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Category: Power BI

Working with Complex Return Types in Power Query

Gerhard Brueckl works with some complex data:

When working with Power Query, you have probably already realized that every expression you write returns a value of a specific type. Usually this will be a primitive type like text, number, or date. (A full list of types available in Power Query can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powerquery-m/m-spec-types). If for some reason the type of an expression cannot be defined, the special type *any* will be used. For sure you already encountered this when using Table.AddColumn which, by default, results in the new column being of type *any*.

Read on to learn more, including what you can do if you’re creating Power Query functions.

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Detecting a Fraud: Power BI Edition

Brett Powell has an interesting post on determining a Power BI consultant’s chops:

This post discusses the forms, origins, and indications of fraud and misrepresentation in the context of Power BI consulting and contract engagements. The intent of this content is to help the reader determine whether a fraud or misrepresentation has occurred and identify characteristics that suggest the potential for a significant variance between expectations and deliverables.

Brett comes at this from the viewpoint of an expert sharing information on the types of things you should expect to see from a qualified consultant. Incidentally, this also works to give you an idea of the types of skills necessary to become a Power BI consultant so if that’s your goal, study this and you’ll be in a solid mindset—especially because this isn’t just a knowledge quiz.

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Generating Excel Reports with Power BI and Power Automate

Chris Webb mashes together a slew of technologies:

Now that Excel reports connected to Power BI datasets work in Excel Online it opens up a lot of new possibilities for doing cool things with Office Scripts and Power Automate. Here’s a simple example showing how all these technologies can be put together to automatically generate batches of Excel reports from a template.

Read on for the process.

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Content Sharing with Power BI

Marc Lelijveld continues a series on going from small-scale to enterprise with Power BI:

Let’s start with the most important feature of the Power BI Service, sharing content! At the same time, this can be one of the most challenging ones. Especially since there are many ways to share content in Power BI. In my experience in enterprise organizations, I have seen a various ways of sharing content. Below I explain the different options there are, leading to a conclusion of my personal best practice.

But why is the way how we share content so important in relation to large enterprise solutions? Well, I believe that all centrally managed solutions should match (organizational) best practices. The way how the content is made available to the users is one of these best practices. It will help end users to find the content they are looking for, always at the same consistent location.

Read on for several techniques.

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Differences in Logging between Azure Analysis Services and Power BI PPU

Gilbert Quevauvilliers continues a series on migrating from Azure Analysis Services to Power BI Premium Per User:

Another important aspect when having datasets is being able to log and monitor performance. In this blog post I am going to compare the logging between Azure Analysis Services (AAS) and Power BI Premium Per User (PPU).

With the recent release of PPU having integration with Log Analytics it makes it a lot easier to compare the logging options between AAS and PPU.

This is an area where there’s still a bit of a gap. Click through to see what the differences look like today.

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Conditional Visibility in Power BI Paginated Reports

Sabrina Jordan has a clever solution to a common customer request:

How many times have you struggled to find the happy medium between a report that looks phenomenal when printed, but has everything a user might need in an Excel export? I recently built a beautiful paginated report with groupings separated by white space for easy readability – but the user wanted to export the results to Excel, and the format prevented them from sorting or filtering the report contents. Power BI Report Builder has a couple features that can allow you the best of both worlds, with a few simple tricks. By the end of this tutorial, you will have created two Tablix, set up conditional visibility based on report render format, and set conditional sizing on the Excel Tablix (using hidden charts!) to prevent blank pages.

Click through for the solution.

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Power BI Anti-Patterns

Paul Turley begins a new series:

It occurred to me that we have put so much effort into promoting best practices and proper design that there is far less information about how to create bad reports and data models. In that light, the purpose of this article is to talk about what to do if you want things to go poorly and make sure your projects fail – if not immediately, then sometime in the future – and if not for you then for whoever inherits the work that you have done.

I welcome your comments and thoughts about the worst practices you have seen in Power BI. Post your ideas in the comments below. What examples have you encountered of sure-fire ways to make projects go badly?

Paul has six starter anti-patterns; click through for the set.

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Customized Per-User Default Values in Power BI

Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari lay out a challenge:

Tabular offers the built-in feature of hiding rows of data from specific users. For example, you can create a set of security rules to let a store manager see only the sales of their store. This works fine if your goal is to secure data, which means preventing access to data that a user is not expected to see.

Another common requirement is to be able to select by default, for a store manager, their sales. With that said, store managers can see the data of other stores, but they need to explicitly request it. In other words: by default, the store manager sees the sales of their store only. By using a slicer, they can choose a different combination of stores.

Read on for the solution, but be sure to read the warnings Marco and Alberto include near the end of the article.

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Naming Worksheets in Power BI Paginated Report Excel Outputs

Paul Turley answers a question:

This question comes up every few years in SQL Server Reporting Services. Of course, in Power BI Paginated Reports, we have the same features. A couple of days ago, Karthik posted this question as a comment to my post titled Chapter 7 – Advanced Report Design:

I am working on a SSRS report where the grouping is done to group the records in to multiple tabs/worksheets. When the report is exported to excel, the worksheets has the default name (Sheet1, Sheet2, Sheet3,…). Here I want to override the default worksheet name with (Tab1, Tab2, Tab3, …). The number of tabs/worksheets varies each time depending on the parameter selection by the user. How to address this? any suggestions please.

Click through for the answer.

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