Understanding Microsoft Power BI Visualizations Simplified


Power BI Visualizations

Microsoft Power BI Services provide several intelligent options for organizing and visualizing your business data. While the integrations with other tools, Data Organization, and other Business Intelligence features are quite beneficial, the visualization aspect in itself can be a game-changer for businesses. 

Microsoft Power BI Visualizations can actually be quite robust and sophisticated. With different types of data visualizations in the provision, you can fine-tune the exact metrics and display them along with deciding how you want to display them. Visualization in Microsoft Power BI can actually be built with the exact combination of elements that you desire.

This article deals with everything you need to understand about Data Visualization, its significance, and the different types of visualizations you can choose from in Microsoft Power BI. You will also read about the process of building new Visualizations using Microsoft Power BI, and the combinations and modifications you can use in your desired visualization. You can also read our article about Power BI KPI.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI Logo
Image Source: https://o365reports.com/2016/10/12/office-365-adoption-activation-reports/

Microsoft Power BI Services offer an easy yet efficient way to organize your data and derive comprehensive insights from it. With features for easy integrations with Data Warehouses, third-party applications, and other data sources, you can combine data from various sources and convert them into interactive or visually appealing insights that can be easier to understand. 

Business Intelligence tools like Microsoft Power BI differ from regular Data Visualization tools with their aspect of highlighting relevant datasets. You can analyze data as per the metrics that are more relevant to your analysis, and create Reports, Dashboards, and Visuals for the same. Such content can be used to highlight the organization’s data to external members such as board members or perhaps future investors. Relevant Data Reports can also be used optimally within the organization to highlight highly technical data visually even for members who wouldn’t understand the technical jargon. 

Microsoft Power BI can, thus, be used to generate a range of useful visuals that can be interpreted and analyzed by different business teams based on different metrics that are relevant to the aspects useful to them. The Business Intelligence algorithms allow the complete utilization of relevant data, and its conversion into easily interpretable visualizations.

Microsoft Power BI Visualizations
Image Source: https://www.bluegranite.com/blog/4-ways-custom-visuals-may-impact-more-than-power-bi

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Understanding Data Visualization and Its Importance 

What is Data Visualization and why is it relevant? Doesn’t having the data in the first place give a fair idea of the organization’s ongoings? Why do companies emphasize on visualizing data and what does it change? 

Companies often have the need to present their data along with relevant arguments for discussions on the business strategies and interactions of the organization. The analysis of this data is most often not done by technical professionals, and more relevant to members involved in strategizing or fine-tuning business policies. Data Visualization helps make mundane or even complex data metrics viewable by all team members in terms of metrics that they understand for the purpose of identifying hidden patterns and making predictions. Hence, the use of Data Visualization is extremely important, especially for those dealing with large amounts of data.

Different Types of Visualizations in Microsoft Power BI

Different types of Data Visualizations can be useful for different use cases as well as different audiences. The different types of visualizations available in Microsoft Power BI are illustrated as follows: 

1) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Area Charts

Microsoft Power BI Area Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-basic-area-chart

2) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Bar & Column Charts

Microsoft Power BI Bar and Column Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-combo-chart

3) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Combo Charts

Microsoft Power BI Combo Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-combo-chart

4) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Doughnut Charts

Microsoft Power BI Doughnut Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-doughnut-charts 

5) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Cards (Single & Multi Records/Rows)

Microsoft Power BI Single-Row Card
Single-Row Card
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-card
Microsoft Power BI Multi-Row Card
Multi-Row Card
Image Source: https://xxlbi.com/blog/multi-row-card-title/

6) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Funnel Chart

Microsoft Power BI Funnel Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-funnel-charts

7) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Gauge Chart

Microsoft Power BI Guage Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-radial-gauge-charts

8) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: KPI Chart

Microsoft Power BI KPI Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-kpi 

9) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Line Chart

Microsoft Power BI Line Chart
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-line-chart

10) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Maps

Microsoft Power BI Maps
Shape Map
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/desktop-shape-map 
Microsoft Power BI Filled Maps
Filled Map
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-filled-maps-choropleths
Microsoft Power BI ArcGIS
ArcGIS Map
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualizations-arcgis

11) Microsoft Power BI Visualization: Tree Maps

Microsoft Power BI Tree Maps
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/visuals/power-bi-visualization-treemaps

Building Microsoft Power BI Visualizations

Visualizations in Microsoft Power BI can be built from scratch using a combination of different elements and properties depending on exactly how you want to visualize your data. The following aspects are involved in building Visualizations using Microsoft Power BI:

1) Setting up Simple Visualizations

Simple Visualizations can easily be set up by accessing the pane on the right side of the Report Canvas. You can also drag fields from the right bar to the axis to add elements for simple visualization.

Sample Visualizations
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm

2) Creating Maps

You can create numerous Shapes, Bubbles, or different kinds of maps by selecting the map option from the Visualization Pane. Here, you can drag the data and the required fields for your map. 

Creating Maps
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm

3) Working with Combination Charts

Combinations of Line and Column Charts can be created with Microsoft Power BI. From the chart option in the Visualizations Pane, you can choose any type of Combine Chart such as Line and Clustered Column Chart or Line and Stacked Column Chart.

Combination Charts
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm

4) Working with Tables

Tables in Microsoft Power BI can be added to the Report Canvas by dragging in the relevant fields you desire. You can perform sort and other filter functions for the table along with specifying the values for each metric as shown:

Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm

5) Modifying Charts Properties like Color, Legends, etc.

An interesting element in Microsoft Power BI is the easy modification of different Data Colors, Labels, Legends, and other visuals. You can do so by clicking on the Format tab and then modifying the element that you desire. Line positions, background, lock aspect, etc. can also be modified as chart properties.

Modifying Charts
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm

6) Styling Charts and Reports

Charts and Reports can be easily styled with the page width size options, page background, size, color, transparency, image, and other options. You can choose a relevant page format or even type in a custom size as per your requirements.

Styling Charts
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm
Styling Charts
Image Source: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/power_bi/power_bi_visualization_options.htm


Thus, it can be said that Data Visualizations in Microsoft Power BI are, in fact, quite robust and customizable. With different kinds of Charts, Maps, and Views that you can include in your visualization, you can also draw in insights from different data sources to create these visualizations.

Although Microsoft Power BI supports direct connection to numerous data sources, there is still a wide range of data sources that are not supported directly by it. This results in a complicated situation since if the data from one or more sources that are not supported by Microsoft Power BI has to be analyzed, a data integration tool is required that can extract data from various sources and load it in Microsoft Power BI. One of the most well-known automated data integration platforms is Hevo.

Hevo helps you directly transfer data from a source of your choice to a Data Warehouse, a Business Intelligence tool like Microsoft Power BI, or desired destination in a fully automated and secure manner without having to write the code. It will make your life easier and make data migration hassle-free. It is User-Friendly, Reliable, and Secure.

Details on Hevo pricing can be found here. Give Hevo a try by signing up for the 14-day free trial today.

Aman Sharma
Freelance Technical Content Writer, Hevo Data

Driven by a problem-solving approach and guided by analytical thinking, Aman loves to help data practitioners solve problems related to data integration and analysis through his extensively researched content pieces.

No-code Data Pipeline For Microsoft Power BI