* Power BI Heats Up Summer with their June Update

We admit we sound like a broken record lately, but this month’s Power BI update has got to be one of the biggest to date!  We encourage you to read about the latest features in their full release summary and if you have a half hour to spare it’s worthwhile to view their full demo.  We’ll break down the highlights for you here.

When it comes to new visual capabilities in reports, we are excited that data bars are now available!  These customizable bars are a quick and easy way to compare values in a table (consider it a marriage between a bar chart and a cell value). 

* Financial Execs Know:  Good Dashboards Transform Companies (Part 1)

Perhaps you’ve heard the adage, “You don’t fatten a pig by weighing it.”  While this holds true on a farm, if you’re in business, experience shows that “what gets measured, gets managed."

You also know that if your M.O. is to manage by reaction, putting out fires only when they’ve reached critical levels, you won’t likely surge ahead of the competition anytime soon. 

* Power BI May '17 Feature Summary: The Biggest Release To-Date?


Power BI announced more exciting updates this month and some MAJOR news about Power BI Premium their new licensing/pricing structure (more on that here) and Power BI Report Server for an on-premises infrastructure.  But first, let’s cover the plethora of other new enhancements for this month, including table upgrades, added quick measures, and improved labeling, to name just a few. 

* The Latest from Harvard:  Motivate Employees with Your Data, Not Your Instinct

At Blue Margin, we’ve experimented with various tactics to motivate our employees and executives (we sometimes feel like guinea pigs, but hey, it's important to eat your own guinea pig food).  We're guessing you tinker in the same way at your company.  Why?  Because "How do we motivate our employees?" is a question that has surely dogged every employer since the first wage was paid.     

* Power BI’s April Feature-Release Is No Joke!

We got fooled – no kidding.  Some of the features in Power BI’s April release looked too good to be true.  But they’re real! (we’re pretty sure).  What are we most excited about?  The ability to connect a new report to a data set already loaded in the Power BI Online environment!  This allows developers to re-use existing data models in new reports more easily, while maintaining a single source control for that model.  

* Pot O' Power BI Gold!

This month’s trusty Power BI Preview feature release is full o’ tools we love - as usual. 

Introducing Report Theme Packs!  This feature is for those of us who know the difference between good color design and bad color design, but will never master the subtleties of when to use primary colors and when to use pastels. 

* Power BI, Microsoft's Outlier on the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant

Power BI now outranks Tableau, Qlik, Domo, Cognos . . . heck, everyone.

For the tenth consecutive year, Microsoft has landed in the Leaders quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence and Analytics Platforms.  This year, however, Microsoft is celebrating major strides for its vision and execution ratings, blowing past their 2016 leadership position, and landing them in a record breaking position, a decade in the making.

* Power BI & Sharepoint: Quite Possibly the Best Integration Yet

Folks, we’ve been waiting for this feature release

Microsoft just announced Power BI’s integration with SharePoint Online.  If you’re like us, SharePoint is central to your work.

At Blue Margin, we embed Power BI dashboards on the homepage of our SharePoint site, and it drives our daily conversations and focus.  Keeping our progress-against-goals front-and-center gets everyone thinking like an owner.  

* Insights to Your Inbox, Thanks to Power BI

As part of Power BI’s latest release, you can now subscribe to your most critical dashboards and receive a daily digest directly to your inbox.  Here’s how it works.  Once you subscribe to your dashboard, Power BI will email you the dashboard daily (when there’s a change in the data).  See a critical issue to address?  The email includes a button to jump to the live dashboard where you can drill down to the “Why” and “How” in a few clicks.

* Streaming Data Sets in Power BI Just Got Easier

Microsoft just made streaming datasets a whole lot easier in Power BI.  For the past year, users have been building real-time dashboards with streaming datasets via the REST API endpoint.  Now, with the Power BI connector for Microsoft Flow, data rows can be pushed automatically without writing any code, thanks to hundreds of pre-written Flows.  What does this mean for you?  It means you can add real-time weather data, Twitter sentiments, and other triggers, directly to your dashboards.  Learn more about this slick feature here, including a great test run of the Twitter sentiment Flow!