Category Archives: dataviz

5 More Power BI Tips

I’ve had this blog post in my mind to write for the past month or so and I’m finally just getting around to it while I’m waiting to board my flight back home.

Check out my first 5 Power BI Tips here

These are just five more Power BI tips and tricks that I think everyone should know in order to get the most out of Power BI and produce better, more useful, and more powerful Power BI reports for their users. So without further ado, here are five more Power BI tips in no particular order. Enjoy!

Continue reading 5 More Power BI Tips

Power BI and the Bing Maps API

This week I was working on a project for a school up North. This customer wanted to use Power BI and map visualizations to view the locations of the various school buildings in the district. The problem for this very large school district was that they were missing the street address information for some of the buildings and for other buildings they were missing the latitude and longitude.

New to Power BI? Start with these 5 tips!

The good news is that Power Query in Power BI is flexible enough for us to take advantage of the Bing Maps API so that we can lookup the missing pieces of information we need. In this blog post, I’m going to show you how you can use the Bing Maps API to look up an address based on a latitude and longitude or use a street address to find a latitude and longitude for the location. Continue reading Power BI and the Bing Maps API

Getting Started with R Visuals in Power BI

Thanks to the December 2015 update released for Power BI, we can now use R to visualize our data in Power BI! Make no mistake, this is huge news and in this blog post I want to walk you through how to use the new R Script Visualization in Power BI and get you started with using R to create your first visualizations.

Read These Top 5 Power BI Tips

Not only can we create and download custom visuals from PowerBI.com to extend the capabilities of Power BI, we can use R to create a ridiculous amount of powerful visualizations. If you can get the data into Power BI, you can use R to perform interesting statistical analysis and create some pretty cool, interactive visuals.

Getting Started

If you’re new to R, like myself, R is a programming language for statistical data analysis. The R programming language is Continue reading Getting Started with R Visuals in Power BI

Drill Down with Power BI Visualizations

A couple weeks ago in a recent update to Power BI, an enhancement was added to enable a drill-down action in Power BI. This has been something that customers have been clamoring for but now its finally here!

Not all visualizations can be used to invoke the drill-down action. Here are the visualizations that you can use the drill-down action in Power BI: Continue reading Drill Down with Power BI Visualizations

5 Tips for #PowerBI

After a couple months of fun with Power BI, I’ve picked up a few little tricks along the way that have helped me to be able to create some pretty cool data visualizations and dashboard reports. Here are five Power BI tips and tricks that you may find useful as you begin creating dashboards for your organization.

New to Power BI? Start here to get acquainted!

1) Use a pie chart or donut chart as a KPI

One of the ways we can create a KPI visualization is to use a pie or donut chart visualization, which you can see here.

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In the chart above, I create a KPI to quickly display which tight ends score more than, less than or equal to the average number of touchdowns all tight ends scored last year allowing me to quickly identify tight ends that score more TDs than average.

Here is my calculated column to create the KPI value for you to have as an example:

TD KPI = if(int('TE Stats'[TD])>INT('TE Stats'[Avg TE TDs]),"1",IF(int('TE Stats'[TD])<int('TE Stats'[Avg TE TDs]),"-1","0"))

 

Then configure a pie chart as follows.

First, I place my KPI calculated column as the Legend and as the Values.

Power BI KPI pie chart

Then I hid all the labels and configured the colors to display red (-1), yellow(0) or green(1) depending on the value of the KPI.

Power BI KPI pie chart

Now when I use a slicer to select a player, my pie chart acts as a stoplight KPI. Cool!

Power BI KPI

2) Use a chart as a slicer

I’ve previously blogged this tip before, but this one is too nifty to not share again, in my humble opinion. One of the advantages to using a visualization like a funnel chart as a slicer is you gain the ability to single-select a filter, which is something the current slicer lacks. Check out this post to learn more about leveraging Power BI’s natural cross filtering to create some pretty cool slicers.

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3) Create a spark line with a line chart

A nice way to create a small trend line, also called a spark line, is to use a line chart visualization which you can see below.

Power BI sparkline line chart

This trick is pretty easy. Just create a normal line chart visualization, hide all the labels and shrink the chart down to the desired size.

4) Use a scatter graph and matrix to create a calendar chart with day labels

Last week you may have seen my blog post on how to use a scatter graph to create a calendar chart. One of the ways you can improve the calendar scatter graph is to create the visualization along side a matrix visualization, as seen below.

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You can use the matrix to display the names of the week below each day in the calendar and then also optionally display the totals by day.

5) Right align the y-axis on a bar chart to prevent the labels from hiding

The bar chart is a great visualization type to use in your Power BI dashboard because its so easy to differentiate the differences between the categories. But one of the problems with the visualization in Power BI is that sometimes its hard to see the categories on the y-axis if the chart is too small. See the image below to see an example the issue I’m talking about.

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One way you can work around this is to right-align the y-axis. This will cause the full value of the y-axis categories to always be displayed in all their glory albeit on the right side.

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You just have to live with the category labels on the right side of the bar chart.

Resources

Need more Power BI tips? Check out these tips:

Here’s three Power BI best practices to follow.

Here are the new visualization types in Power BI.

Converting Power Pivot models to Power BI is now a thing!

Power BI Tip: Use a Scatter Chart to Create a Calendar Report

Power BI Desktop Scatter Chart

The Scatter Chart in Power BI and Excel is very useful chart for visualizing three different metrics in tandem. But with a little bit of work you can use a Scatter Chart to create a Calendar chart for visualizing your metrics across the days of an individual month.

New to Power BI Desktop? Start here!

To configure a Scatter Chart too mimic a Calendar type report, you need the following: Continue reading Power BI Tip: Use a Scatter Chart to Create a Calendar Report

Here’s the New #Excel 2016 Chart Types!

The Office 2016 Public Preview is now available for download! Included in the preview of Excel 2016 are a handful of new chart types and since I’m a huge fan of awesome data visualizations, I thought I’d take a few moments to play around with them and share my experience with you so you can have a better idea of what to expect in the next version of Excel. But to be honest, if you’re a data & visualizations nerd like me, you’re probably pretty excited! Continue reading Here’s the New #Excel 2016 Chart Types!