Microsoft’s 2020 release wave 2 plans for Power BI.

Microsoft has announced its plans for Power BI as part of the second release wave of 2020. There are a whole host of new and exciting changes outlined in the release wave 2 notes.

This article summaries the key updates coming to Power BI, specifically within Power BI Desktop and the Power BI Service.

Power BI Desktop

Microsoft is committed to enabling Power BI Desktop users to deliver simple, intuitive experiences to make the creation of their content easier. Release wave 2 therefore sees ongoing improvements in the following areas:

  • PowerPoint for data – Microsoft recognises that business users are very familiar with Office 365 products and can quickly and effectively create using programs such as PowerPoint. Release wave 2 will therefore see Power BI further share a familiar user experience to allow creators to utilise their knowledge from PowerPoint to intuitively build charts, place text boxes or select a layout.
  • Enable authors to empower their users – Provides new capabilities to allow content creators to empower their report consumers to navigate reports and follow their data stories intuitively.
  • Enterprise grade content creation – Includes updates which continue to support large-scale BI deployments through rich tooling, a focus on optimising performance and large BI infrastructure.
  • Empower analysts with AI-infused authoring experiences – Microsoft will embed AI throughout the report authoring experience. This allows for new insights to be found quicker and provides enticing AI visuals to empower users.

Standout release for Power BI Desktop – Power Automate visual

If your organisation is currently leveraging the Power Platform, then release wave 2 should be very exciting. It is already possible to embed a Power App into a Power BI report with the Power App visual. However, with release wave 2 it will now be possible to embed a flow from Power Automate into Power BI reports.

What does this mean? By embedding a flow button into a Power BI report, a report consumer can act upon insight from directly within the report. They do not need to leave the report, navigate to another portal or tool to act upon the insight they found in the report. This will save valuable time for users and speed up decision making based on intuitive insights.

Power BI Service

In building a data-driven culture, the Power BI Service empowers all users to discover and collaborate on insights. The following updates from release wave 2 will help organisations further foster a data culture:

  • Office 365 integration – Power BI will be deeply embedded in the tools that business users know and love, such as Excel, Teams and SharePoint.
  • Self-service analytics – Microsoft is heeding community feedback to drive further innovation for self-service analytics. Power BI will be easier to use, with a range of new capabilities for power users.
  • Enterprise reporting – Microsoft will continue to provide improved advanced features for content organisation, managed distribution and lifecycle management.
  • Data protection enhancements – Enhancements are coming which allow further governance within Power BI. It will now be possible for developers to attach sensitivity labels and protection to PBIX files, including the inheritance of labels between artifacts, ensuring the security flows throughout the file lineage. These sensitivity labels will propagate to data that is exported to Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files.

Standout release for the Power BI Service – Endorsement of reports and apps

The endorsement of datasets is a feature already available in Power BI. Release wave 2 will however bring with it powerful extensions this feature. The feature will be further extended to allow creators and developers to endorse reports and apps in a similar way.

This update means that administrators and owners can verify reports and apps as accurate, governed and promoted for consumption within the organisation. As with datasets, the two types of endorsement are ‘Promoted’ and ‘Certified’.


The above outlined features, along with several other enhancements will be released between October 2020 and March 2021.

To find out more about Power BI and its capabilities, download our comprehensive product guide. If your organisation is already using Power BI and wants to improve its use of the system, our training sessions are the perfect way for your users to upskill and stay up-to-speed on all the latest product updates. Find out more about our training and our other Power BI services here.