Power BI 2.0 is Almost Here

As you might already know Microsoft announced Power BI 2.0 General Availability, Power BI 2.0 GA, on July 24. In this post I explain some new features that are ready to use now. Now I can say Power BI is significantly improved during the preview period. We are able to refresh on-prem datasets, we can modify the look and feel of the reports, we can share resources and much more now. For instance go to Power BI website and the first thing you can see is the Power BI logo is changed from Power BI Preview to Power BI.

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Let’s see what is new in Power BI.

Get Data

  • Sign into Power BI
  • Click on Get Data button from the bottom of the left navigation panepower bi 02

  • There are now two different sections in the “Get Data” of your workspace which each of them have two parts:
  1. Content Pack Library
    • My Organisation: from here you can easily create you organisational content packs. A content pack is basically a single repository to keep dataests, reports, dashboards, Q&A, integration with other data sources, data refresh and more. You can also package up and publish your dashboards, reports and datasets with your colleagues in a specific group or the entire organisation. You can also browse the content packs that other people in your organisation published.
    • Services: you can use lots of online services built to connect to different platforms like Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, Visual Studio Online , and much more.
  2. Import Or Connect to Data
    • Files: You can upload your reports, data or workbooks from Excel, Power BI Desktop or CSV files. The location of the files could be your local hard drive, on OneDrive Business or OneDrive Personal.
    • Databases: You can connect to Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, SQL Server Analysis Services Tabular Model or Azure HDInsight (Spark) and browse your live data.

Content pack Library – My Organisation

  • From Get Data click on “My Organisation”

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  • As you can see there is a brief definition of “My Organisation” which is “MY ORGANISATION IS WHERE YOU CAN FIND CONTENR PACKS PUBLISHED BY YOU AND OTHER IN YOUR ORGANISATION”
  • Click “Create Content Pack”

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  • Choose who will have access to this content pack. If you choose “My Entire Organisation”  then you just need to type a title as well as description for the content pack then click Publish. If you want to publish the content pack with specific groups then you need to enter email addresses separated by semicolon (;) or comma (,)
  • Select the items you want to publish. If you select a dashboard it will automatically select all corresponding reports and datasets.
  • You can also upload a company logo or image by clicking on Upload link
  • Click Publish

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  • All done.

Now you can browse the content pack you published. Just click on “Get Data” again and then click on “My Organisation”. Now you can see you new created content pack.

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You can click on it and then click Connect.

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When you connect to a content pack you actually are creating the dashboards, reports and everything on the content pack again. So when you publish a content pack to a ogranisation or just for specific group of people, they basically will be able to create their own version of the reports and dashboards. However, the dataset will be a shared dataset which means they can just explore it or delete it and nothing more.

Reports

The report’s features are improved significantly. We can know change the chart’s colours, adding free texts into TextBoxes and much more.

  • After logging into Power BI website clock on a desired report
  • Right after you open the report you’ll get prompted to use the new report canvas

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  • After you open the report, click on EDIT REPORT
  • You might get a message saying “To make changes to this report, you need to convert it to new Power BI report canvas”. You can decide to convert or cancel. As the report that I opened is a test report I’m safe to convert it.

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  • Now that your report is open click on EDIT REPORT button

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  • You’ll immediately see a toolbox on the right pane that wasn’t available before

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  • With the new features we are able to modify the visualisation as desired
  • By clicking a chart related features to the chart is added to the visualisation pane
  • In this sample I clicked on a bar chart

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  • In the Fields pane on the right side of the page you can see some queries are highlighted in yellow. These queries are the queries that have some fields participating in the report. You can expand them to find the fields. We can modify the report fields by dragging and dropping the fields into the reporting area OR into the “Fields” section of the Visualisation pane.
  • As you can see we can easily change the report type by selecting another report type from the Visualisation pane. In this sample I want to change the report type from Bar Chart to Donut Chart.

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  • To change the Donut’s feel and look click on “Format” from the Visualisation pane

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  • Let’s make some changes on the legend. From legend select “Left” and change the legend text.

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  • If you don’t like the chart’s colour expand “Data Colours”

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  • You can also simply enable Data labels by clicking on “Data Labels”. You can customize the data labels by changing colour or precision

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  • You can also change the chart’s title text and customize it as desired by expanding “Title”

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  • To change the chart’s background colour or transparency expand “Background” and customise it

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  • As you noticed you can always back to default by clicking on “Revert to Default”
  • You can save the report or save it as a new report

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Settings

You have more control on your Power BI now. Click on “Settings” button.

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Manage Personal Storage

Click on Manage Personal Storage to see how you consumed your storage. You can also see the volume consumed by the datasets that are shared with you by clicking on “Owned by Others”. If you don’t want a dataset anymore you can delete it from here.

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Create Content Pack

You can create a new content pack directly from here. As I covered this part earlier I’m not going though it again.

View Content Pack

You can view, edit or delete existing content packs.

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As you see there is a warning icon on the right side of the content pack. It’s because I’ve made some changes to the dashboard of the published content pack. If I hover over the warning icon I can see more information.

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This is a really awesome feature that I can update the content pack so that the users can always have the latest versions. To update the content pack just simply click on “Edit” then click “Update”.

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Power BI for Office 365

This is another cool feature which is newly added. Now you can easily switch to your Power BI for Office 365 account. There is also a link for Power BI which is newly added to Power BI 365.

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There are lots of other new features that cannot be covered in this post. So I’ll discuss some more features in my future posts.

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