Power BI – New Features and Need for Big Data Functionality

With January’s Power BI update, two items that I was looking forward to have been solved. The first one was the public preview of email subscriptions for report pages. The new feature allows Power BI Pro users to quickly subscribe to reports. The email will send a screen shot of the report whenever there is a change in the data with a link to the report on your Power BI web site. Detail of the new feature can be found here: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/introducing-email-subscriptions-in-power-bi-stay-informed-when-it-matters/

To setup a subscription to a report, log into your Power BI site and then navigate to the report you want to subscribe to. Click on the Subscribe button, arrow 1. This will make the Subscribe to emails window available. To subscribe to this report, click on the Save and Close button, arrow 2. You can also manage all your subscriptions on this window by following the “Manage all Subscriptions” link.

Power BI Subscribe to Email

The second new feature that I like is the ability to create measures when using the DirectQuery mode. There are a set of DAX functions that are disabled by default in DirectQuery mode. To enable these in Power BI Desktop, navigate to File > Options and Settings > Options.

Power BI

In the Options Window that appears select the DirectQuery feature under Global and then add a check to the “Allow unrestricted measures in DirectQuery mode”.

Power BI


The only problem with the DAX DirectQuery options is that it doesn’t enable date hierarchy for Year, Quarter, Month, Day when you add the date field to your visual, as it should as see in the screen shot below.

Power BI

This prevents the creation of any good DAX measures and is required for handling big datasets for data handling performance and visualization speed. Your left with importing your dataset into Power BI Desktop to complete your DAX measure. To vote for this functionality, follow this to vote for it: https://ideas.powerbi.com/forums/265200-power-bi-ideas/suggestions/16835431-automatic-date-hierarchy-for-direct-query-data.


Still loving all that Power BI offers and can’t wait for what is next. .


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