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Category: Power BI

Power BI Announcements at Microsoft Business Applications Summit

Gilbert Quevauvilliers has a long list of Power BI announcements:

As I have done each and every year I go through and give an overview of all the Power BI Announcements at the Microsoft Business Applications Summit 2021.

This year once again they have announced some incredible features either available now or coming soon so, please read below.

There are quite a few interesting features here. One of the ones which caught my eye was automatic aggregations for DirectQuery calculations, as that reminded me of MDX pre-calculations.

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Multi-Select Slicers in Power BI

Reza Rad simplifies multiple selection:

This is a very short, simple article about how to have a multi-select slicer in Power BI. Power BI slicer is in fact multi-select by default, however, there is a very small option that if you set it, makes it even easier to use, let’s talk about it. If you want to learn more about Power BI, read the Power BI book from Rookie to Rock Star.

Click through to see how you can perform multi-selection by default, as well as an alternative setting.

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Using a Date Template in Power BI

Haroon Ashraf recommends using a template with date dimension details:

A Power BI Template

A Power BI template is a structure or model that typically contains commonly used tables, relationships, and hierarchies belonging to an organization or an individual. This model is reused in any Power BI report. More information is provided in the previous article:

Centralized Data Modelling using Power BI Templates

What is a Date Template in Power BI?

A Date template is a precise structure of the Date table that is a background for building reports in the organization. In other words, it is like a built-in Date table that any reports developer or a skilled business user can apply to build Power BI reports.

Read on for more Q&A as well as how to create a simple version of a date table for this template. The idea of using a template makes even more sense as you have more complicated date table requirements, such as adding in fiscal year details, holiday information (especially holidays which don’t always fall on the same solar calendar day, such as Passover or Easter), and dates important to the company.

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Measuring DirectQuery Performance

Chris Webb shows how you can use the Performance analyzer in Power BI to measure DirectQuery performance:

If you have a slow DirectQuery report in Power BI one of the first questions you need to ask is how long the SQL queries that Power BI generates take to run. This is a more complicated question to answer than you might think, though, and in this post I’ll explain why.

I happen to have access to some of the famous New York taxi data in a Snowflake database, and in there is a table with trip data that has 173 million rows that I have a built a Power BI dataset from. The data and the database used are not really important here though – what is important is that it’s DirectQuery and a large-ish amount of data.

Read on for more information on how it all works.

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Turning On and Off Calculations in Power BI Visuals

Phil Seamark has a clever workaround:

Power BI doesn’t yet have a feature that allows end-users to turn on/off the ability to process calculations for visuals on a report page until they are ready. Most of the time, this is perfectly fine – however, in some instances, it can be handy to disable long-running and heavy calculations from running. At the same time filters/slicers are get selected.

The scenario you most likely want to have this control is when your model uses Direct Query mode against large tables in data sources that charge you for query processing. Even if your Direct Query data source does not charge per query, having a user make quick-fire selections over several slicers can potentially saturate a back-end data-source and unnecessarily chew up resources.

Read on to understand how to use calculation groups to do this, as well as the limitations around this solution.

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Just Take My Money: Paying for Power BI Premium per User

Wolfgang Strasser shows how hard it can be to let someone take your money in return for goods or services:

Initially I told my customers, purchase the PPU license in the Microsoft 365 portal and thought that it should be an easy deal.. but hey – it’s licensing, Microsoft licensing involved…

The place where to buy the PPU add-on is not that obvious as it looks like.

Read on to learn how to upgrade to Premium per User if you already have a Professional license.

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Data-Driven Subscriptions in Power BI

Patrick LeBlanc shows us how to build data-driven subscriptions using Power BI and Power Automate:

Automate data driven subscriptions with the Power Platform using Power BI and Power Automate! Patrick shows you how to quickly setup a report bursting option for your reports.

Click through for the video. There are a few more steps compared to what you’d do in Power BI Reporting Services, but it’s still pretty straightforward.

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The Power Automate Custom Visual in Power BI

Imran Burki tries out a new custom visual:

Using the Power Automate Custom Visual in Power BI is the same process as using any custom visual. We’ll use the Defects Dashboard I created from my last blog post as an example. We want to send a Teams message when we notice defects in a plant require the attention of the plant supervisor. After that, we want to create a meeting in Outlook to discuss findings from our dashboard. Previously, there wasn’t a straightforward way to do this directly in Power BI. However, with the Power Automate Custom Visual, we can create flows directly in Power BI without ever having to leave Power BI! Now that’s cool! Let’s get started.

This is really interesting for setting up rules-based alerting.

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