Enabling Preview Features In Power BI

Jeanne Combrinck walks us through how to enable Power BI preview features:

Every month PowerBI releases new features. Some of the features are in preview mode and unless you turn it on you don’t get to use the preview features. This post explains how to turn them on.

Firstly you need to have the latest version of PowerBI to get the latest features. You can download it here.

Click through to see the remaining steps.  There are some interesting preview features that I’d expect to make it to the general product in the next few months.

Managing Power BI Dashboard Releases

Jesse Gorter gives us a couple examples of process for releasing Power BI dashboard changes in a corporate environment:

Corporate BI is the ‘one version of the truth’ data that must be governed and tested. The report on top of that might need to be governed too. So any changes to the model or the report (or both) need to go through some testing before it can be accepted. Hence DTAP & Power BI.

Let’s explore a case where an organization has a HR department with a manager and a data analyst. Those two make the reports and decide what they want to publish to their target users: HR employees. A developer creates the datamart and the Analysis Services Tabular model cube on which they create Power BI reports. For the first version, they create a pbix file and upload it to Powerbi.com. What happens when the business wants the report or the model changed?

Read on for two potential solutions.

Power BI Report Layouts

Jeanne Combrinck shows us an easy method of creating Power BI layouts:

PowerBI has this great functionality where you can go and download preset layouts which make your PowerBI reports stand out more. There is a nice trick to doing this yourself.

You can create layouts in PowerPoint and then save them as images. Then insert them into your PowerBI report as an image and send the image right to the back.

Click through for an example of this in action.

Quartiles In DAX

Dustin Ryan shows us how to calculate quartiles using DAX:

To calculate the quartile, we’re going to use the PERCENTILEX.INC DAX function. The PERCENTILEX.INC function returns the number at the specified percentile. So for example, if I had numbers 0 and 100 in my data set, the 25th percentile value would be 25. The 50th percentile value would be 50 and the 75th percentile value would be 75, and you can figure out what the 100th percentile value would be.

Dustin shares an example with his NFL data set and also walks us through a couple of tricky situations.

Dashboard Conversations In Power BI

Teo Lachev points out something pretty new to Power BI:

I’ve noticed that the dashboard conversations are now available. Just open a Power BI dashboard and click the Comments menu. This will open a Comments pane when you can post comments related to the entire dashboard. You can also post comments for a specific tile by clicking the tile ellipsis menu and then choosing “Add a comment”. You know that a tile has comments when you see the “Show tile conversations” button that floats on the tile. Clicking this button brings to the Comments pane to see and participate in the discussion.

Click through for an example of what this looks like.

Network Analysis With Python In Power BI

Tori Tompkins shows us how to use the NetworkX package in Power BI:

The data I used was created to demonstrate this task in Power BI but there are many real-world network datasets to experiment with provided by Stanford Network Analysis Project. This small dummy dataset represents a co-purchasing network of books.

The data I loaded into Power BI consisted of two separate CSVs. One, Books.csv, consisted of metadata pertaining to the top 40 bestselling books according to Wikipedia and their assigned IDs. The other, Relationship.csv, was an edgelist of the book IDs which is a popular method for storing/ delivering network data. The graph I wanted to create was an undirected, unweighted graph which I wanted to be able to cross-filter accurately. Because of this, I duplicated this edgelist and reversed the columns so the ToNodeId and FromNodeId were swapped. Adding this new edge list onto the end of the original edgelist has created a dataset with can be filtered on both columns later down the line. For directed graphs, this step is unnecessary and can be ignored.

Once loaded into Power BI, I duplicated the Books table to create the following relationship diagram as it isn’t possible to replicate the relationship between FromNodeId to Book ID and ToNodeId to Book ID with only one Books table.

Read on for an example using this data set.

Power BI Without Active Directory

Ginger Grant shows us how we can expose Power BI dashboards without needing users to have Power BI or Active Directory accounts:

There are many companies which would like to provide Power BI reports which would allow customers to interactively work with their data, but they don’t want to create Power BI accounts for customers as that can be a lot of work from an administrative standpoint.  For the same reason, these customers are not added to the corporate network which means they are not added Active Directory.  For example, if Desert Isle SQL contracts with Acme Corporation to create a custom conference display, Acme might want to show me a report showing when the components were purchased, when they were modified and when the order is in process and when the order is completed.  How do I show a Power BI report containing information? From an application design perspective data from all of the customers should be stored in the same place and Desert Isle SQL should only see their orders when logging in to Acme’s site.

Ginger also covers a bit about the licensing cost of going down this route.

Burndown Charts In Power BI

Paul Turley shows how to create burn-down and Pareto charts in Power BI:

I’m managing an Agile team project using Microsoft Teams – the new project management platform integrated with Office 365.  Teams is a simple and useful project management tool but it’s new and light on features.  Using Power BI, we want to show the hourly task burn-down for each two-week sprint.  In JIRA and some other more mature project management platforms, the burn-down chart is a standard feature in the tool that shows the number of hours or story points remaining, compared to the estimated number for the sprint.  Just as I began working on that, a client asked for some help creating a Pareto chart and it occurred to me that burn-down and Pareto charts are very similar variations of the same type of chart presentation.  These are not so much chart types as they are a set of calculations and techniques for displaying a desired result.

Read the whole thing.

Posting Power BI Data Alerts To Slack

Esat Erkec shows how to post a Power BI data alert into a Slack channel with Microsoft Flow:

Demonstration

In this demonstration, we will complete the following steps.

  • Create AdventureworksLT sample database in Azure SQL (Platform as a Service)

  • Create a simple report with Power BI and publish this report to Power BI Portal

  • Create Power BI data alert

  • Integrate Power BI data alert notification and Slack with Microsoft Flow

It’s surprisingly easy—most of the article is just creating the Power BI dashboard.

Unraveling Rolling Totals With Power Query

Imke Feldmann shows us how to get from rolling totals back to the original values using Power Query:

To retrieve this value, one would have to start with the first value in the year. This is also the value of the first quarter, but for the 2nd quarter, one would have to deduct the value of the first quarter from the cumulative value of the 2nd quarter. So basically retrieving the previous cumulative row and deduct it from the current cumulative row. Do this for every row, unless it’s the start of the year or belongs to a different account code in this example:

(Although for the data given in the sample, it would be sufficient to just take the year as a discriminator, but to be on the save side, I would suggest to include the different accounts as well)

That’s a pretty interesting approach.

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