Mark Robinson from Cloud2

Author: Mark Robinson
Mark is the guy you talk to about Business Intelligence (BI) at Cloud2

Power BI - feature of the month

The feature we’ve picked out as the highlight for this month is bookmarking.

This month Microsoft released 13 updates for Power BI:

  • 6 reporting
  • 3 analytics
  • 2 data connectivity
  • 2 other

Full details on this months updates can be found on the Power BI blog.

The bookmarking feature gives report developers another tool for guiding users through a report, and in the process potentially telling a story or highlighting key insights. This is particularly useful if the consumers of the report aren’t particularly familiar with the data, or (and more likely) with the Power BI interface i.e. how to drill down, use slicers, use focus mode etc. Users who have less time will also like this feature as it reduces think and click time.

In this example on the right, we’ve used bookmarking to guide users from the Executive Summary report page to other key parts of the report.

Power BI Bookmarks - Executive Summary
Power BI Bookmarks - Executive Summary

Clicking the second bookmark listed (Actual Procedures by Month) presents the user with a line chart from the second report page presented in focus mode. Without bookmarking the user would have to click on the second report page tab, locate the chart and then click the focus mode icon above the chart – OK not exactly tedious but still time saving and less fiddly.

Power BI Bookmarks - focus mode
Power BI Bookmarks - focus mode

To give another example; clicking on the fifth bookmark listed (Lost Activity by Suite) takes the user directly to a report page, drills down one level on a column chart and then presents this chart in spotlight mode (another feature update this month).

Power BI Boomarks - spotlight mode
Power BI Boomarks - spotlight mode

The report page shown in the above can be seen in its default state in the image on the right, which can also be accessed via a bookmark.

Power BI Bookmarks - default
Power BI Bookmarks - default

In this instance we’ve chosen to use bookmarking to guide users through all key parts of the report. This means users can work their way through the entire report by just clicking bookmarks. Users with a better understanding of the data and Power BI can continue to navigate their way through the report manually if they wish.

A number of settings can be associated to a bookmark, including
Cross highlighting can’t currently be bookmarked, but this is something Microsoft say they definitely plan to implement soon.

  1. the report page
  2. Filters
  3. Slicers
  4. Sort order
  5. Drill location
  6. Focus mode and Spotlight

It’s even possible to link a bookmark to a shape or image on a report page, and in doing so reduce or remove the need to use the bookmark pane.

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