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Recent developments in Excel and Power BI

The world may have gone into lockdown, but Excel and Power BI have run riot in the meantime. Are you aware of what’s been going on? Liam Bastick summarises some of the latest developments.

21st May 2020
Director SumProduct
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World map

Covid-19 apps available in Power BI

I thought I might start with the elephant in the room. You cannot take a step outside your front door before the world reminds you of the Covid-19 pandemic. As healthcare providers and local governments work to slow the spread of the virus and ultimately save lives, it’s critical that these organisations are equipped with accurate information in a timely manner.

To help these organisations and individuals stay informed, several of Microsoft’s Power BI partners have created template apps tracking the Covid-19 pandemic, eg

  • Covid-19 US tracking
  • Covid-19 daily cases
  • Covid-19 global cases.

These are now available in Power BI. After you download them, you can use them as is, personalise them or share them inside your organisation. All the following template apps connect to anonymous data sources.

Covid-19 daily cases

This Covid-19 report, which was developed by Pragmatic Works, provides information on daily cases, recoveries and death rates by country and state/province from the Center of Disease Control (CDC) and John Hopkins University.

Coronavirus map

Analyse Covid-19 global cases

With DataChant’s latest template app, you may analyse Covid-19 global cases in a daily refreshed report, which includes advanced time intelligence measures to offset all countries by the number of estimated active cases per capita since the first day that 100 cases were reported. You can also hit the play icon to see the animated progression over the last 30 days if you really want to scare (or reassure) yourself.

Analyse Covid-19 global cases

Coming Soon: Power BI Datasets in Excel

Last week it was announced that Microsoft is introducing two new ways to access Power BI data from within Excel:

  1. Excel Data Types
  2. through PivotTables connected directly to Power BI.

It’s been a common gripe amongst users for quite some time as to how to get Power BI datasets (back) into Excel. Analyse in Excel may be one way, but now with the click of a button, users may now discover Power BI datasets without having to go via Power BI. By using Power BI certified and promoted dataset capabilities, users now have easier access to relevant and refreshable data.

Using Data Types, you can quickly find details from featured tables in Power BI datasets within Excel’s data types gallery. Data Types gives you the flexibility to organise information in any way you want within the Excel grid. This allows you to use formulae, build reports and analyse your data in the good ol’ fashioned spreadsheet way.


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