The All-New Microsoft Power BI Release Wave 2 – Must Read

Microsoft Power BI Release wave 2-TechAffinity

Microsoft has detailed new features that it’s bringing to Power BI update with the new release. The 2019 release wave 2, offers significant new capabilities to enable digital transformation for businesses. 

According to Microsoft, these new capabilities have been included for Power BI update:

Unified platform for enterprise BI
  • Data Protection (Preview)
  • Shared and Certified Datasets
  • Data lineage capabilities (Preview)
  • Open platform connectivity (XMLA Read/Write) (Preview)
  • Datasets larger than 10GB in Power BI Premium (Preview)
Self-service analytics for everyone
  • Report consumption
  • Home customization

Here are the capability highlights that come with this new release which started rolling out from October 2019 through March 2020.

1)Unified platform for enterprise BI
  • Data protection (Preview)

By introducing new Data Protection capabilities in Power BI, it provides for greater control and visibility over sensitive data in Power BI.

Power BI  integrated with Microsoft Information Protection and Microsoft Cloud App Security to empower BI professionals and administrators to:

  • Classify and label Power BI dashboards, reports, datasets, and dataflows in Power BI service
  • Set label specific permissions on exported files from Power BI (Excel, PowerPoint and PDF documents).
  • Provide oversight to administrators on sensitive data being used in Power BI
  • Leveraging Microsoft Cloud App Security monitor user access and activity, protect data based on real-time risk analysis, and set label specific controls.
  • Shared and certified datasets

Using shared and certified datasets an organization can establish authoritative datasets and drive the collaborative use of data. By updating the capabilities it is now easier for dataset owners and dataset users, to work with and manage shared datasets. Plans are underway to give tenant administrators more possibilities to control how these datasets are being used.

  • Data lineage capabilities (Preview)

BI professionals build advanced analytical projects spanning numerous data sources, artifacts, and dependencies. Providing insights about the data lineage in these projects is key for shaping efficient work processes and for empowering users to better manage existing dependencies. Data lineage insights also help BI professionals understand exactly where their data comes from and assess usage on various artifacts, such as popular data sets.

To further empower Power BI users, a new experience for visualizing data lineage between different Power BI artifacts within a workspace and including cross workspace dependencies has been introduced. Besides, APIs to extract lineage information will be supported. 

This new experience makes it possible for Power BI professionals and admins to better understand the relationships between artifacts and more easily manage Power BI projects in their organization.

  • Open platform connectivity (XMLA read/write) (Preview)

This is a follow up to the March preview of XMLA read-only support, which allowed third-party BI tools to connect to datasets in Power BI, as well as some performance monitoring solutions. Now there will be full read/write access to datasets. This opens a huge set of opportunities for additional third-party tool connectivity, to enable scenarios like monitoring, lifecycle management, and debugging.

  • Datasets larger than 10GB in Power BI Premium (Preview)

Power BI datasets can store data in a highly compressed, in-memory cache for optimized query performance. This enables fast user interactivity over large datasets. Until now, datasets in Power BI Premium have been limited to 10 GB after compression. 

With large models, this limitation will be removed and dataset sizes will be limited only by the capacity size. This will bring Power BI dataset sizes to parity with Azure Analysis Services model sizes.

2)Self-service analytics for everyone
  • A new experience for report consumption

There has been an update to the consumption experience for reports and dashboards including navigation UI elements. Most Power BI users use one or two reports/dashboards, therefore there has been a push in optimizing the experience for using a single item.

  • Home customization

Microsoft has been enhancing Home in Power BI to make it more customizable. Here are 4 key enhancements in this aspect.

  • User customization of pinned tiles

Allowing users to choose which dashboards or reports show up on top of Home for an at a glance view of their key metrics.

  • Organizational branding

Allowing administrators to insert a company logo, change the header color, and add a background cover image on Home to match their corporate brand.

  • Promoted content

Allowing administrators or designated content creators to promote and set the default recommended content. By setting default content, an organization can ensure that users have a consistent, standardized experience for navigating within the service.

  • Configure learning resources

Allowing administrators to configure the documentation links in the Learn how to use the Power BI section for their tenant.

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