UPDATE: April 2, 2021 – this post was published as satire on April Fool’s Day and is not factual
In a surprise move, Microsoft has decided to bring data visualization to Power BI. Long considered a data modeling tool used in support of exporting for analysis in Microsoft Excel, the ability to visualize data effectively has eluded Power BI users until now.
Previously unknown to Power BI’s 17 billion active users, data analyst Martin Vanderpfluegger discovered visualizations had come to Power BI while watching a Saturday morning Guy in a Cube livestream. “Patrick diverted from all the talk about Power Query and DAX. He clicked into this area he called the report canvas, and suddenly I saw this set of icons in a new section called Visualizations. At first, I thought maybe Patrick was accidentally using a preview version since he works for Microsoft, but then I opened my own Power BI Desktop and discovered this easter egg was real.”
Vanderpfluegger immediately posted his find on Reddit and Twitter. “One of my seven followers retweeted it, and it went viral from there. It got four, maybe five, Likes after a few hours. Reddit was even better. I’m still new over there, but it got hyphen 17 votes, and one person even replied with ‘WTAF?’, which I think might be a newer DAX function, and a few smiling emoji. It’s just great to see this level of community engagement.”
Almost everyone from Microsoft’s Power BI product team has deferred comments until after the official blog post arrives. When pressed, however, visualizations were reluctantly confirmed by one employee. “Who hoo hoo hoo”, said Senior Program Manager Henry the Owl about the development.
“I really think this is a game changer”, continued Vanderpfluegger. “The charting in Excel has been so static, and these clicky clicky visuals are cool. I had also been stuck in my org’s Excel to Power BI to Excel cycle for so many years. I’d build out these wicked star schemas in Power BI and copy and paste my dimension and fact tables into Excel, hook them up with VLOOKUP, and then visualize my data in Excel pivot tables. Power BI can now save me a few steps plus give me a variety of bars, lines, and pies. The matrix looks cool too. I can’t wait until they add more formatting options. I want to change my bar colors.”
Henry the Owl expects data visualization in Power BI to exit preview and become generally available before 2027.