GROUP BRAIN STORM - what software features and resources could help make Power BI report development faster and better

We’re really starting to ramp up some further development work on the Analyst Hub, with a lot more announcements to come very soon…

As we roll into these updates I want to start brainstorming with you all, what aspects of building reports in Power BI can be optimised to speed up effective development.

Start with this simple question…

How could you make your Power BI development work 4 time faster?

Share some ideas in this thread, I look forward to collaborating on this.

If the ideas are popular and can see huge benefits to all Power BI users around the world, it’s highly likely we’ll try build it for the Analyst Hub.

Sam

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What we’re currently working on

The ability to save all your DAX measures in one central location, so all you need to do is copy and paste any DAX pattern quickly into your model.

The ability to leverage of the collective expertise of the community, by being able to access public DAX measure patterns, colour themes, M code etc. All with a quick copy and paste

A data model design tool and data model library, so you can quickly see what an optimal model for your scenario should look like.

These are the main ones We have right now

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I really like the saving measure patterns idea - I have an tool that is part of an addon I use regularly for Excel that can ‘snip’ a piece of an Excel file (however many contiguous cells I have highlighted) and save it to a library on my machine - it maintains the cell format and any formulas that do not require a reference to a cell outside of the snip area. It’s unbelievably useful.

To be able to do something similar with my DAX - even if it requires copy/paste into a library - would be awesome.

Perhaps some form of Template storage would also be useful - example, we have the Calendar Table that has been expanded recently with a lot of hard work by Melissa. What about taking that a step further, and actually having the calendar loaded into the template, row sorting already mapped, columns (like the sorting ones) that will not be wanted in the model already hidden, and even column grouping completed to make it easier to use in the final version?

I have done something like this myself recently, building a template that has some standard formatting I use frequently for buttons, my favorite iteration of the calendar already in place, colors set to what I use for 80% of my reports, etc.

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Along the lines of what @Heather is suggesting, one thing I would love to have is an easy way to set default formatting on common visuals within the context of a report , and even better if I could save those defaults and apply them across reports. I know there’s a way to do this by including the relevant JSON code in your theme file, but if there was an easy UI way to do that, that would be great. So, I just set up my table and card formatting defaults once and every table or card I add to the report gets immediately formatted the way I want (no more “Format Painter Roulette”, which sometimes works, sometimes kinda works and sometimes just seems to go AWOL).

The other thing that takes me a while is storyboarding my reports before I start actual development. This new wireframing toolkit is a big help, but any good PBI-specific storyboardinng/wireframing capabilities incorporated within Analyst Hub would certainly be a big plus IMO.

I hope this is helpful to you.

  • Brian
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Ok great thanks for the thoughts

As much as I love external tools like Dax Studio and others, I find that there is too much back and fourth when a department wants a new report made, so a tool to help better structure requests for a report would be good. Something like an export from dax studio of available data sources that we can feed into a spreadsheet to help guide data requests.

Yep nice idea. Like and analytics planner or request manager

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Hello all,
I really like this idea of this brainstorm. Please find below the ideas I have that might be interesting to follow or not.

  1. Tabular Editor - common scripts and best practices rules with Entreprise DNA videos of how to use them

I recently started using Tabular Editor and was amazed by the power of this tool to speed up the development of the reports in PBI and checking that the best practices rules are set in place.
I think it would be a good idea to brainstorm, debate and select the best practices rules to use.
Besides the Best Practices rules, using this tool we can create scripts for automatically create measures tables and folders, create calculation groups, easily create supporting tables, importing patterns etc… I think it could be a really accelerator of creating new PBI reports if used well.

  1. Colour palette is very important and I often use the Colours Fan on the Analyst Hub. I would really love to see more colours selection and the possbility of starting from a editable Hex code. The purpose of creating a palette is to integrate it afterwards in a custom theme. But a custom theme has a lot of options, like text, size, font, etc. What I think it is missing and could be a good idea, is to use a sort of template of all the chart types you could have (like a Power Bi tester Theme report) where you can see the impact of the custom theme on all the charts, shapes, text. It will reduce time spent on the design, like modifying all charts, text and alignment details.

  2. I often draw or use Power Point to prototype my designs before actually creating reports. An easy tool for prototyping could be useful

  3. Library of common used icons / buttons / Power Point Backgrounds (that can be easily edited and imported as background).

  4. A good report has a good performance. But in our daily work we can have dozens of millions of rows. Any mistake from the DAX point of view could impact the performance of our reports. I think it could be really useful to have a sort of training exercise where, like in the challenges, we can learn by doing. We can train on debugging slow measures. We could use like a vpax file (export metrics from DAX studio) and force ourselves to improve on debugging.

  5. Videos of how to use shared resources or analyst hub can be useful as well

So, these are all the ideas I thought of. :slight_smile:

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All great ideas and we already have plans to do most of them.

Regarding the tabular editor, I think a course module on this is probably a better idea, so will add this to the pipeline.

Thanks for the thoughts

Sam

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Thank you for all the efforts you are doing for making all these ideas come to life. I am very excited to be one of the early members of the future Analyst Hub! Hardly wait to see it, test it, learn new things and share what I can.

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@sam.mckay, Highly recommended - Love to see the best practices, feature use cases in the Tabular editor course module.