How to Create a Histogram in Power BI [Step-by-Step Guide]

Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.

A Power BI histogram chart is a great way to illustrate the frequency distribution of your data. 

There’s just one problem in creating a histogram in Power BI:

You can’t find a built-in histogram visualization.

If that’s the case, how do you create a histogram in Power BI?

In this article, we’ll walk you through creating a histogram in Power BI even if there’s no built-in histogram visualization.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Let’s get it started! 👍

*This tutorial is for Power BI Online (also called "Power BI Service"). If you have Power BI Desktop, then click here and go to the online version.

Introduction to Power BI Histogram

A histogram chart is one of the most popular analysis tools there is.

In simple terms, a histogram is a representation of data points into ranges. Data points are grouped into ranges or bins making the data more understandable.

As of now, there’s no built-in histogram visualization in Power BI.

But that doesn’t mean you can create one.

Advanced Power BI users can take advantage of bar charts and DAX (Data Analysis Expressions).

Understandably, this method isn’t for everyone.

Fortunately, there’s a workaround for that — importing a custom visual from the marketplace.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Importing the Histogram Chart

Power BI users can download and use custom made visuals from the marketplace (Microsoft’s AppSource).

But you don’t have to go directly to the site. With Power BI, you can simply connect directly with the marketplace and search for your custom visual.

By the way, you can use either Power BI Service or Desktop to import a histogram chart and use it. For this tutorial, we’ll be using Power BI Desktop since we’ll be exporting a file from the local hard drive.

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto

Here’s how:

On the visualizations pane, click the ellipsis icon (…) right at the end of the visualizations list. Then, clickImport from marketplace’:

How to import from the marketplace in Power BI Desktop

Power BI will then connect to the marketplace and give you some suggestions.

Scroll down until you find the histogram chart.

Or use the search function: histogram.

Once you found the chart, clickAdd’:

After Power BI finishes importing the custom visual, a histogram icon will appear on the visualizations pane.

Import From File

There are times when the Power BI connection to marketplace is buggy. When this happens, you can also go directly to the AppSource by using your browser and download the visual add-in.

Then, instead of importing from the marketplace, selectImport from file’ and choose the downloaded add-in.

How to import a visual add-in in Power BI Desktop

Get your FREE exercise file

Before you start:

Throughout this guide, you need a data set to practice.

I’ve included one for you (for free).

Download it right below!

Download the FREE Exercise File

Download exercise file

Importing an Excel Workbook

For this tutorial, we’ll be using a similar dataset as our Excel histogram tutorial.

An Excel workbook to be used as the sample dataset for this tutorial

To start importing this workbook, click the down arrow on the ‘Get Data’ icon on the ribbon and selectExcel’:

Select Excel after clicking the down arrow on the ‘Get Data’ icon

If you’re using the same dataset, follow these steps to finish the import:

  • Select the table that contains that dataset
  • ClickLoad
Loading the Excel workbook for the histogram chart

That’s it! You have imported the sample Excel workbook successfully! 👍

Using the Histogram Chart

Though not necessary, let’s create a table first for our dataset first to check our data:

The dataset table for the histogram chart

To create the histogram, click on its icon on the visualizations pane and add the appropriate fields:

The histogram icon along with the fields

Congratulations! You just made your first histogram chart in Excel. 😄

Conclusion

A histogram is one of the best ways you can present the distribution frequency of data. And although there’s no built-in histogram chart in Power BI, importing one from the marketplace wouldn’t take a minute.

If you would like to try this down and you don’t have your own dataset, feel free to download the sample Excel workbook we’ve used in this tutorial. 😊

Kasper Langmann, Co-founder of Spreadsheeto