The 10 Best Power BI Visuals to Get Inspiration From
Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist.
Power BI is one of the best business intelligence and analytics solutions.
Microsoft’s BI solution is especially popular with its stunning and interactive visuals.
And if you’ve been working with Power BI, it’s not hard to see why people love the visuals you could make.
In this article, we have highlighted 10 of the best Power BI visuals you could easily create.
Let’s get started! 🎨
*This tutorial is for Power BI Online (also called "Power BI Service").
Table of Content
Perhaps the card visualization is the simplest and easiest visual you can make.
It’s literally just a card that contains a single number. Here’s how it looks like:
A card is an effective way to showcase an important number you want to show or track in a Power BI report or dashboard.
Furthermore, you can create a card straight from a Q&A question box. Cool!
A table is a tabular visual similar to how tables in Microsoft Excel looks like.
But the amount of formatting and modification you can do with it is superb!
For example, you can apply conditional formatting on it like this:
Some people feel that a table visualization isn’t important since the original data may already be in a table and creating one seems…unimportant. However, tables are a great way to show quantitive comparisons where values from different categories are compared side by side.
A matrix visual is a more complicated and functional table in Power BI.
In a way, it’s Power BI’s version of the pivot table.
Here’s a sample:
The table in Power BI is a two-dimensional grid. Data are shown in as it is and duplicate values are not aggregated.
In a matrix, you get a stepped layout where you can view data in multiple dimensions. There’s also a handy drill-down functionality you can use. 👍
Power BI has 4 types of built-in map visuals:
- Map (Basic)
- Filled Map
- ArcGIS Maps
- Shape Map
Here’s a side-by-side comparison of how each map looks like:
Maps are a great way to answer questions related to distances and locations. They are also interactive. Make sure to choose the right type of map.
5. Line Chart
Line charts are simple charts where data points are represented by dots and connected by straight lines.
Sounds simple. But they look good in Power BI:
A line chart could have more than one line. In addition, there are also additional options you can apply like highlighting and cross-filtering, formatting options, and others.
6. Pie Chart
A pie chart is a great way to show how different values contribute to the total value.
Here’s an example:
As you can see, the pie charts in Power BI look much better than the standard pie charts you see in Excel.
Also, pie charts, in a lot of ways, are similar to doughnut charts. What differentiates them from each other is that a doughnut chart has a blank center where labels or icons can be placed.
7. Area Chart
Area charts, also known as layered area charts, are similar to line charts.
The difference is that the area between the axis and the line is filled with colors to show the volume of the values.
It looks like this:
An area chart is a great way to show the volume trend across time series or for data with countable sets.
Power BI slicers are visual filters.
And in Power BI, they’re also considered as visuals.
Here is a slicer in action:
Using a slicer, you can choose the data type and Power BI would automatically filter the visuals in the report accordingly.
There are, however, a few limitations like slicers not being able to be pinned to a dashboard, no input fields, etc. Nevertheless, a slicer is a handy way to visually filter your data.
9. Column Chart
A column chart is a popular visualization where categories are represented as columns or rectangles.
The height of each column is proportional to the values they represent.
Here’s how column chart in Power BI looks like:
Aside from being a popular yet simple chart, a column chart has some advanced functionalities.
One of it is that column charts in Power BI support the ‘Analytics’ feature where you can add a constant line, min line, max line, average line, percentile line, and even a median line.
Power BI has a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) visual you can use to show your progress against a goal.
Analysts and businessmen use a KPI visual to communicate the progress of a project.
Here’s a KPI visual in Power BI:
In addition, KPI visuals house a lot of formatting options like an indicator, trend axis, goals, and even color-coding. Very useful! 👍
Wrapping things up…
Power BI has lots of visualizations available. If you’ve been using Microsoft Excel, you might have encountered similar visuals.
However, Power BI visuals look a lot better than their Excel counterparts. Moreover, they are all interactive and most of them support highlighting and cross-filtering. 😊