Power BI Insights: Locally enhanced data models; Small multiples; Direct Query

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Power BI pros discuss various December 2020 updates including small multiples, locally enhanced data models and Direct Query capabilities.

The power of locally enhanced data models

Writing on the Excelerator BI blog, Microsoft MVP Matt Allington weighed in on the December 2020 release, praising the option to build a local version of a data model as “the most important update to Power BI Desktop, ever!” In a common scenario, a user may need to do analysis with some extra data along with the main published data model.

For now, this is a preview feature so users need to turn on it, connecting a thin workbook linked to a data model hosted at PowerBI.com. He cautioned that linking data can cause security problems if organizations plan poorly. Currently, it can be difficult to see what is in the columns of the online tables and there are limitations to adding a calculated column to an online table.

Boosting performance with small multiples in Power BI