With thousands of enhancements released semiannually, the Power Platform—Power BI, PowerApps, and Power Automate—just continues to get better. What was initially a couple tools designed to make Excel smarter has evolved into a comprehensive solution that can help you do more, work smarter, and simplify your day.

Announced earlier this month, Wave 1 of the 2020 release schedule is a hefty release designed to help more companies get on board and empower users to use data like never before. From augmented intelligence improvements to ease of use enhancements to embedded analytics, analysts believe the new features add significant vitality to the platform, according to a TechTarget article.

Though we can’t provide in-depth analysis of the nearly 200-page document that covers everything from new features to governance changes, we would today like to explore just some of the additions between April and September designed to empower people and businesses. In the next couple blogs, we will explore the different additions coming to Power BI, PowerApps, and Power Automate, starting with the core application, Power BI.

What’s New in Power BI?

The ‘founding member’ of the Power Platform, Power BI has had a lot of time to evolve, and Microsoft has continued to make the solution more usable, accessible, and integrated. Wave 1 2020 is no different.

“Microsoft has delivered a truly impressive collection of updates, and the scale of the Power BI community continues to grow,” said Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

The continued updates are built on the following principles, with each update including this one built to deliver:

  • Self-service analytics for everyone
  • A Unified Platform for Enterprise BI
  • Big data analytics with Azure data services
  • Pervasive artificial intelligence for BI

Detailed in their Release Wave 1 Video below, here are just a few of the improvements:

Power BI Desktop

The core application, Microsoft has invested significantly in the following:

  • PowerPoint for data: Users want to create content in Power BI Desktop as quickly and easily as they can create a slide in PowerPoint. A familiar user experience is key to ensuring that customers feel welcome. They intuitively know how to create a chart, add some text, or choose a layout because they’ve done it before in other Office tools. Leveraging this knowledge will make experiences even more delightful for our users.
  • Help Authors Help Users: Power BI creators want to empower their users to find the answers to their own questions without needing to constantly adjust their reports for their many users’ needs. Microsoft is focusing on a self-service analytics platform that allows even the less tech-savvy users access and modify reports.
  • Enterprise-grade content creation: The Power BI Desktop will continue to support largescale enterprise BI deployments through rich tooling, a focus on performance and infrastructure capabilities to support BI at scale.
  • Empower analysts with AI-infused authoring experiences: Power BI Desktop will infuse AI throughout the report authoring experience, which will enable analysts to find new insights, create engaging content more easily, and empower their users with engaging AI visualizations.

Power BI Embedded

Power BI Embedded enables developers of SaaS services and enterprise portals to embed stunning interactive reports and dashboards. Built to support large-scale enterprise deployments, Power BI Embedded delivers insight at scale, and Wave 1 will feature the following:

  • The ability to embed paginated reports
  • Extended developer tools and samples to support additional development platforms
  • Decomposition trees to understand how the data came to be
  • New export formats to make reporting easy.

Power BI Mobile

Power BI Mobile continues to support data-driven cultures within organizations by providing access to business data, anytime, anywhere, and from any device. Among the additions coming in the next few months:

  • Dark mode to make analysis a bit easier on the eyes.
  • Support for Microsoft HoloLens v2
  • The ability to bookmark insights in presentation mode and slideshow.

Power BI Service

With a goal of standardizing a single platform for self-service analytics and enterprise BI, the Service as a whole will be built to deliver this. Among the additions:

  • Support for DirectQuery capabilities using the enhanced compute engine to provide self-serve analytics giving users easier access to a single source of truth.
  • Easier to understand capacity metrics.
  • The ability to peruse dataset refresh information and view historic and current load of dataset refreshes.
  • Integration with Azure Monitor, providing long term data storage, retention policies, adhoc query capability, and the ability to analyze the log data directly from Power BI.
  • Automated template apps that allow ISVs more ways to help customers.
  • An easier way to migrate data from other reporting services to Power BI
  • A better understanding of how data came to be, thanks to data lineage reports exploring data sources, artifacts, and dependencies.
  • Better communication with the ability to easily copy and paste visuals to other applications.
  • Improved security that leverages Microsoft’s security solutions for information protection, threat protection, and Microsoft cloud app security to provide you with greater control and visibility over sensitive data in Power BI.
  • Visual monitoring enables admins to monitor the usage of Power BI visuals created with the Power BI SDK.

Empower Your Business: Make the Most of Your Power Platform Applications with Help from MIBAR

At MIBAR, we’ve long specialized in delivering Microsoft products for our customers. What started with a focus on Dynamics has continued to evolve, and we’ve quickly become a leading provider of services for companies who want to make the most of Power Platform applications.

Whether it was our Power BI and Dynamics GP integration for AP&G, our ability to help Wildlife Trading Company make a seamless transition from Pre-NetSuite sales data to current data using Power BI, our success helping Dexmet Corporation see a 50% savings in storage costs by optimizing their Dynamics CRM with Microsoft Flow, or one of the many other clients for whom we don’t have a case study, we know a thing or two about the Power Platform.

Get to know more about how to make your business more successful with the Power Platform. Contact us to learn more.