Power BI On-Prem Details

Ginger Grant explains what’s going on with Power BI Premium and the on-prem offering:

It is not possible to run Power BI reports locally right now, but sometime before the 1st of July 2016,  users who have SQL Server 2016 Enterprise Edition per-core and active Software Assurance [SA] can deploy Power BI Report Server.  This means that no one is going to have to wait for SQL Server 2017 for Power BI on premise as that will be available sometime in June.  The functionality in SQL Server 2017 SQL Server Reporting Server [SSRS]. Community Technology Preview edition is going to be available in Power BI Report Server, with the addition of the ability to include custom visuals, which the CTP version did not do. The Power BI Server includes all of the functionality of SSRS This means that users will not need an SSRS Server and a Power BI Server, as the Power BI Server will be able to both.  If you want to migrate all of the reports created in SSRS from 2008 R2, and SSRS Mobile Reports, you can migrate these reports to the new Power BI Report Server, provided of course you have SQL Server 2016 Enterprise per-core edition with SA. The Power BI Report Server will be a separate install with separate release schedules.  Microsoft has announced that they are planning on doing updates at a greater frequency than SQL Server. Power BI Report Server will also be able to publish reports to mobile devices as well. If the reports uses data in the cloud, you can employ a Data Gateway as the Power BI Reporting Server can use the gateway to access cloud data. Of course if all of the data in the report is located on-premises, no gateway will be required.

I’m a bit disappointed that the on-prem installation will not allow you to create dashboards, but perhaps that will come in time.

Power BI Premium

James Serra explains the Power BI Premium tier:

For costs, it allows an unlimited number of users since it is priced by aggregate capacity (see Power BI Premium calculator).  Users who need to create content in Power BI will still require a $10/month Power BI Pro seat, but there is no per-seat charge for consumption.

For scale, it runs on dedicated hardware giving capacity exclusively allocated to an organization for increased performance (no noisy neighbors).  Organizations can choose to apply their dedicated capacity broadly, or allocate it to assigned workspaces based on the number of users, workload needs or other factors—and scale up or down as requirements change.

They’re throttling down Power BI Free, making it really just for personal use, but I think the Premium tier will help with pricing for adoption.

Power BI: Calculated Measures + SSAS Tabular

Shabnam Watson notes that the May updates to Power BI Desktop allow you to create new calculated measures on a report which connects live to a tabular model:

Ideally the SSAS database has all the measures you need but now you have the capability to add new ones if you need to.

You can control the folder (table/measure group) under which the new measure shows up by using the “Home Table” option from the Modeling tab. I really like this feature as you can create copies of the same calculation and send them to different folders for ease of use.

If you’re interested in getting this added to Multidimensional as well, there is a request you can vote on.

Power BI Report Server

The Power BI team knows how to make me happy:

Today Microsoft announced Power BI Premium — a capacity-based licensing model that increases flexibility for how users access, share and distribute content in Power BI. The new offering also introduces the ability to manage Power BI Reports on-premises with the included Power BI Report Server.

Power BI Report Server will be generally available late in the second quarter of 2017.

I like this a lot for internal company dashboards.

Twitter Campaign/Brand Management In Power BI

Mindy Curnutt looks at a Power BI solution template for managing Twitter campaigns:

Now you can start poking around and seeing what’s in the Dashboard. Since I opted to not put any handles in for analysis of FROM and TO, the first two tabs in the workbook (Outbound Tweets and Inbound Tweets) will not have any information, this is normal.

But then we get to tab #3 – Author Hashtag Graph.  The gray dots are hashtags and the green dots are accounts that have tweeted. You can see that I made a tweet that had 2 hashtags – #osmf2017 and #mvpbuzz. And boy was @TexasMusicDude busy tweeting up a storm – and using lots of other hashtags in conjunction with his tweets. Other hashtags that were popular appear to be #CampGround, #ShinyRibs, #TexasMusic, #DreamFolk and #Strings. Along the bottom you can see the day/timeline and the quantity of tweets at what time of day. If you click on any of the nodes, the information about what time the tweet(s) took place is highlighted in the timeline. It’s very interactive.

It does require an Azure subscription, but it looks very useful as a model for an advanced set of dashboards as well as a campaign management tool.

SandDance Custom Visual

Devin Knight continues his Power BI custom visuals series:

In this module you will learn how to use the SandDance Power BI Custom Visual.  The SandDance visual is an incredibly interactive visual that allows you to create insights to view your data in multiple ways and with animations.

This is a long video for a complicated visual.

Q&A In Power BI

Adam Saxton has a video talking about Natural Language Search in Power BI:

In this video, I look at one of my favorite Power BI features that I’ve found a lot of people aren’t familiar with. In a few of my presentations, by a show of hands, the majority of folks (meaning most of the room) didn’t know what this was. I WAS SHOCKED!!! Can you guess what it is?

When this works, it’s really cool.

Time Brush Custom Visual

Devin Knight continues his Power BI custom visuals series:

In this module you will learn how to use the Time Brush Power BI Custom Visual.  The Time Brush gives you the ability both filter your report and see a graphics representation of your data at the same time. The name Time Brush comes from the behavior used when you select the values you’d like to filter.

The use of color is an interesting take on combining continuous data points with categorical representations of those points.

Header Vs Title In Power BI Slicers

Callum Green notes the trade-offs between using a Header versus a Title in a Power BI slicer visual:

o   Header can have an Outline, which includes the ability to underline text.

o   Header is constrained to displaying the name of the attribute (“Product Category Name”), whereas a Title can be customised (“Select Category”).  You can rename your source data attribute to get around this, however.

o   Title enables you align the text, but this is not possible with a Header.

o   Header contains the “Clear Selection” option.

It’s not usually great to have both, but there are definitely trade-offs.

Dynamic Filtering With Power BI + SSAS

Patrick LeBlanc shows in a video how to implement dynamic filtering with SSAS Tabular & Multidimensional in Power BI:

In this video, Patrick answers your question about how to do this in Analysis Services Tabular and Multidimensional. Also, he adds a little bit of SQL to the mix.

Make sure to watch the previous dynamic filtering videos to understand the basics of how to do this.

To begin, you need to make sure to get the URL for your published report.

I completely agree with Patrick about doing as much as you can in the source, especially if there will be more than one potential consumer aside from Analysis Services.


May 2017
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