April is an exciting month for Power BI Desktop! Our April update has major updates across the entire product. This release adds the ability to define the titles of your visuals and the URLs of your buttons based on DAX expressions, which is only our first step towards making every property of a visual expression-based. You can also now easily link reports within a workspace together with across-report drillthrough support. We have a lot of new connectors this month and several of our preview connectors are now generally available, including the Power BI dataflows and PDF connectors. Data prep gets some major updates as well with the GA of data profiling and M intellisense.
Here’s the complete list of April updates:
- Filter pane improvements
- Conditional formatting for visual titles
- Conditional formatting for web URL actions for buttons, shapes, and images
- Drillthrough across reports
- Key Influencers visual now supports continuous analysis for numeric targets
- Python support is now generally available
- Partial synonym matching for terms in Q&A
- Power BI dataflows connector now generally available
- Oracle Essbase connector now supports DirectQuery and is generally available
- PDF connector now generally available
- Web By Example connector – automatic table inference
- Intersystems IRIS connector
- Indexima connector
- Luminis InformationGrid
- Solver BI360
- Data Profiling enhancements and general availability
- Fuzzy merge performance enhancements & general availability
- M Intellisense supported in formula bar and custom column dialog & is generally available
For a summary of the major updates, you can watch the following video:
Filter pane improvements
Support for full filter pane editing
We’ve now added support for full editing of the new filter pane. You can add and remove fields to filter on, change the filter state, control the visibility of the pane and filter cards, and lock filter cards all within the new filter pane.
Since the new filter pane now has full editing ability, when you are using the preview, you no longer see the old filter pane at all in the visualization pane.
Ability to rename filters
When you’re editing the filter pane, you can now double click the title to edit it. This is a good way to make the filter card names more understandable for your end users.
Filter pane scales with the report page
To maintain proportion between the report page and the filter pane, the new filter pane will now scale with the report page and visuals.
Restrict ability to change filter type
Under the Filtering experience section of the report settings you now have an option to control if consumers of your report can change the filter type. With this setting off, your report consumers won’t have access to the dropdown to switch between the basic and advanced types of filters.
Improved filter pane accessibility
We’ve improved the keyboard navigation for the new filter pane. You can tab through every part of the filter pane and use the context key on your keyboard or Shift+F10 to open the context menu.
Watch the following video to learn more about the filter pane improvements:
Conditional formatting for visual titles
Since the initial release of Power BI, you’ve been able to customize the titles of your visuals, but they’ve always been static text.
Since Power BI reports are interactive, it makes sense that you may want your titles to be dynamic and reflect the current state of the report. You can now use the conditional formatting dialog to change the text of your report based on a DAX expression in your model.
First, you’ll need to create a field in your model to use for your title. For example, here’s an expression that will change based on the filter context the visual receives for the product Brand name. One thing to note is that this field needs to be formatted as text.
Then launch the conditional formatting dialog by right-clicking the “Title text” area in the property pane card and picking Conditional formatting.
Then in the dialog, select a text field from your model. This can be a column or a measure.
Now the visual’s title will respond to changes in the report.
Once such a title is set, you can re-launch the dialog by clicking the fx button in the property pane or revert to the default using the context menu.
Watch the following video to learn more about conditionally formatting titles:
Conditional formatting for web URL actions for buttons, shapes, and images
You can also use the same expression-bound formatting to make the URLs of your buttons dynamic! It’s set up the exact same way as titles. This can be very useful if you want users to navigate to other webpages with URL parameters based off their current selection.
Over the coming months we’ll be rolling these conditional formatting options out to more properties on more visuals and give you more ways to set the expression. The goal is that you’ll be able to use rules, a measure or enter an expression directly in the dialog and use the result to format any property.
Watch the following video to learn more about conditionally formatting URLs for buttons:
Drillthrough across reports
We are extending our drillthrough feature, which up until now only worked between pages of a single report, to also reference other reports in a given workspace as well. The power of this feature is that you can no easily link up multiple reports. For example, you could create a summary report connected to a slimmed down dataset and set up drillthrough to deep detailed reports.
To set up this experience you’ll need to:
- Set up a drillthrough target page to be accessed from other reports within a workspace
- Allow a report to opt into seeing drillthrough pages outside of the report
To set up a drillthrough page so it can accessed from other reports within a workspace, all you need to do is turn on the Cross-report toggle in the drillthrough section of the visualization pane.
After that, all you need to do is enable the Cross-report drillthrough setting for all reports within a workspace that you want to point that cross-report drillthrough page. You can find this setting in the Report settings for the current file section of the Options dialog.
Once you’ve done that, any report can see the cross-report drillthrough pages within its workspace or app. Right clicking in a visual in a report will show the drillthrough page from another report if the fields in the visual match the drillthrough fields setup on the target page. The matching needs to be identical by both table name and column name, but doesn’t need to be the same dataset.
Watch the following video to learn more about drillthrough across reports:
Key Influencers visual now supports continuous analysis for numeric targets
You can now add numeric fields to the Analyze bucket of the field well and run a continuous analysis and find key influencers that cause that field to increase or decrease. This will work for numeric columns (including calculated columns) but measures are not yet supported.
In order to enable this analysis, you will need to explicitly turn it on after selecting the field to analyze. You can do this by going to the analysis card of the formatting pane and switching the analysis type to continuous instead of categorical.
Behind the scenes the visualization will run a linear regression and rank all the factors that the user selected as potential influencers. It will give insights about how much an explanatory factor increases or decreases the average of the metric being analyzing. In the example above we can see that when Class is Deluxe, the SalesAmount is on average $1.5K higher than when the Class is Regular or Economy.
To learn more about how to set up the key influencers visual and how it works, you can check out our documentation.
Watch the following video to learn more about continuous analysis for the Key Influencers visual:
Python support is now generally available
Thank you for all the great feedback during the preview period! Python is now generally available and can be used to create your models and visuals without needing to enable it.
Partial synonym matching for terms in Q&A
When using Q&A, you can now complete terms even if you only know part of it. Specifically, if you type a word or phrase that is part of a synonym of a field or table, you’ll see the synonym in the list of suggestions.
Watch the following video to learn more about partial synonym matching for Q&A:
New DAX function – ALLCROSSFILTERED
We’ve added another new DAX function this month, ALLCROSSFILTERED. This function can be used to remove filters on a table from other tables across direct or indirect many-to-many relationships.
The rainbowGauge partner-developed visual lets report authors create a 3-state gauge with different colors to represent each stage. You can add a min, max, target, and a value and color for each stage to the visual.