Semantic model now visible

Gooooood morning (or afternoon or evening) folks. I always say to myself that I need to keep up on all the changes happing in Power BI. But I am lazy and it is HARD to keep up because new features are constantly being added. So today I decided to turn over a new leaf, and dive into the latest offerings and share my thoughts.

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One item jumped out at me in the October 24th issue: you can now see the semantic model in the Power BI Desktop. Now you may say — what is the semantic model and why do I want to see it? Think of the semantic model as the frame of your model. It contains all of the information such as measures, perspectives, relationships and roles and calculations groups!

If you are new to Power BI, you may be wondering why this is such a big deal. Up until now, you have had to use an external tool such as Tabular Editor (TE) to see, create and edit items like calculation groups and perspectives. TE is a great tool, but for folks who are just getting started, it’s another tool to learn and many of us do not have the bandwidth to learn multiple new things. So surfacing the semantic model in the Desktop removes one source of complexity.

How do you see it? First and foremost, you must have the October 2023 desktop. If you downloaded the Desktop from the Microsoft Store, your version will already be updated. If you aren’t sure what version you are working with, go to the Help>About. (Hopefully you do have the latest version.) The next step is to go to File>Options & Settings>Options>Global>Preview Features and select Model explorer and Calculation Group authoring. Then restart the Power BI Desktop.

Once you open the Desktop again, go to Modeling View>Data panel. There you will see a new option: Tables and Model. Click on Model. That’s it. I could attach screen shots here, but instead I will link to a video from the YouTube channel How to Power BI that does a good job explaining why visibility to the semantic model is such a welcome new feature. (No affiliation—I just like this video.)

NEW! Exploring the SEMANTIC MODEL in Power BI | October 2023 Update

<Photo by Joshua Peacock on Unsplash>

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