I am lucky enough to be able to attend the Microsoft Business Applications Conference in Atlanta this week. They just held the Power BI Road Map session and there are just tons of exciting developments coming. Here’s a completely informal, and completely incomplete list of the enhancements coming.
1) New look and feel for the Power BI environment–the ‘bumblebee’ look is gone.
The ribbon is being re-designed to conform more closely with the standard Office ribbon. And guess what–changing font sizes and colors will be super easy! No more eyeball straining 9 point gray type! It will look a lot more a standard Office application in the tools and navigation.
2) The Office security/protection features are being extended to Power BI.
That means you can ‘label’ datasets with the same sensitivity labels available to you in the Office environment (confidential, sensitive, etc…)
And if you export the data from Power BI to Excel, it will respect the security level of the data.
3) Certified datasets are almost here.
You will be able to label a data set “Promoted”, which means you are putting your own personal imprimatur on the data. You could also get a data set officially “Certified” by your data governance structure. Once you do this, you can store the data in one workspace (think “library”), and then create reports using that data set, and then publish that report in a different workspace. This really is a huge boost in the “single source of truth” quest. But wait–that’s not all. You will be able to see a lineage view of the data, i.e. its’ sources.
4) Consumers can customize a report that has been published in a workspace.
Instead of the owner of a report having to go in and change a visual (based on a user request), the user can change that request him/herself, with a single click of a drop down menu.
5) New Tooling for Q & A
With this enhancement, you will be able to quickly update and add synonyms and, even better, see all the questions that business users are asking of your data. This is probably the most significant upgrade, in my opinion. This one addition has the potential to change the level of data literacy in your organization.
6) Start/stop icons coming!
You know how you can add icons using Conditional Formatting in Excel? The nifty stop signs or traffic lights or arrows? Well those are coming to a Power BI report near you.
7) I almost forgot: metadata on reports
Now you will be able to see who created the report, and when it was last refreshed!
I am not even covering ALL of the announcements, just the ones that I think are interesting to business users of Power BI. The bottom line is that Power BI is fast becoming an incredibly capable tool that is easy to use for business users.