New Power BI Features

This morning i was heading to to connect with my Google Analytics account and play around with this new data source and set up this data in the best way for my blog. Furthermore i wanted to have a look at how well the 44 new translations, which was announced yesterday, had been implemented.

To my big surprise a lot of other thing has actually happened since my last login Tuesday evening during a presentation at MsBIP in Aarhus. Looking at the type of changes it actually wonders me this has not yet been announced at the Power BI Blog.

New layout

This was the first thing i noticed when logging in to the site. The former bright skin with almost only grey colours have been replaced with a new one which introduces some darker color for the navigation. For me this is a great update which both makes it more pleasent to look at but also enables me to navigate much easier.

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 15.05.00

Visual Studio Online (VSO) Connector

After enjoying the new layout i wanted to add data from Google Analytics. This revealed a new connector to VS Online as one of the first items in the list.

Power BI Visual Studio Online

Since this has not been mentioned in the Power BI Blog search a bit around and found this post by Brian Harry. This reveals, together with a lot of other nice things for VS, that a connecter for Power BI have been released.

This first release of the connector only contains code information about checkins, pull requests, etc. for both GIT and Team Foundation (TFS) Version control. The Blog also promises another new release soon, where support for work items is implemented.

Below is the complete list of currently support areas in GIT and TFS. An always updated list can be found in the official documentation.

Table name Description
Git Commits Date, description, number of files changed (adds, edits, deletes), and who made the commit
Git Pull Requests Who initiated the pull request, status (pending, abandoned, or completed), and source and target branch details. Includes calculations for completion and abandonment rate, hours to close median and 90th percentile
Git Repositories All git repositories in the selected team projects.
Projects The projects you selected during initial configuration
TFVC Branches The branches, links to their parents, and their overall depth in the hierarchy
TFVC Changesets The changesets in your projects, who checked them in and when
TFVC File Changes Operation details for files involved in TFVC changesets – Merge, Rollback, Rename, Add, Edit, Delete
TFVC Files The TFVC files across all your branches at their most recent change
Users User names and email addresses for users who have pushed changes to git or checked in changes to TFVC.

This new connector is going to come in real handy since we are working with VS Online and continues integration at several of our customers. This will enable us to do simple report for multiple project in one single place.

Another great thing is that they have enabled the ability to automatically refresh data to the Power BI site so that you don’t have to spent time doing this.

When connecting to VSO Power BI requires the following permissions to work:

  • Work items (read)
  • Build (read)
  • Code (read)
  • Test management (read)

If you accept this you get a great initial dashboard where Q&A easily enables you to add new charts and report objects to give an overview of your solution.

VS Online Power View


The translation release enables support i 44 different languages which enables more than 90% of all online users to access Power BI in their local language. For now the Power BI Designer and iOS Apps is not covered by this update. The great think, though, is that this feature is promised to be enabled in a future release.

This release is a great step forward but i still does not solve localisation issues of titles and legends when working with end users across the entire globe.

Furthermore i noticed that Q&A (Natural language query) is “currently only supported in English”. This most probably means that we can expect this feature in other languages in the future.

Future releases

In general the current release cycle seems promising for the future and time to market for new functionality. Especially looking at the feedback on improvement suggestions from the beta users.

Among these is an update from the 11th of april marking a request to customise chart and axis titles as planned. Furthermore it is mentioned that this, in some form, is planned to be delivered during the summer.

This all sounds very promising for the future.

Bent Pedersen
Member since November 20, 2016

I am a Senior Business Analytics Architect at Kapacity A/S, where I have been working with enterprise customers on solutions with SSAS Tabular, Datazen and SQL for the last three years. During the past year, he concentrated on working with devOps, Automation, testing and simplifying development processes for Microsoft BI.


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