3 Things: Data Analytics Highlights from November 2023
6th December 2023
By Michael A

November saw lots of exciting news and announcements and the data analytics space continues to advance at an incredible rate. As is the new tradition with our '3 Things' blog series, we highlight three things for each of the three technology areas that you should be aware of right now.

Power BI

  • Power BI 'Datasets' has been renamed to 'Semantic Models'. This is a welcome change because it more accurately describes what they are. Chris Webb, a Microsoft Fabric CAT Team member, explains why. Learn more.

  • The DAX query view in Power BI Desktop has been introducing and is currently in preview. It enables you to author DAX queries and execute them against your models without having to rely on an external tool. That does not mean the likes of DAX Studio and Tabular Editor are going away because they are more than just DAX query editors, but it is a convenient addition. Learn more.

  • The new 'Explore' feature in the Power BI service removes the need to create a Power BI report solely for the purpose of quickly exploring your semantic model. This is one of those features that you wonder how you managed without. Learn more.

Microsoft Fabric

  • Microsoft Fabric became general availability, which means you can start thinking about migrating some of your production workloads onto this complete analytics platform that has solid foundations. Alternatively, you can identity some quick-wins to test the waters and extend your ways of working to include Microsoft Fabric capabilities. Learn more.

  • If you have heard about Direct Lake, you may have learned that some scenarios cause it to fall back to DirectQuery mode. Sandeep Pawar, a prominent member of the Microsoft Fabric community, did a deep dive into these scenarios and explores what you can do to control the behaviour. Learn more.

  • A new Microsoft certification was announced for a role called the 'Fabric Analytics Engineer Associate'. If you want to upskill on Microsoft Fabric and have something to show for it, you can start preparing for the exam by reviewing the exam study guide and working your way through the Microsoft Learn learning paths. Learn more.

Azure Data Platform

  • A new article from Databricks demonstrates how you can use a Large Language Model (LLM) to create AI-generated documentation. How many man hours could an approach like this save you in your projects? Learn more.

  • Control Flows in Databricks Workflows now support conditional executions and job-level parameters. This means you can make your workflows even more flexible by incorporating runtime values. Learn more.

  • OneTable went open source. It is a technology that lets you effortlessly convert tables between the Apache Iceberg, Apache Hudi, and Delta Lake open table formats. Backed by Google and Microsoft, it is only a matter of time before we see it baked into their respective data analytics platforms. Learn more.

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