Category Archives: Power BI

Power BI: Starting a Third Year of Leadership

By | Business Intelligence, Power BI | No Comments

What’s That in IT Years?

It’s hard to believe that Microsoft Power BI has been around for just two years. They’ve been two years of constantly upgraded functionality and incredible innovation. Every month, Microsoft have announced more amazing things we can do to make Power BI work with and for us.

Why Should My Business Care About Power BI?Power BI Dashboard

IT moves fast; faster every day. Many people in the industry haven’t even heard of business intelligence, much less follow current data trends and understand how to work with it. If you aren’t sure what business intelligence is, or if you don’t know why every business needs it to get full value from and properly understand their customer and financial data, we’ve written a quick guide to get you up to speed. Click here to learn more.

What Has Power BI Done Lately?

Microsoft love to give Power BI more and more improvements and additional functionality. Here’s a selection of some of the most useful updates in just the most recent month:

Visuals and reporting

  • New table and matrix visuals, with new formatting options and improved drill-down.
  • Renaming fields using aliases for specific visuals.
  • Increased responsivity to different screen sizes.
  • Breakdown for waterfall charts.

Analytics and modelling

  • Two new measures: star rating and concatenated list of values.
  • Bidirectional cross filtering for DirectQuery models.

Data connectivity

  • In addition to the wide range of connectivity options already present, a Snowflake connector has been added.

Dashboard functionality

  • The new Performance Inspector helps you if your loading or processing time is slower than it should be.
  • There is a new e-mail subscription button that allows you to choose to be notified when the underlying data changes.

Take a Quick Look For Yourself

We invite you to take two minutes to watch this fun video and get a taste of what Power BI does now and where it’s heading in the future. Then give us a ring or contact us right here to talk about getting this power for you and your business!

Tip for Organising Power BI Measures

By | Power BI, Tips and Tricks, Training | No Comments

When we are creating dashboards in Power BI using (for example) Act! tables, we may end up with a long list of tables. These could have come from Act! or from created tables, such as the Dates tables. In addition, we are going to want to create lots of measures.

Power BI Tables View

This is where this little trick can come in very useful.

Setting Up Our New Measures Table

Within the Power BI desktop, click on the Enter Data button on the Home tab.

Enter Data on Home tab

This will bring up the Create Table dialogue box.  We are only interested in the Name field. Here we will enter the name of our new measures table, then click on Load to complete the task.

Create Table view

This will create a new table within the Power BI desktop.  We can then start to move the measures to the new table.

Moving Measures to Our New Table

Go to the first table that holds a measure. Select the measure, then click the Modeling tab.

Modelling tab with measure

Within the Modeling tab we can move the measure from one table to another by using Home Table.

Home Table

From the drop down list, select the new table. In the above example, at present Count_Lead_Source is sitting in TBL_Opp_Measures. To move it to the Measures Table table, we just click on the name of the new table in the list.

Measures table in Home Table list

The measure is moved and is present in the new table. 

Moved measures to new table

Years 2000 and 2500 Incorrectly Shown in Power BI Report

By | Act!, Power BI, Support, Tips and Tricks | No Comments
By Meeta Gargav

We came across an unusual situation in which incorrect years (2000 and 2500) were shown in the X-axis of a Power BI report. Our questions about this issue weren’t specifically answered no matter how much Internet searching we did. We did find a workaround, and we’re describing it in this blog post in the hope that it saves someone else tearing their hair out!

Incorrect Years 2000 and 2500

We created a Power BI report using data from the Act! Opportunity module. This simple report shows the count of opportunities won (Y-axis) over the time period (X-axis).  The slicer in this report is the actual close year.  The report works as expected when we select multiple years.

year 2500 glitch (1)

However, we noticed issues with the report when we selected only a single year. Instead of the selected year (2015 in the example), the X-axis displayed the year 2000, which we did not select, even though it displayed the appropriate data for 2015. It also added 2500, a year that did not correspond with any data, and that did not even appear in the list.

Showing 2500 in X-axis

We get quite a few hits when we run a search on power bi displaying the wrong year.  Some of them are listed at the end of the post, but my workaround is different from the recommendations I found on Google.

Our Workaround

When the issue is present and we select X-Axis in the Format section, we notice the Type drop-down is set to Continuous. Type allows us to choose either Continuous or Categorical.

Most of the resources I found on the Internet say that in a report like ours, the Year should be set to Continuous and the Scale Type to Linear. I found that this setting didn’t work in the case at issue. But when we change Type to Categorical, the report appears as we expect.

Wrong Year Issue Corrected

Here’s a closeup of the corrected report:

Corrected report

The other workaround that I have found is to create another Year column and make it a text field. We would then use the decimal Year for the slicer, and the text Year for the X-axis. However, the reason I don’t use this as my default is that we would then be bulking up our Power BI report with extra columns.

I am really interested in what you think of my workaround, so please leave a comment.

View a YouTube demonstration of the issue and workaround by clicking this link!


Here are a few of the search results that I examined:

https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Desktop/shows-wrong-year/td-p/27652
https://www.mrexcel.com/forum/power-bi/894525-correct-date-wrong-display-powerbi.html
https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/documentation/powerbi-desktop-data-types/

Microsoft Power BI is Magic Quadrant Leader – Gartner

By | Act!, Business Intelligence, CRM, Power BI | No Comments

Gartner positions Power BI as the leader in its Magic Quadrant

Power BI leads the pack again!

Miguel Martinez, Sr. Product Marketing Manager, recently published this post in the Microsoft Power BI blog to call attention to some astonishing news about the platform. Microsoft Power BI general manager Kamal Hathi has confirmed in this post in the official Microsoft blog that Gartner* has positioned Power BI as a Leader in their 2017 Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms for the tenth consecutive year (see diagram to left).

Across all industries, organisations recognise the power and opportunity that come with the implementation of a fast, effective analytics and data visualisation tool.  The ease of use of the Power BI platform and the simplicity with which users can share insights in real time are key reasons why we use and recommend it to link to and make sense of the wealth of data locked in an Act! database.

At Caldere, we think Power BI is the right choice to optimise our Act! database, and we’d like to show you why. Microsoft has shown a huge commitment to the Power BI project. Their roadmap for the future includes new ways to collaborate with users and continually upgrade the platform. We are confident that implementing Power BI along with a strong database will help any business, especially in the SME sector, gain a critical edge over their competitors.

Don’t forget to check out our video demonstration of how to quickly and easily connect an Act! database to the Power BI desktop.

 


*(The Microsoft blog post includes this disclaimer: The graphic was published by Gartner, Inc., as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.”)

Great Power BI Updates for the New Year!

By | Power BI | No Comments

Just before the new year Microsoft made some great Power BI updates, especially to their Power BI mobile apps. These new updates include:

  • New capability to share an annotated report by adding inking, text or symbols to a snapshot of any dashboard tile. This update has improved the menu and user experience to make it even easier and quicker to annotate and share. We can add a call to action on a specific metric and share the annotated snapshot over email, text or any other social apps. In addition, when we share a snapshot via email, Power BI will also generate a deep link to the tile or report. For example, Act! users viewing their closed-lost opportunities will be able to make annotations on the diagram.
  • Geofiltering for reports on Android devices.
    Earlier this year Power BI introduced the ability to filter reports based on the user’s current location for the iOS app. Now we can also use our Android device to filter reports by our current location. When using this app, we can filter our data by our country, state or city. As long as we are using the app, the filter will remain in effect in the reports to which we applied it. Act! users will now be able to section their Act! contact list data within Power BI.
  • Improvements to existing features:
    • Visual Links
    • Apple Watch integration
    • Offline background refresh adjustment to reduce mobile data consumption.

These new Power BI updates allow us to make sure our dashboards are always up to date, just by marking them as favorites.

How Can We Help?

Find out how Caldere can help you to build a more successful business:
Call +44 (0)118 945 6220 and speak to one of our dedicated specialists.

Contact us!