Are you a Power BI Pro user? Let us fight for what you are missing

Among lots of cool things about Power BI, one thing I really like is that as community we can provide ideas to Power BI team. Not like some other products, Power BI team puts some serious thoughts and processes behind those ideas, and they try hard to make those ideas become reality. For example, few months ago, incremental refresh was only available as a Premium feature and due to high demand from community, Power BI team decided to rollout it for Pro users as well.

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In this post I’m going to list out top premium only features (as of now) worth fighting from as community. Obviously, my top list might not be your top list. Nevertheless, if you feel that particular feature is valuable for you, your client or to the community, please vote for it using the link given against each feature.

The motivation behind writing this blogpost is bit of a disappointment I had after announcing Power Deployment Pipelines feature only for Premium Capacity. Personally I believe that most of the business users cannot afford to pay for Power BI premium licensing, and this feature was something I was really looking forward as it makes my life easy as developers and it allow me to bring CI/CD practice to Power BI at last.  Enough said, let’s go to premium only feature list.

1. Paginated Reports

Paginated reports, in other words old school SSRS reports, is something business users love and find very useful. It does not matter how fancy your dashboard or reports looks like. They still ask for that pixel perfect reports which they have been presenting as a printed copy to the board.  Since this feature is not available in pro, I have seen some clients still maintain their existing SSRS server just to carter that requirement.

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Vote here:  https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/35959420-paginated-reports-please-make-it-available-in-pr

2. Deployment Pipelines

The very motivation behind this post. If you are a pro user, you need to manual copy PBIX file among different folders every time you need to deploy your changes to either QA or Production. Apart from that you need to change all connection information manually each time you do a deployment.  However, with this feature, you can deploy reports/datasets with the matter of few clicks.

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Vote here: https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/40452829-power-bi-deployment-pipelines-preview-for-pro-us

3. Machine Learning Modules

If you have a premium capacity you can use in-built AI functions within Power Query editor against your data. Apart from that, you can even use Azure Cognitive service to bring power of AI to your report. For example, if you have a text field with comments from users, you can perform sentimental analysis on that comments while loading data. Like the idea? You know what to do.

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Vote here:  https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/37338424-automl-available-for-pro-users

4. Read/Write XMLA Endpoints

With the introduction of XMLA endpoint, premium users now can use tools like Visual Studio, SSMS to create and modify Power BI datasets. With the introduction of this, cool features we used in analysis service such as translations, perspectives and calculation groups can now be enabled in Power BI datasets. Additionally, having access to the tabular database behind a Power BI dataset, XMLA endpoint enables lots of other possibilities which are restricted in Power BI.

Learn More: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/admin/service-premium-incremental-refresh

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Vote here: https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/39756142-allow-xmla-access-to-pro-content

5. Incremental Refresh for Data Flow

Although Power BI team has rolled out incremental refresh for datasets, still incremental refresh is not available to data flows for pro users. 

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Vote here: https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/39754699-incremental-refresh-in-dataflow-for-power-bi-pro-u

6. Change Detection

In 2020-April version Power BI team announced that premium users now can refresh a Power BI report when there is a change to its data sources (Direct Query Only). This feature enables users to set automatic report refresh only when it’s required.

Learn more: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-april-2020-feature-summary/#_Change_detection

When I check for an idea for this, I could not find anyone has requested this for Pro users. May be because this feature is just 1 month old. Nevertheless, if you feel you need as a pro user, go and create a new idea for that.

7. Direct Query on Data Flow

Direct query for data flow is as of now premium only feature.  By the time I write this post, I could not find an idea to make it available for Pro users.  You can create an idea for that if you find it is important to you.

Well, as most of you, I’m also a pro user and I believe as community we can fight to get at-least some of these features enabled to make our life easier and give a better solution to our clients. Give your ideas, vote for ideas and contribute to the growth of the product we all love. Thanks for reading and stay safe!!

Must-have (awesome) tools if you are an advanced Power BI developer

I think we can all agree that Power BI is an awesome tool. However, even an awesome software can use some improvements and that is why Power BI team gives monthly updates with all these new cool features.  For me, Power BI has two set of users: Business Users and Developers. Business users are mainly focusing on creating simple data models and analyzing/visualizing data. Whereas developers (or advanced users) focus on creating complex models/reports, handling the development cycle of  a project and improving/analyzing performance etc. For those advance users, in-built capabilities of Power BI are not sufficient in certain scenarios. To fill that gap, 3rd party tools have come to play. In this post I am going to discuss mostly used free 3rd party tools which I believe must-have if you are an expert Power BI developer.

DAX Studio

My favorite!!  If you are writing complex DAX calculations in your Power BI model, this is a must-have tool. This allow you to write, debug and analyze your DAX queries.  With IntelliSense and DAX formatter, it allows you to write queries easily and cleanly. But the coolest thing about this tool is amount of information it provides about the query execution such as Query Planning and Server Time. This information allows you to analyze the performance of your queries and enhance accordingly.

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Download link: https://daxstudio.org/

Main Features/Functionalities:

  • Query execution plan
  • Server timing
  • DAX function panel
  • IntelliSense for DAX
  • DAX query formatting
  • Load Power BI Performance data

Tabular Editor

This a nice tool if you want to develop/modify a Power BI model as an advanced user. If you are coming from SQL server analysis server background, this tool will help you to bring that knowledge into Power BI development.  However, be careful when you modify a Power BI model using Tabular Editor as this is designed mainly for SSAS tabular model development and hence might not be compatible with Power BI.  It is recommended you save your model as a Power BI template and then open using Tabular editor to modify it.

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Download link:https://github.com/otykier/TabularEditor/releases/tag/2.9.8

Main Functionalities:

  • Advance Power BI model features as calculation groups and translations
  • Viewing and organizing tables/fields/measures and relationships easily

Power BI AML Toolkit

If you have used or heard about BISM normalizer, this is an extension of it. This tool allows you to compare two PIBX files and shows the difference between two models. Most importantly, it allows you to push changes from one dataset to another in a single click. If you have premium capacity, this can connect to Power BI service and show the difference between local version and deployed version. Not only that, again if you have premium capacity, this allow you to update the data model in the service, only the changes (meta data) without reloading data. How cool is it?

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Download link:http://alm-toolkit.com/

Main Functionalities:

  • Compare two Power BI datasets for changes
  • Update one Power BI dataset from another
  • Export differences between two datasets to excel

Power BI Helper

Power BI helper allows you to understand a Power BI model. It extracts the meta data of a Power BI model and visualize in a nicely organized way so that you can understand impact and usage easily. Apart from that it can be used to document your Power BI model. If you put a description to each object inside the model, this tool can extract all meta data and description and will generate a documentation about the model.

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Download link: https://powerbihelper.org/

Main Features:

  • Model Analyzer
  • Model Advisor
  • Modelling Advisor
  • Export meta data as a document

Other tools

Vertipaq Analyzer

More detail : https://www.sqlbi.com/tools/vertipaq-analyzer/

DAX Formatter

More detail :https://www.daxformatter.com/

Covering all the features of these awesome tools from a single blog post is not a feasible task. Therefore, I suggest you try it out by yourself and see how much it helps to your day-today development tasks. At the same time, I will update this post if I come across anything new. Thank you very much for reading and stay safe!. Cheers!!

Export all Power BI built-in themes

From 2019 – December version, Power BI allows to export existing themes as theme files. With this, rather than creating a theme file from the scratch, we can export existing theme and modify according to our requirement. However, if this has few limitations. First, it does not allow to export the default theme. As you can see in below image, if we select “Default” theme, export current theme option is disabled. For all other built-in theme, you can select the theme and then export it. However, this means you need to apply that theme one by on to the report, and then export one at a time.

In this post, I’m going to show you a quick and easy way to export all Power BI themes within a minute. It include exporting the default theme as well.

For that first you need to enable the preview feature : “Store datasets using enhanced metadata format” in Power BI.

More about new Power BI metadata format: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/desktop-enhanced-dataset-metadata

To enable it, Click “Files” -> “Option and Settings”-> “Options” -> “Preview Features”. Once you enable that preview feature, you might have to restart Power BI to make it effective.

After restating Power BI, create an empty Power BI template file using clicking “Files”-> “Export”-> “Power BI template”. You don’t require to load any data or create any visuals inside your Power BI file for this.

Next, go to the saved “.pbit” file and change it’s extension to .zip. In other words, if your file name is “Demo.pbit” , rename it to “Demo.zip”. Now unzip the file you created and you will see set of files and sub folders inside the extracted folder. Check the image below.

If you go the “..\Report\StaticResources\SharedResources\BuiltInThemes” folder, you will see all the built-in theme files are available inside the folder as JSON files. You can open these files and customize based on your requirement.

If you want to export “Default” theme which is not available from Power BI UI, you can find it inside “..Report\StaticResources\SharedResources\BaseThemes” folder. As shown in the image below, “CY19SU12.json” is the Default theme file and you can modify this file and export back to Power BI as your custom default theme.

Hope this short post help you to play with Power BI themes. Thank you for reading and stay safe! Cheers!!

Best practice guide for Power BI users – Part 3: Designing Reports

In this blogpost I’m going to talk about how to design an effective Power BI report.  While report designing is a highly subjective area, I will try to make it more generalize as much as possible and point out common mistakes I have seen in different reports. If you are new to Power BI, I also recommend you to have a look at Power BI gallery. It contains lots of beautiful reports developed by community and you can get a good understanding about how to improve your report designing skills.

Power BI Gallery: https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Data-Stories-Gallery/bd-p/DataStoriesGallery

Previous related articles:

Part 1:https://asankap.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/best-practice-guide-for-power-bi-users-part-1/

Part 2: https://asankap.wordpress.com/2020/04/21/best-practice-guide-for-power-bi-users-part-2/

Characteristics of an effective report

What makes a report an effective report? That is a tricky question. Let’s try to understand it from both a business user and a developer perspective. I believe an effective report should have following characteristics.

Accuracy

  • This is one of the key aspects of a report. A report should represent data accurately. Although data is accurate, improper representation can make inaccurate impression to the business users. In Power BI, this can be related to how filters are implemented, how interaction between visuals works, scale of the axis, condition format etc. Small things like showing last data refreshed date in a report helps a lot to improve the accuracy of a report.

Clarity

  • A report should provide a clear view of data. Business user should not spend lot of time to understand how a report works. A clear report means business users do not have to perform unwanted maximizing/minimizing charts, zooming in/out and slicing/dicing etc.

Consistency

  • Consistency plays a big role when developing a report. Once business user gets used to filters, colours, layout and images within a report page, it makes easy to go between reports/ report pages if same look and feel is maintained across all reports/ pages.

Extendibility

  • A report should be able to accommodate change-requests coming from the business users.  It can be adding more data sources, adding more analysis or visuals to the report etc. Any changes should not break existing analysis and should be able to handle with minimum effort.

User-friendliness

  • Always remember who the end users of your report are. They are business users, not IT people. Therefore, your report should be self-explanatory and should be able to navigate and analyze. Adding bookmarks, right visualisations and drill though, drilldown capabilities always help you to enhance user-friendliness of your report.

Corporate look and feel

  • Your report must go with the existing corporate look and feel of the business user’s organisation.  You can achieve this by creating a colour theme which uses colours of organisations logo as main colours of the theme. Additionally, you can request good quality logo images, banners from business users which are used across the organisation. If possible, try to incorporate font styles used within the organisation to your custom Power BI theme.

Logical layout

  • Layout of a report should be logical. Remember how human eye works when it sees something on a screen. Our eye follows F pattern or Z pattern when looking at the content of a web page. It is said when the content is mostly textual it follow F pattern and if the content is mostly visual, it follows Z pattern. In both cases, our eye focus to the left top corner first. Check the image bellow and spot red areas. In your report page, Red areas should have most important information such as summery values in a card, important breakdowns in a bar chart like wise. Blue areas should have least important information such as a breakdown in a pie/donut chart.
Untitled Diagram 2

What are the things you need to consider when designing a Power BI report?

Project Structure

When it comes to structuring your reports, it is recommended to have one Power BI Model for one data mart. You can build all reports making live connections to the data model. This way all the calculations, formatting and source data mashup will be in once place and it will be consistent across all reports. This helps you to achieve extensibility of the report. Refer the image below.

Untitled Diagram

Report design

Within an organization, all the reports should have consistent look and feel and colour theme unless business user request otherwise. Beginning of the project, colour theme, fonts, layout must be decided and should be applied across all the reports.

Reports/Sheet/Visualization naming

Each report must be named based on the analysis done with it. Business user must be able to understand the content of a report by looking at its name. Example: Customer Churn Analysis

Similarly, report pages should be named based on overall analysis it’s done. You can use the title of report sheet as the name of the sheet. Example: Churn Summery, Churn by Product Detail Analysis. Avoid using default page names in Power BI such as Sheet1, Sheet2, etc.

Each visual must be named based on analysis it performs. Example: Product breakdown by Sales, Top 50 Customers by Sales. While sometimes Power BI generate a title to visual by fields it has, it is always better to use custom title which can be identified by business user easily.

Visual layout

It is recommended to use report design layout from the beginning of the project and same layout must be used across the organization unless business user request otherwise. Placing visuals in correct location and order is very important.

Filter layout

As a best practice, it is recommended to use left most corner and right top corner as filter area in Power BI canvas. As humans read from top to bottom and left to right, start top right corner for most important slicers and rest can go from top to bottom in left side of the panel.

Background image

Personally, I don’t recommend to using a background image as it adds unwanted complexity to the report. However, you can still use a background which helps with branding for the customer. However, note that a background image can cause unclearness in visuals and values. Therefore, try to keep the image transparent as much as possible and test the clearness for most used themes as end user might ask to change theme at any time during the implementation.

Company logo

It is recommended to get company logo from business user rather than downloading it from internet. Request an image with exact size and format at the beginning of the project. Place to logo in left top corner of the canvas unless the client specified otherwise.

Default filters

It is recommended to set default values for a filter when possible. If filers are kept in non-selected status, it could cause performance issue and hit to source systems as Power BI try to extract large data volume every time a business user opens a report. Try to implement dynamic Year and Month Filter using DAX and set it as default filter for Year and Month.

Disable unwanted interaction

Interactions is a powerful feature in Power BI. However, interactions should only be used when it’s required and meaningful. I personally believe that you should disable all the interactions and then enable one by one after checking whether it provides valuable information to business users. Unwanted interaction can cause performance issues and can provide wrong information to business users.

Well, that’s it for this post. In next post I will discuss more about best practices in version controlling and release management in Power BI. Thank you for reading and stay safe. Cheers!!

Best practice guide for Power BI users – Part 2

This is the second post of a series covering best practice guide for Power BI users. If you have not read the previous post, you can check using below link.

https://asankap.wordpress.com/2020/04/18/best-practice-guide-for-power-bi-users-part-1/

In this post, I’m mainly focusing on naming conventions and trying to point out some mistakes people do when naming tables, fields and measures within Power BI.   Additionally, I will discuss what are things you need to focus on when you do model within Power BI.

Naming Convention

Tables

All the tables must become business entities within a model. In other words, business user must be able to understand the model by his own using his own knowledge about business.

Do Don’t
Keep table name singular Use names as it is in source table. Example: DimCustomer, FactSales, vw_Sales
Use business user friendly names Example: Customer, Calendar, Online Sales Use abbreviations unnecessary. Example: Cal_Date, FT_Daily_Trans, SaleAmt
Use domain specific names which help to business users Example: Direct Sales, Inventory Use camel case, pascal case notation as in database world. Example: CustomerSales, dailySales
Use spaces to break words and make it plain English. Example: Customer sales, Daily Transactions Use Prefix, suffix in table names Example: vw_Sales, vwCustomer

Fields (Columns)

All the field names must be meaningful to the business users. Business user must be able to search the model by using business terms irrespective of he/she familiar with the model.

Do Don’t
Use business user friendly names Example: Customer Name, Fiscal Year, Daily Sales Use abbreviations unnecessary. Example: Cust_Name, CalYear, DY_Sales
Use stranded abbreviation when possible. Example: YTD Sales, YoY Growth % Use camel case, pascal case notation as in database world. Example: CustomerName, customerCode
Use spaces to break words and make it plain English. Example: Customer Name, Daily Sales Use Prefix, suffix in field names Example: Cust_Name, Cust_Address
Use descriptive names for columns rather than keeping simple names. Example: Net Sales Amount instead of Sales

Calculated Measures

Calculated measure should follow same rules as above. Should be meaningful to the business users and follow business terminologies.

Do Don’t
Use business user friendly names Example: Total Sales, Growth % Use abbreviations unnecessary.
Use stranded abbreviation when possible. Example: YTD Sales, YoY Growth %, LYSP Sales Use camel case, pascal case notation as in database world. Example: ytdSales, GrowthYOY%
Use spaces to break words and make it plain English. Example: Total Sales, Average Sales Use Prefix, suffix in masure names Example: avgSales
Use descriptive names to for measures rather than simple measure names. Example: Mobile user churn count instead of Churn

Data Modelling

Relationship Types

Bi- directional relationships and Many to Many relationships should not be used unless it is a must in your design. Nevertheless, it is recommended to revisit the design of the model if you come across a scenario to use any of these.

Data Types

Ideally the data type of a field must be set inside Power Query Editor. However, if not, it should be done in here. Make sure you do set appropriate data type and formatting when creating a measure as well. Additionally, make sure you mark Calendar table as the Date Table in model.

Things to check when setting data types:

· Data Type (Ex: Text, Decimal Number, Date)

· Format (Ex: Currency, Percentage)

· No of decimal points

· Percentage type

· Thousand separators

· Default Summarization Type (Ex: SUM, Average)

. Data Category ( Ex: City, Postal code)

Organizing the model

Model must be organized so that business user can find required information easily. It recommended to perform following steps in-order to structure the model

1. Hide tables which are not required by business users.

2. Hide all unwanted columns (Surrogate keys, Primary Keys), measures, flags, fields use to calculated measures only.

3. Always try to create hierarchies rather than having individual attributes in dimension tables. When creating a hierarchy, hide attributes of that hierarchy from the model. For example, when you create Fiscal Hierarchy (Fiscal Year-Fiscal Month- Date), hide individual attributes from the mode (Fiscal Year, Fiscal Month).

4. Use folders to organize when your table have lots of measures and columns. It is recommended to have all the calculated measures of a table inside one folder.

That is all for this post. In my next post, I will be discussing about best practices to follow in report development. Till then, thank you for reading and stay safe!!

Best practice guide for Power BI users – Part 1

I have seen so many people have different ways of using Power BI as an analytic and reporting tool. They all have their own way of designing dashboards/reports, naming objects, create calculations, etc. While I’m not going to discuss about what’s wrong/correct in those approaches, I feel that I can use my experience to give a comprehensive guideline to beginner users about best practices about using Power BI. This blogpost is a  part of a series and within the series I will try to cover what are the best practices in implementing a Power BI report.

Installing Power BI Desktop

First thing first, you need to install Power BI desktop to start developing a report. How hard that can be?  Yes, it’s easy. However, Power BI desktop can be installed using two different ways.

1) Install Power BI App using Microsoft Store

This is the easiest way to install Power BI.  Go to the Microsoft App Store and search for Power BI and you will be able to find the Power BI App.

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2) Download Power BI desktop .EXE file and Install

Microsoft allow us to download Power BI desktop as an EXE file. What you need to do is go to below link and there you can select 32 bits, or 64 bits version based on your preference.

   https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=58494

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Why there are two ways? What is the best way? Let’s compare two approaches and see which one is best.

App Store

Download and Install

Can set to update the app automatically.

Must download and install manually when there is an update.

Always have the latest version and cannot select previous versions when installing.

As far as you have previous downloaded installation files with you, can always go back to a previous version of Power BI if something goes wrong.

Small and therefore can be installed quickly

Take more time to download compare to the App

Admin privilege is not required to install.

You need admin privilege to install an EXE.

With that comparison, I recommend you install using Microsoft App Store and set the automatic update option ON so that you will not miss all the cool monthly updates.

For more detail about installation, go to this link  : https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/desktop-get-the-desktop

Connecting to Data Sources

Power BI support 3 main ways of connecting to data sources.

  1. Direct/ Live Query
  2. Import
  3. Composite Model

Selecting appropriate connection type at the beginning is very critical. Refer following table when deciding connection type to your data source.

Connection Type

When to use

When not to use

Direct Query/Live Query

· The business user wants to see real time data as in the source system.

· Source system is too big to import to Power BI. Maximum model size is 1 GB in Power BI Pro.

· Import mode is an  option.

· Directly connecting to backend systems of applications which are already slow.

· Each page of reports has lots of visuals in it.

· Report loading time is very critical to the business user.

Import Mode

· Dataset is within 1GB limit (considering future data load) and real time/ near real time is not required

· End user expect reports to be loaded very quickly.

· Real time/near real time reporting is required.

· Source data volume is bigger than 1 GB.

· Data refresh take more than accepted time duration.

Composite Model

· Want to import dataset for better performance but have large tables in model which cannot be imported due to model size limitation.

Loading Data

When importing data, it is recommended to use Power Query Editor for pre data processing and data cleansing operations. Operations such as Removing unwanted fields, adding calculated columns, setting data types and formats, replacing null/empty with default values must be done inside Power Query Editor. Power BI converts all steps done inside Power Query Editor into a M Query and executes at data loading time. Therefore, although data loading consumes little time, it provides cleaned and well organized dataset for you.

Must perform operations in Power Query Editor:

· Remove all unwanted columns from source table (Flags, GUIDs, Time Stamps, etc.). If you are not sure about whether it’s required to business user or not, try to clarify from user and if that is not possible remove when loading.

· Rename field names into readable format.

· Rename table names into business-friendly readable format.

· Set appropriate data types for fields.

· Create calculated columns here as much as possible rather than using DAX to calculate columns inside model.

· Replace Null, Empty values with meaningful default values. (Example: N/A, Not Applicable)

. Create “Groups” to organize queries in order to  increase clarity of the Query panel.

. Disable loading of all intermediate tables and queries.

That’s it for the day. In next post I will discuss about best practice in naming convention in Power BI. Thanks for reading and cheers!

10 Cool Features in Power BI Most People Don’t Use

Power BI is being used by many people around the world and different people have different usage patterns. I have been using Power BI for a couple of years and I have seen how other people use Power BI within their organisations. With the help of that experience, I’m going to compile my top 10 cool features in Power BI which aren’t used by most of the people.

1) Preview Features

Power BI is one of the most versatile products in the Analytics world. Power BI team provide monthly updates to the product with each update having lots of cool features. However, most of these features comes as a preview feature initially and then it becomes generally available after couple of months. You can try all these new cool features if you go to the “Preview features” option.

How to go there?

Click “Files-> Options and Settings->Options-> Preview features”

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2) Format painter

This is a very cool and useful feature I use every day.  Idea of “Format painter” is to copy all the UI changes you have done to a visual and apply same changes to another visual. This means you don’t need to change font settings, background colour, data label customisation, and all other UI related changes repeatedly to all the visual. Create one visual with all UI customisations and click “Format painter” button while having that visual selected. Then click on the other visual on which you want to apply same UI changes.

How to go there?

Click on “Home”-> “Format painter”. First you need to click on the visual which you want to copy all UI styles. If not the button will be in disable mode.

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3) Phone layout

Well, some people use this and some don’t. Within a mobile,  Power BI reports can be viewed inside it’s native mobile app. Power BI gives you flexibility to design  a separate view for a report page when it viewed in landscape mode. As you know landscape mode does not have much visual space and hence you might need to ignore all the filers and big visuals  such as tables and matrixes. Keep it simple and focus on visuals such as cards and small bar column, bar charts when designing phone layout.

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How to go there?

Click on “View”->”phone layout”

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4) Gridlines , Snap to grid and Lock objects

When arranging visuals inside a page, alignments play a vital role and that’s where “Gridline“  options come to play. I use this feature always as it helps me to show how nicely aligned my visuals are within the page. Apart from that, you can select “Snap to grid” option so that it automatically align to the nearest grid line. Additionally, you can select “Lock objects” so that you won’t accidently move visuals that are already place nicely.

How to go there?

Click on “View”-> tick “Gridlines”

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5) Table Layouts

When creating models, I have seen people keep all the tables inside default table layout view. This is acceptable only if you have couple of tables. However, when your model have 10 or mode tables, it become really difficult to view  and understand all the relationship. Create different table layouts for different star schemas. That way it is easy to modify the model and easy to understand as well.

Check this cool gif I got from Power BI blog which explains why table layout view is so cool.

Modeling View

How to go there?

Click ”Model View”->  “Plus” icon to add more views.

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6) Group Visuals

This again useful as you want to arrange visuals within your page. Let’s assume that you have nicely arranged set of filters and visuals within the page and suddenly get a change request to add another visual to the page. Moving all the visuals around is really a hassle. For that, you can group selected set of visuals and then move the copy/move the group around. That way you don’t have to change spaces between visuals and alignments of visuals over and over again.

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How to go there?

Select the set of visuals you want to group and right click. Then Click “Group” and again “Group” in sub menu.

7) Buttons

Did you know that you can add various buttons inside a report page?  Add buttons to give a nice user experience to your business users. For an example, rather than they have to click on each page name within web browser, you can add Arrow buttons to let them move between report pages. That is not the only usage of buttons. But that can be your starting point.

How to do that?

Click “Insert”-> “Buttons”-> Select what kind of button you want to add

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8) Custom Visuals

Well, again, this is used by some people. but most of the people still don’t use custom visuals. Trust me, there are lots of cool custom visuals developed by various individuals as well as companies. Some of these custom visuals are free to use and some need licensing. Go to custom visual market place and have a look on what kind of visuals available. Sometimes you will find fascinating visuals like this. How about having fish swimming in your dashboard?

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How to go to there ?

Go to visual section. Click on 3 dots as highlighted in below image.  Then click on “Import from App Store”. That will take you to custom visual marketplace and then you can select which visual you want to add.

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Once that is added, it will be available just under all the other standard Power BI visuals. Check highlighted area below.

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9) Power BI Templates

Do you want to share your Power BI report with someone else, but don’t want to share it with data? well, save it as a template and share it with your collages. Sharing reports with data can be a bad idea due to multiple reasons. First, the size of the file. If the report is created using Import modes which means it can be from couple from megabyte to hundreds of megabytes.  And you know what, you can’t email a file with 100s of MB in size. what about data security?  What you can do is rather that sending the report, save it as a template and share across. Then your collages can enter their data source connection information and populate the report. Your report, Their data.

How to go there?

Click “File”> “Export”-> “Power BI template”

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10) Power BI Ideas and Voting

Last but one of the most import and coolest thing about Power BI. “Ideas”. Do you know that Power BI team enhance Power BI based on your needs and feedbacks?  Well they are. Lots of new features added to Power BI came as ideas from people like you and me. If you see that something is missing in Power BI, which is valuable for you as well as other. go to “https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas” and check whether the same idea is already there. If it’s there, you can vote for that idea. Higher the votes, higher the possibility it gets added to Power BI. If the idea is not there , add it as an idea and people will vote for it. It’s win win for all of Microsoft as well as us. 

How to go there?

https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas

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Thank you very much for reading this blog and cheers!!