Power BI is Powering Up in 2022

With These 4 New Features

TL: DR

As part of Microsoft’s 2022 release wave 1 plan for the Power Platform, Power BI is receiving some notable and exciting new features that will make it more powerful and easy to use than ever before. From improved integrations with Teams and SharePoint to an amazing use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to create quick measures, it looks to be an exciting year!

1 – Accessing Power BI Within Teams

Microsoft Teams is steadily becoming one of the central platforms for businesses across the world. Microsoft has made it quite clear that they see Teams as an essential core for the future and this new update helps to bring that vision one step closer to reality.

From April 2022, Power BI will be accessible within the Teams app as a public preview. This means that a Power BI report or dashboard will only be a single click away from a Teams channel, chat, or meeting. This will make it much easier and quicker for users to collaborate and plan around data in real time.

This will include all Power BI content types and enable multitasking support for the Power BI app in Teams.

2 – Using Natural Language To Create Quick Measures

Historically, to create calculations and measures in Power BI you would have to use Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) or use a template. This programming language both creates a barrier for low-code projects and adds extra work and time to a simple project.

As part of the April 2022 public preview, Power BI will be able to interpret natural language statements into DAX using advanced natural language processing (NLP).

This means that simply entering a phrase such as “What is the rolling 28-day average of sales” will be interpreted, understood, and then converted into a DAX formula to calculate this statement through Power BI.

This approach is likely to be AI driven and will continuously improve over time. However, we are excited to start using this tool and see how it can help our clients to run their own low-code measurements within BI.

3 – Improvements To Data Sources for the Power BI Service

The Create page in Power BI Service will soon support both copying and pasting data, along with additional data sources. This will provide users with more ways to create data sources quickly. The new options on the Create page will include selecting data from SharePoint, Excel, CSV and other popular online databases and services. These options will make it easier than ever before to create reports and dashboards from multiple data sources.

Another new feature will let users create a Power BI dataset or report from a table of data in Excel directly. As so many users rely on Excel for day-to-day operations, this brings Power BI so much closer by adding options to create Power BI datasets and reports from within Excel tables. The tool will guide users to save the workbook in OneDrive or SharePoint and then provide options to instantly build a report in Power BI following the creation of the dataset.

4 – Several Accessibility Options & Improvements

One justified criticism of the Power BI platform to date is its support (or often lack of) for assistive technologies. As part of the 2022 wave 1 release, Microsoft is bringing several improvements to improve accessibility for users reliant on assistive technologies. These include:

Improved keyboard navigation and assistive technology support for Power BI tables. This will include keyboard shortcuts, better screen reader announcements, integrating alt text for images in tables, options for increased contrast and selection focus and better conditional formatting

Keyboard navigation for the Power BI slicer tool

Up to 400% zoom for core scenarios in Power BI , such as reports, navigation, and the home page. The content will respond correctly when browser zoom is applied

The option to present Power BI visuals as tables to show the data in a way that assistive technologies can read and present to users. This option will be able to be toggled on or off easily

Find out more about Power Apps or view the full 2022 release wave 1 plan from Microsoft.

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