Power BI search experience gets overhauled, shifts to a more 'global' system

Yesterday, Microsoft highlighted community-related updates that were made to Power BI last month. In the past few weeks, the tech giant has also rolled out the February update for Power BI Desktop, and made available version 3 of its APIs .NET SDK accompanied by a new Export-To-File API. The mobile version of the service, meanwhile, has also received a bunch of new user control-centric features.

Today, an overhauled search experience for the Power BI service has been unveiled by Microsoft. This is essentially a significantly improved version of the 'global' search feature first previewed in 2018.

Previously, utilizing global search - that is, searching all BI content accessible across an organization required users to navigate to the Home landing page. However, in order to make global searching more intuitive, this is no longer the case. The capability will now be available in the top header of Power BI, appearing in a constant minimized state regardless of the page that is visited.

Clicking upon the search bar will expand it, showcasing recent search results. Any item that has been typed and navigated to, previously, will enter the list of recent items, though only a maximum of five items will be maintained. This recent list capability has been dubbed a "zero-query" experience. The search bar can be accessed through the keyboard shortcut "CTRL + /" as well.

Furthermore, global search has now been made more personalized; search results that are suggested based on previous user activity will be displayed beneath the search bar first. However, it should be noted that datasets, dataflows, and workbooks will not appear in results for now. Finally, there is now a search results page that shows a list of data items that match the keyword being searched. These results are also ordered by their perceived relevance, with associated metadata being displayed alongside.

The new search experience is currently being rolled out and should be available to all users by March 16. You can check out if it is available for you right now by heading over to the Power BI service.

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