The Microsoft Data Insights Summit finished today, and the videos of the sessions have already (!!) been published online here:
I can’t remember ever attending a conference where there was so much new functionality revealed. I’m not talking about things like Power BI Premium – that’s last month’s news – I’m talking about lots and lots of really cool new features that I had not seen before, so many that I feel completely overwhelmed by them all. There are a few blog posts out there that try to summarise the announcements (apart from the post on the official Power BI blog, check out Matt Allington and Dustin Ryan’s posts) but really your only option is to watch as many of the session videos as you can! I thought I would call out some videos about the new features for you to start off with:
- The keynote on the first day was pretty amazing (Amir Netz’s demo should be watched in full) with some highlights being:
- The timeline custom visual shown off by the National Trust here. There’s a lot more detail on it at https://timelinestoryteller.com/
- The Visio custom visual for Power BI, more details on which below…
- The PowerApp custom visual will not only allow you to embed a PowerApp directly in a Power BI report allowing users to write values back to the underlying data source, similar to writeback in SSAS
- My star rating measure from this blog post has been turned into a Quick Measure! My name is in Power BI! I am so chuffed! The important thing here is that this is the first example of a calculation submitted to the Quick Measures Gallery making it into the product.
- Data bars are available now in tables
- Drillthrough pages and bookmarks will revolutionise how we can navigate through a Power BI report, and turn Power BI into a true data storytelling tool, and are really exciting.
- What-if analysis will allow you to move a slider and change values that feed into measures
- New AI features to explain what’s happening in your data, the evolution of Quick Insights
- Dashboards will be accessible via Cortana searches
- The session on the Visio custom visual for Power BI had a lot of detail on how Visio/Power BI integration will work, and was very impressive. You can sign up for the preview here.
- Power BI/PowerApps/Flow integration, with Power BI content appearing in Power Apps and vice versa is something I am going to watch with interest.
- One major announcement (at least for me) that slipped out in the session on the Common Data Model is that there’s going to be a standalone, SaaS version of Power Query available that will be able to load data into the Common Data Model
- Matt Masson’s session has a lot of information on building custom data connectors as well as the announcement that M is officially called M!
- Azure Analysis Services will soon have a much better web interface that will allow you to create simple models, and also to import models from Power BI .pbix files. Christian Wade’s session on Azure Analysis Services also has a great extended demo showing off new SSAS Tabular features, including one showing using BISM Normalizer to merge parts of a mode in a .pbix file into a Tabular model.
This is by no means comprehensive. I haven’t been able to watch all the videos yet either, so there may be other important new features in other sessions that I completely missed.
Last of all, although they don’t contain any new announcements, you can also watch my two M-themed sessions from the conference: Working With Parameters And Functions and Working With Web Services in Power BI/Power Query/Excel Get&Transform.