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Power BI and Power Apps: An Update Summary

Updated: Feb 8, 2022

October 2021

JourneyTEAM reviews new updates and features released to the Microsoft Power Platform in October 2021.

Today’s companies are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of data. Statista projects that by the end of 2021, 74 zettabytes of data will be created (one zettabyte is equivalent to one trillion gigabytes). That number is expected to grow to 181 zettabytes by 2025.

With an overwhelming amount of data available, many business leaders have become disoriented attempting to make decisions based on the sheer amount of this data. Additionally, most datasets are chaotic, disorganized, and complex, further limiting business leaders’ ability to make smart, data-informed decisions.

Watch the Tech Insider Update Video on the latest from Microsoft as of Aug 2021:

To help executives move beyond disorganized datasets, Microsoft created the Power Platform, a collection of data analysis tools that enable teams to build robust solutions and unlock valuable business insights.

The true beauty of the Power Platform is that it enables teams to look at individual pieces of data as part of a whole, essentially providing them with a much-needed big picture. This helps everyone from business leaders to lower-level employees make smart, data-informed decisions. The solution analyzes data in real-time and presents teams with easily digestible data visualizations that increase teams’ flexibility, agility, and efficiency.

Updates to Power BI

As part of their efforts to provide teams with a robust, intelligent data analysis tool, Microsoft has recently announced new updates and features to the Power Platform, including Power BI and Power Apps. A summary of Power BI’s new capabilities can be found below.

Data Connectivity

Users can now enjoy REST API Support for Power BI datasets. This allows users to pull in datasets from additional tools for further analysis and insights.

Data Preparation

Prior to this update, Power BI’s Dataflow Connector took a significant amount of time to validate and save data flows. Now, the tool rapidly performs data validation and saves work.

Data Model

Power BI’s Data Model was equipped with a number of new features. Two of the most noteworthy include DirectQuery Support for Dataflows and the general availability of ‘New Model’ view.


Power BI’s reporting capabilities were enhanced with users having access to paginated report visuals and a ‘Small Multiples’ capability which has gone from preview to general availability.

Updates to Power Apps

The following two features are currently in public preview in Microsoft Power Apps.

Writing Power Fx Formulas with Natural Language

Power Fx is the programming language developers use when programming Canvas Apps. However, like with any programming language, the syntax can become tricky or confusing, forcing developers to look up code or request help from other IT professionals. This slows the development process and increases time to market.

To resolve this, users can now use natural language during the programming process. Essentially, users type out what they want the app to do and Microsoft returns the function back.

For example, if a user wanted a Canvas App to search their accounts using a search bar and have results sorted by account name, they could type ‘Sort(Search(Accounts, TextInput1.Text, “name”), ‘Account Name’, Ascending). Power Apps then returns a list of code results based on that text which users can then copy and paste into the function field. This accelerates the development process and saves developers from having to remember code written weeks or months ago.

Modern Model-Driven App Designer

Previously, developers who wanted to create a new model-driven app had to use Power App’s Classic Designer. Here, users could add a site map, entities, dashboards, forms, and more directly within the tool. However, in order to see changes or test the app itself, users had to save, validate, publish, and play the app in a separate window. This forced users to jump between platforms and slowed development time.

With the new Model-Driven App Designer, users are able to develop and preview applications from a single window. Users are able to see changes in real-time, eliminating the need to switch platforms. Additionally, users can navigate the app as if it were currently active which helps to speed up the development process.

Unlock the Power of the Microsoft Power Platform with JourneyTEAM

From rich, personalized dashboards and smart reporting capabilities to rapid data extraction and visualization tools, the Microsoft Power Platform enables teams to transform chaotic datasets into powerful insights.

The Unique JourneyTEAM Power Apps Sherpa Program

To support teams looking to integrate this robust platform, we at JourneyTEAM created our Sherpa Program. Our program helps teams integrate the solution into their business processes with a clear, well-defined strategy to ensure users get the absolute most from the Power Platform. With nine workshops taught by industry experts, scheduled office hours, access to our vast online tech community, personalized individual sessions, and the option to join our Managed Services offering for post-launch assistance, teams have everything necessary for a successful implementation.

At JourneyTEAM, we act as a personalized guide for business teams, helping them successfully summit the Power Platform and achieve incredible business growth. To learn more about our services and offerings, contact a JourneyTEAM representative today.


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