Category Archives: Self-Service

Taking #PowerPivot to the Next Level

Power Pivot is an amazing, flexible and powerful business intelligence tool (among other things) and there is no doubt about that fact. As a feature included with Excel 2013 and 2016 (and an add-on for Excel 2010), Power Pivot allows user with a little technical expertise to integrate disparate data source together within a flexible data model. Once the data is loaded into Power Pivot, we easily have the ability to create powerful calculated measures, key performance indicators Continue reading Taking #PowerPivot to the Next Level

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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

#PowerBI Tip: Use the Treemap, Column or Funnel Chart as a Colorful Slicer

Power BI Desktop has been out for GA for over a week now and some of the pro’s out there have come up with some pretty cool tricks. For instance:

But if you’re looking for a way to spice up you report filtering with a little color, try using the Treemap, Column or Funnel chart as a Slicer for those fields that only contain a few unique values. At this point with Power BI, you don’t have any customization options for the Slicer visualization (although I’m sure that is coming down the pipe in a future release). This option won’t work terribly well if the field you would like to use as a slicer has more than a dozen or so unique members, but you can experiment with it and see what you can come up with. Here’s my custom slicers in action.

column chart as slicer

tree map slice in action

Power BI Funnel slicer in action

To multi-select tiles in the custom slicer, just hold Cntrl as you click.

This little trick relies on the natural cross filtering between data regions in the Power BI dashboards. First I created a measure that calculates the distinct count of the field that I wish to use as my slicer. In this case the field is Genre.

Power BI Distinct Count DAX calculation

Then I added a Treemap/Funnel chart to the report using the field Genre as the Group value and the measure Distinct Count Genre as the Values.

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Then just resize the visualization so that the squares are about evenly sized. There’s a few ways you can arrange it, but just play around with it and see what you can come up with.

Power BI Dashboard with Treemap Slicer

Power BI Dashboard with Treemap Slicer

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Funnel slicer

If you are wondering how I made the column chart slicer, here’s a gif image that shows the steps I used. Enjoy!

Power BI column chart as slicer making of

Feedback?

What do you think? Leave me a comment below and let me know. Or if you’ve got a neat Power BI trick you’d like to share, let me know, as well. I love to hear new ideas! Thanks for reading!

Power BI Desktop: My First Run Through

If PowerPivot, Power Query, and Power View had a baby (don’t ask how) that baby would be called Power BI Desktop Designer. Yesterday the Power BI Desktop Designer was released for general availability, which I promptly downloaded last night at 11:30 PM EST and started playing with. Even as my wife turned out the light and begged me to go to sleep, I persisted! I was too excited. So here’s my first run through (I call it run through because it was late and I didn’t spend a ton of time looking at every little thing).

Here are 3 Power BI best practices to follow

Download Power BI Desktop

Ok first things first. Download the Power BI Desktop Designer so you can start playing!

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=45331

Installing it is pretty straight forward so I’ll spare you the details.

Get Data with Power BI Desktop

The first thing I did after installing the Power BI Desktop Designer was Continue reading Power BI Desktop: My First Run Through

Choose Your Weapon: Power BI Edition

With an estimated 500 million Excel users in the world, it’s no wonder that Excel is the #1 business intelligence too in many organizations around the globe. And with the release of Excel 2013, the collection of powerful and flexible data analysis tools built into Excel has only continued to grow. Microsoft is constantly adding new features and functionality to Power BI at pretty fast rate, so now is a great time to start learning about everything that MS Power BI can offer your organization.

Because Excel is just full of a slew of incredible tools, its important for us to understand the difference between the tools, when you should choose each tool, and the Continue reading Choose Your Weapon: Power BI Edition