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September 2020 Updates for Power BI

24 September 2020

We noticed that the usual Power BI Desktop updates announcement was later than usual and put it down to the upcoming Microsoft Ignite conference. But it turned out that wasn’t the case. No, Microsoft has decided it’s time to consolidate all Power BI update announcements – and, well, that takes time.

Amalgamated highlights this month include a Preview of the Smart narratives visual which helps you quickly summarise visuals and reports by providing relevant out-of-the-box insights which is customisable. On the reporting side, several things are added, including the introduction of controls for the z-order of visuals, and searching for a workspace during Publish. For modelling, the enhanced dataset metadata that was previously in Preview is now Generally Available. In Power BI Service, new capabilities have been introduced in the lineage view, updates to Analyze in Excel have been made and deployment pipelines are now Generally Available.

Check out the full update list (deep breath!):


  • Smart narratives (Preview)
  • Q&A now supports arithmetic operations


  • Data point rectangle select for additional charts
  • Added general visual option to maintain layer order
  • Search for a workspace during Publish
  • Total labels for stacked visuals
  • Mobile authoring enhancements


  • Improved navigation tree (iOS and Android)
  • Share from Power BI using your favourite apps (iOS and Android)
  • Pinch and zoom is now available in all report views – on both phones and tablets (iOS and Android)
  • Auto play a slideshow on start-up (Windows)


  • New capabilities in Lineage view
  • Excel inherits the Power BI dataset’s sensitivity label when using a PivotTable connection
  • Analyze in Excel provides Excel file instead of .ODC
  • Deployment pipelines is now Generally Available
  • New simplified action bar
  • Page navigation settings
  • Minimise global navigation and collapse left page navigation
  • Tenant early opt-in and release plan
  • ‘Other’ improvements


  • Enhanced Dataset Metadata is now Generally Available
  • Performance improvements to aggregation expressions involving columns of currency data type

Data connectivity

  • CDS connector (Preview)
  • Azure Databricks
  • MariaDB
  • Hexagon PPM Smart API
  • Other data connectivity updates


  • Spanish language community forum is now available
  • Data Stories Gallery theme for October


  • Collage by CloudScope
  • Advanced Trellis / Small Multiples Chart by xViz
  • Waterfall Chart by xViz

Template Apps

  • Multichannel Attribution Dashboard
  • Workspace Analytics Dashboard.

As always, we'll be detailing these updates in our October newsletter. Please remember we have virtual / online training in Power BI which you can find out more about here. If you are not already a subscriber, why not sign up at the bottom of any SumProduct web page? And don't forget to download the latest version of Power BI Desktop here too.