Power BI Desktop April update showcases visual personalization and more

Today, at the Business Applications Summit 2020, Microsoft unveiled a bunch of upcoming updates for Power BI, along with new capabilities that have been made part of the service. Now, a few weeks later than expected, the firm has also released a feature summary for all improvements that have been made to the desktop version of its data analytics platform.

Major changes last month include the addition of visual personalization, page refresh efficiency improvements, CDM folder view for Azure Data Lake Storage, DirectQuery support for AI visuals, newly highlighted template apps, and plenty more. Keeping in view the global COVID-19 health concerns, instructor-led training programs have also been updated to support online sessions.

Personalized visuals

The following list showcases the complete list of improvements that have made their way to Power BI users in April:

  • Reporting
    • Personalize visuals (preview)
    • Change detection for page refresh (preview)
    • Relative time filter (preview)
    • Rectangular lasso select across visuals
    • Conditional formatting for totals and subtotals in table and matrix
    • Customize theme dialog is now generally available
    • Improved discoverability for conditional formatting
  • Analytics
    • Direct Query support for AI visuals
      • Decomposition tree
      • Key influencers
    • Decomposition tree now supports tooltips
    • Q&A updates
      • Suggest questions
      • Teach Q&A now supports measure conditions
      • Q&A is now supported on Power BI datasets
  • Visualizations
    • Radar/Polar chart by xViz
    • Comicgen by Gramener
    • Pareto by sio2Graphs
    • Growth Rate Combo Chart by Djeeni
    • Smart Filter Pro by OKViz
    • New Visualization icons
  • Template Apps
    • Power Platform Center of Excellence StartKit
    • Azure Cognitive Search: analyze logs and metrics
    • COVID-19 Apps
  • Data preparation
    • Enhancements to Query Diagnostics
  • Data connectivity
    • CDM Folder view for Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2
  • Other
    • New instructor-led training

Importantly, the COVID-19 pandemic has also led to Microsoft relaxing the deadline for users to switch over to the modern filter experience for Power BI reports. As such, users will get a little more time to update their reports accordingly before auto-upgrades start rolling out this month.

The video ahead can also be used to garner more information with regards to all updates that were pushed out to the Power BI Desktop in April:

Moving on, the template apps highlighted this month include Microsoft's own Center of Excellence (CoE) StartKit and an Azure Cognitive Search analyzation-based template. Moreover, a few template apps that keep track of the spread of COVID-19 have also been brought to the spotlight, including COVID-19 US tracking, COVID-19 daily cases, and COVID-19 global cases.

Finally, as remarked upon previously, the Dashboard in a Day (DIAD) training program has now been updated to support online delivery as well. As such, events will now be schedulable on the Teams service. Along with this, a new Paginated Report in a Day instructor-led training has also been made available and can be downloaded here.

All the aforementioned updates can be obtained by downloading the latest version of Power BI Desktop.

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