Book an appointment
Knowledge base

Trends in 2024: Knowledge management and Power BI reporting

An illustration of a white robot hand and a human hand reaching for each other

With the fast growth of information and artificial intelligence, reliable data and accurate reporting are more important than ever. Power BI is increasingly favored by businesses, and Microsoft is constantly expanding the capabilities of the tool.

Many companies have moved to Power BI from Qlik and other reporting tools particularly because of the pricing, ease of use, and low deployment threshold of Power BI. On the other hand, if you’ve been using Power BI for years, it may be time to update your reporting practices to take advantage of the latest capabilities.

Forward-looking reporting continues to be a strong main theme in the use of Power BI in 2024 with companies focusing on predicting the future rather than relying on past performance. Other key trends include the streamlining of reporting, as well as better targeting and tailoring of reports to the needs of the organization.

1. Fabric’s features enhance Power BI reporting 

We have previously shed light on how Microsoft Fabric shortens the data pipeline and makes data transfer more efficient. Now, the transfer of data between Power BI and Fabric’s data warehouse is greatly accelerated by the Direct Lake feature, which allows data to be retrieved from Fabric’s data warehouse in real time. While transferring data from a data warehouse without downloading has been possible before, the new feature also offers efficient data transfers: up to billions of rows of data can now be read quickly. Companies are therefore able to handle larger amounts of data easily and without having to wait for the data to be transferred.    

With the new Semantic Link feature, data in Power BI can also be used in Fabric. For example, data related to the Power BI environment is available, which can be used to develop monitoring, but also metrics data for reports. Metrics data can be used, for example, to build machine learning solutions for Fabric. Instead of rebuilding business rules and calculations in Fabric, the values of validated metrics can be read into machine learning models directly from Power BI data sets. This makes it faster and easier to build forecasting models.

2. Power BI descriptors and dynamic subscriptions 

In 2023, Microsoft started updating the features of the Power BI basic descriptors.  Updates have already been made to card descriptors, button slicers, column, and bar descriptors.  The increased versatility of the features speeds up data assimilation, for example in the form of card descriptors showing comparative figures. See the roadmap of the descriptors in the LinkedIn posts of PBI Core Visuals

There will also be welcome changes to the way reports are subscribed to. New dynamic subscriptions allow reporting to be customized and automated according to the needs of the organization. Reports and their content can be defined by recipient, for example, by team or by work task. So far, the feature is only in preview mode, although it is available for testing. The only downside is that it requires the use of Fabric, Power BI Premium, or Fabric Preview. However, Fabric Preview is available to everyone.

3. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are still topical

Machine learning was one of last year’s major themes in knowledge management, and it resurfaces in data collection and analysis. The development of machine learning is strongly linked to forward-looking reporting, as companies increasingly use artificial intelligence to look at data sets. This change will certainly be reflected in the wider capabilities of Power BI. 

Microsoft expands the Copilot AI tool to many of its solutions, including Fabric, Power BI, and Office. Copilot users can ask the AI to help them with reporting activities related to, for example, computing and coding. Although the use of the tool is limited for the time being, interest in it – especially due to experience gained elsewhere – is guaranteed. The first Copilot features have been added to Power BI in February – the creation of metrics and descriptors, as well as report summaries. However, using Copilot in Power BI requires Power BI Premium or Fabric F64 (Preview F64 is not sufficient), and acceptance that the data used by Copilot can be transferred outside the EU, unless your Azure environment happens to be in Azure France.

Focus on effective information management practices and targeted Power BI reporting

Organizations should embrace information management in their internal and external communications, and find their own ways to harness the available data to support their decision-making. In Power BI reporting, it’s good to stay ahead of your target groups, and keep different data needs in mind, both in terms of visualization and detail. It makes sense to centralize Power BI and the other systems in use in your company in the cloud, where they serve as easily accessible and manageable tools. 

Because Power BI is versatile, you should use it to report on a wide range of data. For example, requirements regarding sustainability reporting are becoming increasingly stringent, and Power BI is an excellent tool for sustainability work, for example, to calculate and verify the data required.

We at Pinja are happy to help you master and develop your Power BI reporting. Visit our Business Intelligence page to learn more about our knowledge management solutions and services.

Read more

Knowledge management and Business Intelligence  
Machine learning significantly improves the accuracy of business forecasts  
Trends in 2023: Knowledge management and Power BI reporting
Pinja’s Microsoft 365 services at your disposal
The RED III Directive defines sustainability reporting in the energy sector – automatic reporting makes it easier

Pasi Era

Pasi Era

I work as a Business Intelligence consultant at Pinja, performing report solution definitions and implementations. As a long-standing IT professional, I have designed, implemented, and delivered solutions for clients for over 20 years. In my free time, I enjoy sports, food tourism, podcasting, and reading books.

Read more from this author