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Power Pivot Synonyms

A little gem was included with the latest Office 365 update.  After downloading and installing this update you will now find that a feature called Synonyms is available inside Power Pivot. 

Synonyms are a piece of the puzzle that make the Power BI feature Q&A work.  If you haven’t seen Q&A watch these two videos and sign up for the Power BI preview yourself. 



I would expect some official guidance on how Synonyms work soon but it’s pretty clear you create a common separated list of words that would be considered synonyms for each column/table to make the nature query language searches possible on the Power BI site. 

So in my example I gave the column called gender a synonym as shown using a common separated list.  This would allow the user to type in either word in Q&A to still get results. 

Again, expect more guidance on this soon.  For now these are my assumptions on how these would work.  Right now when you click the “Click here for more information” button it sends you to the www.PowerBI.com main information page.

Devin Knight

Devin is a BI consultant at Pragmatic Works Consulting. Previously, he has tech edited the book Professional Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services and was an author in the book Knight's 24-Hour Trainer: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Integration Services. Devin has spoken at past conferences like PASS and at several SQL Saturday events. He is a contributing member to the Business Intelligence Special Interest Group (SIG) for PASS as a leader in the SSIS Focus Group. Making his home in Jacksonville, FL, Devin is a participating member of the local users’ group (JSSUG).


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