Looking back at 2016, we see a year in which a lot happened. At this moment you almost can’t imagine what Power BI looked like on January 1st 2016. The possibilities were only a limited part of what they are now. Hillstar has brought Power BI to a good amount of companies in 2016. Let me walk you through the novelties 2016 brought.
The first new features that Power BI gave a leap forward, were See Data and Export Data. Options that are especially usefull to users of a report. So when you’re not the maker of a report, but do want to do something with the data behind the report and of course have the correct rights. With this option you can copy and edit data.
April was the month when some directions became visible. The See Records button and Trend Lines became available. Trend Lines is useful to see what the trend is in a certain development, but even easier is the Dynamic Reference Lines option which came in August. It lets you easily apply a median or an average.
Power BI is a solution that suits everyone. Each role within the enterprise must understand the content. In order to get that done, there needs to be a common thread in a report. It should be intuitive. The Power BI team worked on that in various stages last year, but it will make further steps this year. One of the major steps that you can now give a theme to the reports. They can be “branded” with the logo and a background visual of your business. So reports come to life and get adopted easier by users.
To further capitalize on the intuition of users, new conditional formatting features were added in April 2016. That made our hearts beat faster. You can see at a glance which results deviate from the norm and directly see whether it is positive or negative. A boring list than becomes something you can take action on immediately, because you want green numbers instead of red.
Further improvement of charts is that a grid is added. You do not have to look if one graph is just below the other (snap to grid).
To end the visual party that the team created last year, at the end of the year ArcGIS Maps for Power BI by Esri was released. Geological data about sales, finance, inventory and production for example, are now even easier to use.
Quickly to the core
A much requested option was to filter faster. For example, in a list of products. It is now quick and easy. In October searching in certain periods also became easy by the Date Slicer. Beautiful, but the screen was a little packed with all those pretty charts and slicers. Therefore the Dropdown Slicer was introduced in November. This saves valuable space to display data in.
Showing data became easier by the addition of 22 new sources that link standard to Power BI. This year the Power BI team is busy adding many more new resources to it.
In short, Power BI is still at the beginning of something beautiful and great. The outlines are now clear. Make sure you understand what Power BI can do and start making your Excel reports in Power BI.