How to Create Insightful Dashboards in Microsoft Power BI

A potent method for presenting complex data is data visualization. It does so in a straightforward, understandable manner. However, merely producing a graph or chart and calling it a day is not sufficient. It’s crucial to provide meaningful reports if you want to use information effectively. reports that clearly explain the context of the data.

Decision-makers can better comprehend key trends and patterns thanks to insightful reports. Identifying opportunities and making wise decisions are also important. People may make poor decisions if analytics graphs and bar charts only provide a portion of the information.

Utilizing multiple data points is necessary to produce comprehensive and insightful reports. This is made possible, in part, by Microsoft Power BI.

What Is Microsoft Power BI?

A tool for business intelligence is Microsoft Power BI. You are able to link numerous data sources to a single dashboard. You can quickly model and analyze data holistically using Power BI.

There are around 500 distinct data connectors on the platform. These connections can access sources including Excel, Azure, Salesforce, and more. Users can use pre-built report templates to create data-rich reports more quickly. Virtual collaboration and dashboard sharing are additional options for teams.

Screenshot of the Sales and Marketing Sample dashboard.

Image is from Microsoft

Tips for Designing Great Data Visualization Reports

Getting started in Microsoft Power BI entails:

  • Signing up for the software
  • Connecting your data sources
  • Using its tools to create report visualizations
  • But creating great reports goes beyond that. Below, we’ll go through several tips and best practices for getting the most out of your Power BI output.

But creating great reports goes beyond that. Below, we’ll go through several tips and best practices for getting the most out of your Power BI output.

Consider Your Audience

Designing reporting dashboards with the user in mind is a good idea. What would you like to see for this audience? Are they interested in sales figures at the bottom line? Or do they wish to discuss information that can be used to identify productivity gaps?

Effective visualizations and the use of clear, simple language are crucial. These assist in emphasizing the main conclusions from the data. Reports should be tailored to the business objectives and level of technical understanding of the audience.

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

Sometimes, less really is more. You might be adding too many reports if your dashboard appears packed. The more you add, the more challenging it is to interpret the data’s lessons.

Take away all but the most important reports. Consider stacked bar charts as a means to combine various data sources into a single report. Do your utmost to avoid the need to scroll because dashboards are meant to display vital facts quickly.

Try Out Different Chart Types

Try several approaches of presenting your data. Switch between bar, pie, and other chart formats to determine which one best explains the data. Get feedback when creating a new dashboard for your company. Find out which sort of chart works best for the people who will be reviewing the reports.

Get to Know Power Query

Power Query is a data preparation engine. It can save you a lot of time in developing insightful reports. This engine is used in Microsoft tools like Power BI and Excel. 

Take time to learn how to leverage this tool for help with:

  • Connecting a wide range of data sources to the dashboard
  • Previewing data queries
  • Building intuitive queries over many data sources
  • Defining data size, variety, and velocity

Build Maps with Hints to Bing

Because of the integration between Bing and Power BI, you can use pre-set map coordinates. Make better use of Bing’s mapping capabilities by following best practices.

If you want to plot cities on a map, for instance, name your columns after the location. Bing can better understand what you’re looking for thanks to this.

Tell People What They Are Looking At

When presenting executives with a fresh report, the phrase “What am I looking at?” is frequently heard. Describe the significance of the facts to your audience by providing context using tools like tooltips and text bubbles.

Someone could avoid spending five to ten minutes attempting to understand why you gave them this report by using just one or two phrases. They may reach a judgment more quickly with this context. Additionally, it aids in preventing misconceptions or misinterpretation regarding the facts.

Use Emphasis Tricks

Reading is often done from top to bottom and left to right. So place the top-left corner of your most significant chart there. then the following most crucial reports.

In order to make certain numbers stand out, increase the font size or make the text bold. This makes sure that your audience is aware of the main points.

Colors can be used to emphasize other things, such as a “High, Mid, Low.” Green, yellow, and red, for instance, could represent low, mid, and high accident levels, respectively. This gives the data a more visual context.

Need Help with Power Bi or Other Microsoft Products?

We can help you get started or improve your use of Microsoft 365, Power BI, and more.

Give us a call today to schedule a chat about leveraging this powerful platform.

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Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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