Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Overview of visualizations, part of Power BI Pro Essential Training.
- [Voiceover] Reports like the one you see here, are composed of a set of visualizations, which are essentially charts. Although some of them are not traditional charts in the way that we would think of charts from Excel. What they have in common, is that they are all based on the same data set. We can construct reports from scratch. We can also edit reports, like the report that we have here. The way we'll work with reports is to manipulate the visualizations. It helps us to know what visualizations are possible.
We see a number of them here, and some of them look familiar. We see a pie chart for example; on the right hand side, a column chart; on the lower right hand side, a bubble chart; and on the left hand side, a geo-spatial chart, or a map. If we look at district monthly sales, again, some very familiar chart types from Excel. Even this visualization here in the lower right hand corner, it's a visualization, but it's composed of text, rather than images.
Finally, other visualizations that are tiles with numbers on them. Let's take a look at the visualizations that are available right now from Microsoft for Power BI. First, we have the visualizations that are charts in the traditional sense of the word. You'll know these from Microsoft Excel, bar charts, column charts, line charts, area charts, which are line charts that are filled underneath, and pie charts. Hopefully you're familiar with all of those, because these are, despite the fact that one's a pie, they're really the bread and butter of visualizations in Excel.
Then some other charts that we know from Excel as well, a combo chart, for example a line and column, a line and a bar; a bubble chart; scatter charts, or XY charts; and donut charts. All of these are Excel chart types. Then we get to types that are not. Gauge charts for example, which show a gauge like a gas gauge. Very easy to see, for example, there's a goal and we've completed some percentage of that goal. Funnel charts and waterfall charts are the most esoteric chart types of the built in chart visualizations.
Waterfall charts are used to show changes, for example, in a variance over time. Funnel charts are often used to show, for example, time or expenditures on different phases of a project. Then we have text visualizations. The single number card, or the big number card is the visualization that we saw that simply has one number in the middle of it. So, it's an easy way to show a count of the data that we're seeing. How many stores, how many states? A multi-row card shows information from multiple fields for one item.
It might have first name, last name, and address, for example, or the store, its sales and its city and state. We can then display data as a table, or as a matrix. All of these are text visualizations. Then we have visualizations that are geo-spatial. For example, maps where each data point is a pin in a map, or filled maps, where the intensity of the color is showing us something about the contribution from that area.
Filled maps are almost always used for recognizable, geographic areas, states, or counties, for example. Slicers are used in Power BI as they are used in Excel with tables or pivot tables. They're a visible filter. Although many of the visualizations can also be used as a filter, but slicers are a clear way to allow users to filter. Finally, we have a visualization which is an image. This could simply be a logo that we are placing on a page.
We combine these visualizations to tell a story in a report. Then when we're ready to share that story with others, we take one or more of the visualizations from the report and we place them into a dashboard that can be shared. With the plethora of visualizations that are available, often what you'll focus on most is what visualization best tells the story that you want to tell. Even though charts are very attractive, choosing the right chart type or perhaps choosing to use text rather than a chart may provide a clearer story in the dashboard that you wish to share with your colleagues.
New visualizations are being added all the time, and they're often added as custom visualizations, which we will talk about later in this chapter.
- Signing up for Power BI Pro
- Connecting to data sources
- Uploading data such as CSV and XLS files
- Creating reports, visualizations, charts, and maps
- Filtering, sorting, copying, and pasting visualizations
- Downloading custom visuals from the gallery
- Modifying existing reports
- Creating and managing data dashboards
- Querying data with Power BI Q&A and Microsoft Cortana
- Sharing report and dashboards
- Using Power BI Desktop and mobile apps