• Power BI Bookmarks

    October 9, 2017 / No Comments » / 704 Views

    So far, Power BI has lacked the ability to navigate to particular report element, such as another report page, and to allow you to show/hide visuals. For example, Tableau allows you to add buttons to pages and navigate to another page on button click. Such navigation capabilities are important for story telling and for emphasizing elements on the screen. This changes with the October release of Power BI Desktop which brings a set of navigation capabilities, including bookmarks, spotlight, and selection page. Suppose you have a meeting and walk management through the sales performance of your company. You start with a bar chart. There is a decrease in sales in which you can explain by using the Analyze Increase/Decrease which I discussed here. Now you have two visuals on the same page: But at the beginning of your presentation, you'd want to bring focus on the bar chart, explain the...

  • Configuring Power Query OData Feeds

    October 5, 2017 / No Comments » / 4240 Views

    Scenario: A customer has implemented a Power BI model that retrieves data by calling the Dynamics CRM OData Feed endpoint. The dataset refresh operation is timing out. They want to increase the timeout setting but unlike connecting to SQL Server, where you can set the timeout duration in the source advanced properties, there is no UI for ODATA. Solution: If you open the query behind the table, and click the Source step, you'll see in the Query Editor formula bar the following M code: = OData.Feed("https://<tenant>.api.crm.dynamics.com/api/data/v8.1/") From the documentation, we realize that OData.Feed can take additional settings and one of them is the Timeout setting that you can pass to the third options argument. For example, you can change the M code to set the timeout to 1 hour: = OData.Feed("https://<tenant>.api.crm.dynamics.com/api/data/v8.1/", null, [Timeout=#duration(0,1,0,0)]) The timeout uses the duration data type which is explained here. Bringing this one step further, you...

  • Power BI Premium Reports on Mobile Devices

    October 1, 2017 / No Comments » / 2066 Views

    Can we surface Power BI reports deployed to Power BI Premium Report Server on mobile devices? Yes, and we have three quick options: Since Power BI reports render in HTML5, they should render in any modern browser. On iOS and Android devices, consider Power BI Mobile for optimum viewing experience. In Power BI Mobile, go to the Settings and click Connect to Server. Then plug in the report server URL, e.g. http://<servername>/reports. Note that the Power BI Mobile Windows app doesn't support Power BI Premium Report Server yet. Also, by default your reports will only work if you are on your company intranet or the mobile device connects to your company VPN. To make reports available outside corporate network, you can configure a Web Application Proxy to tunnel in. For embedding reports on a page, have an HTML page with iframe that request the report by URL passing the embed...

  • How Do We Start?

    September 27, 2017 / No Comments » / 2075 Views

    How do you start a data warehousing project? Not much different than any complex software project. You break it down to small iterations, e.g. by subject area, design and implement each iteration from beginning to end, and deploy to deliver incremental value. Agile? Perhaps. In my career I've seen software methodologies come and go so I'd abstain from applying a label. The main goal is to break complex tasks in smaller increments. You can call it agile if you want. But if I must meet every day for 15 minutes and hold hands (I had to do this a while back because my employer was agile, believe me), or deliver some crappy code in some predefined timeframes (sprints), then agile I am not. So you stated your first iteration (typically Sales as revenue is an important metric to track). Now what? Next, we identify metrics, aka measures. Should you reverse...

  • Atlanta MS BI Group Meeting on September 25th

    September 24, 2017 / No Comments » / 2010 Views

    MS BI fans, join me for the next Atlanta MS BI and Power BI Group meeting on September 25th at 6:30 PM. Carlos Rodriquez and Daniel Granadillo from Brightstar will share their experience with Power BI and QlikView. Accelebrate will sponsor the meeting. And your humble correspondent will show you two new cool Power BI features: drillthrough to page and explain increase/decrease. Presentation: Did Qlik run out of BI Power? Level: Intermediate Date: September 25, 2017 Time 6:30 – 8:30 PM ET Place: South Terraces Building (Auditorium Room) 115 Perimeter Center Place Atlanta, GA 30346 Overview: Haters are gonna hate. Lovers are gonna love. What about you? Come decide by yourself whether you are a Qlik or a PBI guy/gal. This presentation is intended for anyone who wants to see these two BI tools in action. Carlos and Daniel will show the differences and similarities between QlikView and Power BI. They will perform...

  • Power BI Group Security

    September 20, 2017 / No Comments » / 2246 Views

    Power BI security is interwoven with Azure and O365 security. Sure, granting individual users access by entering emails works everywhere but it quickly becomes counterproductive with many users. For example, a large insurance company would like grant report access to 250 users and integrate this report with Dynamics 365. If you secure individually, this will require entering 250 emails three times: Dynamics 365, Power BI, and Row-level Security (RLS). As in the old days, we want to use groups to reduce the maintenance effort because all these users are added to a security group, we can just grant access to the group. And, when users come and leave, we make changes to one place only: the group and everything will work magically. However, nothing is simple and security is no exception. In fact, Office 365 has various group types, as you can see below. To make things even more interesting,...

  • Quick Insights Coming to PBI Desktop

    September 14, 2017 / No Comments » / 2422 Views

    The September release of Power BI Desktop brings Quick Insights in the form of the very nice Explain Increase/Decrease feature (in preview). Suppose you have a column chart and you see a sudden increase or decrease in the chart series. You can now right-click on the bar and then click Analyze, Explain the Decrease menu. This runs the Quick Insights machine learning algorithms to predict what caused the anomaly. As in Power BI Service, Quick Insights produces several reports. In this case, one of the Quick Insights visuals informs me that most of the decrease is contributed to the bad performance of one of the sales reps (Stephen Jiang). I could have sliced and diced all day long but I could have found this myself. If I find a particular Quick Insight visual useful, I can add it to the report. From that point, I can use just like any...

  • Power BI Page Drillthrough

    September 11, 2017 / No Comments » / 3854 Views

    The September release of Power BI Desktop adds two very useful features: drilling through another page and explain increase/decrease. SSRS practitioners might find "page drillthrough" similar to SSRS actions. However, instead of navigating to another report, it allows the user to navigate to another page within the same report (at least for now cross-report drillthrough is not supported). Although not as flexible as SSRS actions, PBI page drillthrough expands the Power BI data exploration capabilities. Previously, you had the following drillthrough options: Dashboard drillthrough – Clicking on a dashboard tile navigates you to the underlying report assuming the tile was produced by pinning a report visual. See records – This chart-level features allows you to right click a bar and see the data behind it. I won't repeat the Microsoft intro (watch it here) but I'll add a few more notes that the demo doesn't cover and I find very...

  • Deploying and Processing Azure AS

    September 11, 2017 / No Comments » / 2059 Views

    In the "Processing Tabular from Exotic Clients" blog, I said that if you Azure AS model retrieves data from an Azure database, such as Azure SQL Database, it should also be located in the same Azure data center for faster processing and to avoid data transfer fees between data centers. Let's elaborate a bit on this and share some performance results from a real-life project. We deployed two Azure AS instances to North Central and South Central Azure data centers, while the Azure SQL Database was deployed to the South Central data center. Here the stats for processing loading about 35 million rows in Tabular using the Full Process of the AS database. The Azure SQL Database was at P1 performance level and Azure AS was at S1 performance level. South Central: 12 minutes or about 50,000 rows/sec North Central: 19 minutes or about 30,000 rows/sec As you can see,...

  • Power BI vs Qlik Presentation

    September 7, 2017 / 6 Comments » / 1909 Views

    Mark your calendar for the next meeting of our Atlanta MS and Power BI Group on September 25th when we will compare Power BI and Qlik. Presentation: Did Qlik run out of BI Power? Level: Intermediate Date: September 25, 2017 Time 6:30 – 8:30 PM ET Place: South Terraces Building (Auditorium Room) 115 Perimeter Center Place Atlanta, GA 30346 Overview: Haters are gonna hate. Lovers are gonna love. What about you? Come decide by yourself whether you are a Qlik or a PBI guy/gal. This presentation is intended for anyone who wants to see these two BI tools in action. Carlos and Daniel will show the differences and similarities between QlikView and Power BI. They will perform side-by-side the following: Extract and transform data Create a data model (so to allow cross filtering) Compare features side by side, including hiding/displaying visuals, creating linked objects, role-playing dimensions, what-if scenarios Create a nice...

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