft has gone over some of the recent changes, while also introducing a few new ones as a surprise package for the Power BI community.

For starters, a 'small multiples' capability is being previewed, allowing users to split a visual into multiple versions of itself. In this way, data can also be partitioned in separate dimensions across a category for each visual. Moreover, an incremental improvement has now been added to automatic page refresh (APR), with the feature now being supported across Power BI datasets, Azure Analysis Services, and SQL Server Analysis Services as well.

The full list of updates for December can be viewed ahead:

  • Reporting
    • DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Azure Analysis Services (preview)
    • Small multiples (preview)
    • Data protection sensitivity labels in Power BI Desktop (preview)
    • Increased rectangle select data point limit
    • Selection pane is now available in the mobile layout view
    • Automatic page refresh for Analysis Services sources
  • Data preparation
    • Recent changes to Power Query and Dataflows
  • Data connectivity
    • Microsoft Dataverse Connector
    • Azure Time Series Insights Update
    • SurveyMonkey Update
    • Cognite Update
  • Service
    • Power BI search in Microsoft Search in Bing and Office now generally available
    • Home List experience
    • Custom publish message
    • New export settings are available in the Power BI admin portal
    • Power BI Premium per user public preview now available
    • Quickly create reports in the Service (coming soon)
  • Mobile
    • Dark mode support in the Power BI Android app
    • Anomaly detection is now supported in all mobile apps (iOS, Android and Windows)
  • Embedded
    • New look for Embedded scenarios
    • New capabilities in embedding for your organization
    • Personalize visuals experience now fully supported on embedded scenarios
    • New Q&A embed experience
    • Power BI APIs & Life-Cycle Management
    • Coming Soon
  • Visualizations
    • New visuals
    • Strip Plot by Nova Silva
    • Intelligent Narratives by Arria NLG
    • Editor's picks
  • Template Apps
    • Test Your Analytics Maturity
    • Apps on AppSource
    • Power BI Gold suite
  • Developers
    • New Admin APIs and Service Principal authentication to make for better tenant metadata scanning
    • Power BI Visuals Platform adds support for conditional formatting

For a more detailed demo of some of these features in action, users can watch the video below:

As can be observed, there are a couple of new features for the mobile app this time around. Dark mode for the Power BI iOS app was released earlier this year, and now, support for this has been added to the Android variant as well. Similarly, Anomaly detection is now supported across all mobile apps.

With regards to the template apps being highlighted this month; firstly, there is the "Test Your Analytics Maturity" app by Avanade, which helps evaluate analytics' maturity within an organization through ten simple questions. Then, a new "Exploration Tool" from Microsoft's AppSource which provides a variety of ways to search and filter apps has been accentuated. Finally, the Power BI Gold suite by Fenwick Software showcases ready-made reports that assist in the implementing of Power BI for a Dynamics 365 Business Central system.

Microsoft has noted that there will be no release in January, which is likely due to the holiday season being just around the corner.

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