In this Power BI Tutorial, we will discuss what is a dashboard in Power BI, how to create a dashboard in Power Bi? also we will see how Microsoft Power BI works. There is a step-by-step guide, where you can find all about the dashboard in Power Bi. Here we will discuss:
- What is the dashboard in Power Bi?
- What are the key features of the Power Bi dashboard?
- How to create a Power Bi dashboard from an excel report?
- How to create a Power Bi dashboard from SharePoint List?
- Discuss the custom functionalities of the Power Bi Dashboard?
- How do use a different type of templates or visuals on the dashboard?
- From where to get more visuals free download?
- How to save, share, and publish the Power Bi dashboard in Power Bi Service?
- What is the Power Bi dashboard Gallery?
- Advantages of the Power Bi dashboard
- Disadvantages of the Power Bi dashboard
What is a dashboard in Power BI?
A Power Bi dashboard is a single page of visualizations. In simple words, the Power Bi dashboard contains different types of visualization on a single page.
A single-page dashboard is known as ‘Canvas’, which tells the complete story of the data through visualization. Here is an example of the Power Bi dashboard. Have a look at it:
Users can be able to share and view these visuals on Mobile devices, using the native Power BI mobile application (Android, iOS).
Users get their visualizations from reports and each report having one dataset. The visualization you see on the dashboard is called ’tiles’, which are attached to the dashboard by the report designer.
Key features of Power Bi dashboard
Now we will discuss about key features of Power Bi dashboard. These are:
- With the Power Bi dashboard, you can work with several datasets such as excel, SharePoint online, SQL server, etc.
- It contains one or more datasets visualizations per dashboard.
- Power BI dashboard allows us to add, remove or customize visuals according to our business requirements.
- In the Power Bi dashboard, we can instantly share a dashboard with other users having the same domain email or your office colleague.
How to create a Power Bi dashboard from an excel report?
Now, let us see, how to create a Power Bi dashboard from an excel report step by step.
I hope by this time, you have already installed the Power BI desktop. You can check an article on what is Power BI and how to download and install Power BI Desktop.
Let us create our first Power BI dashboard using excel data.
First, we need to create an excel file with valid columns and data. For this particular demo, I have created a sample excel file that you can download here. The excel data looks like below:
Note: Change the name from Sheet 1 to Products in the Excel file.
To create visualizations using the above excel data, we need to upload the file into Power BI desktop.
Open Power Bi desktop, from the Home tab, click on Get data -> Excel. You can also directly select the excel file, from the Excel button in the Ribbon.
If you do not see the Excel option, then go to Get data -> More… Then from the Get Data dialog box, Click File -> Excel. Then select the excel file from the local system.
Then it will load the excel in the Navigator dialog box. Here It will show you all the sheets presented in the excel file, and we need to check the required Sheets, that we want to use in the dashboard.
Below you can see, I have selected Sheet1. Then click on Load or Transform Data.
When we click on the Load, it will load the actual data without any changes. When we click on the Transform Data, it will redirect to the query editor page, where we can format the data as well. Here we click on Load (it will take a little time to load).
Now, click on the Table icon on the page, here you can see all the excel data, as well as the fields in the Fields section (right side)
To display the Total amount on the Power BI dashboard, we need to create a column to the data table.
Here click on the New column and add the below formula in the Formula bar like below, Once you save the formula, you can see the Total Amount columns have been added and the values have been populated.
Total Amount = Products[Price]*Products[Quantity]
Now, we need to create a report. For this, click on the Report icon (left side) which will open the Report page.
Add a Heading
To add a heading to the report page, go to Home -> Text box. In the Textbox, we can change the font, color, background color, etc. like below:
Now, we can add our first visualization. Choose visuals from visualizations. There are different type of prebuild templates or visuals are available in Microsoft Power Bi.
For example, here we will create a visual that shows the product quantity by customer name. For this particular visual we would select the Donut Chart or Pie chart.
Select Pie chart from visualizations. Expand the size for better visualization. Then add data fields Customer Name and Quantity in Legend and Values respectively (You can add data fields by using drag-drop). Then it will be shown as below:
Similarly, we will create another visual to show the total amount by per product. For example, we would select here, clustered column chart.
- Axis – Product Name (Drag Product name from Fields and put it in Axis)
- Values – Total Amount (Drag Total Amount from Fields and put it in Axis)
Then the chart will be formed as below:
Also, we can visualize the total amount or total product quantity by using a card visual.
Select card from visualizations. Then drag-drop the total amount data field in the field section. Similarly, you can do it by using and applying the total quantity on another card template.
Now the dashboard will appear like below:
This is how to create power bi dashboard from excel sheet.
Here is another example, that shows you how to create a Power Bi dashboard using SharePoint list.
Create a SharePoint list or you can import the excel sheet from excel to SharePoint. The data will look like this:
Open the Power Bi Desktop. Click on Get Data -> More…, Select Online Services -> SharePoint Online List. Click on Connect.
Now a dialogue page will appear. Here you have to enter your SharePoint site URL. Click ok.
Then a Navigator page will show. Here you have to navigate your list by selecting it. For example, here we select our list i.e. Products List. It will show all the data inside that list.
Select here Transform Data, for formatting the exit data. It will open with a power query editor. If we select Load, then it will be stored without data formatting.
Similarly, add here ‘Total Amount’ to create a dashboard.
Then it will be shown as below:
Click on Close & Apply. It will come back to Report Page.
For example, let’s build a visuals using 100% Stacked Column chart, which represents the total amount of the particular product with its price respectively.
From the List of Visualization, click on a Stacked Column chart and then do the below configuration.
- Axis- Product Name (Drag Product name from Fields and put it in Axis)
- Legend- Price (Drag Price from Fields and put it in Axis)
- Values- Total amount (Drag Total amount from Fields and put it in Axis)
The dashboard will come like this.
This is how to create power bi dashboard from SharePoint list.
Discuss the custom functionalities of the Power Bi Dashboard?
Now let’s have a look at several types of custom functionalities of Power Bi Dashboard, which make our dashboard more attractive.
Select a Visual from dashboard -> Format(under visualization)
You can see various functionalities are there:
- General: Here user can customize the position and size of the visuals according to the x-axis, y-axis, height, width.
- Legend: It is used to show the legend name, title, position in the visualization. You can customize it by the on/off option.
- Data colors: As the name suggests, here you can apply more colors to make your visuals more attractive.
- Details Label: In this, you can style your label, add colors, customize the display unit, etc.
- Title: Here you can add or edit the title to your visuals. also you can change the color, alignment, font size, font family, etc.
- Background: Here you can apply or modify the background color of the selected visuals.
It also allows user to add borders, shadow, tooltips on visualization to make more beautiful.
Here is an example, where we apply the title alignment to the center, add background color and also make it transparent, edit the data color.
Different types of templates or visuals on the Power BI Dashboard:
Power bi consumes different kinds of visuals to represent reports more attractive. Here, we will discuss some important visuals, which mostly used to analyze data. Those are:
- Area chart: This chart is used to show the area between in X-axis and lines, which filled with colors. You can use this chart to visualize the profit of the products over time.
- Line chart: This chart is represented in between X-axis and Y-axis having dots that are connected with a straight line.
- Bar and column chart: These charts are representing the data in rectangular bars or columns.
- Ribbon chart: It is used to discover and visualize the data category, which has the largest value among them.
- Waterfall chart: This chart is used to visualize the total effect of data means how data goes from initial value to final value.
- Pie chart: It is a circular calculated chart. Each part of this chart represents a percentage of the total sum, which is equal to 100%.
- Donut chart: It is almost the same as Pie chart. Also, it looks like a donut. That’s why it is called a Donut chart. The only difference between the donut and pie chart is, there is a gap in the center which is used for labels or icons.
- Treemap: This visual represents the data in rectangle boxes. It shows the large data in a small region.
- Table: In a table, the data will represent in rows and columns with a grid view.
- Card: Primarily it visualizes the whole data in a single number by automated calculation. So on.
Download free Power BI Visuals
Let us see, from where we can download free Power BI visuals.
Microsoft Power Bi consists of various types of pre-built visualizations, from those we have already discussed. Apart from these visualizations, Microsoft provides some more visuals. In this session, we will see how to get those visuals and how to use this in our report. Here is the step by step guide:
- In visualizations part, an get more visuals option is there.
- Click on Get more visuals.
- It will appear different types of visuals. There is an Add option, by which you can add this visual in your visualizations. For example, we would add ‘Hierarchy slicer‘ for our visualizations.
- Click Add > OK.
- Also, there is another way to get more visuals from AppSource. For this just click on More visual(in Home Tab). Then select the option ‘From AppSource‘. You will redirect to the AppSource page.
Now we will see an example, by using this Hierarchy Slicer with following steps:
Add the Hierarchy Slicer on the page.
Add data fields in Fields. Here we will add Customer Name and Customer Location for building a Hierarchy visual. In this visual, you can expand or collapse the data by your need.
For better understanding we will add another visual(Pie chart) on that page.
When we checked or select any person’s name then it will show all the respective locations of this person. Also, the data will be displayed in Pie chart.
For example, On the hierarchy slicer visual, we choose only a person’s name(i.e. Priya). The visualization also reflects on the pie chart.
It will represent data like below:
This is how to add more visuals from AppSource to make your visualization more creative and attractive.
In this part, we will learn how to save our Power bi dashboard and then publish it in power bi service. To save the Power BI dashboard, follow the below steps:
Step-1: On Power Bi Dashboard, go to File tab.
Step-2: Click on Save.
Step-3: It will ask to give a name to your File(dashboard). You can notice here, the type of file by default showing as Power Bi file(*.pbix).
Step-4: Give a name to your dashboard and click on Save.
Step-5: Now it saved in your local system with the extension of Power Bi(*.pbix)
Now we will see how to publish this dashboard in Power Bi service:
Go to the Power bi desktop. Open the Power Bi dashboard(i.e. products dashboard) which you want to publish in the cloud or Power Bi service.
In the File > Publish > Publish to Power Bi, which indicates to publish that report online in power bi service or you can see an option as Publish on dashboard page for publishing the dashboard.
Click on Publish to Power Bi > Save.
It will redirect to a page, where we have to select a destination. Select My workspace. Click on Select.
Step-5: Click on select, it will move to another page. Which show you the success message also having quick insights and a quick link, that will redirect you to the Power bi app page.
Also you can click on Power BI service to get your visual, that you created.
Click on the first blue line that will open your Products dashboard in power Bi service.
If you click on Get quick insights link then you will get several types of insights, a subset of your data that was analyzed and designed.
There is a certain question, how to share our visuals with other user. Here is the answer.
As we use the Power BI Desktop or free version, it does not allow us to share Power Bi visuals with other users. It only allows publishing reports from Power Bi desktop to Power Bi Service. If you are using a pro or premium version of Power Bi then you can able to share your visuals with other pro or premium Power Bi users.
What is the power Bi dashboard Gallery?
Microsoft Power Bi community provides a gallery having a number of pre-build visuals that deal with updated data of the real world.
You can get more ideas from the below link:
Advantages of the Power Bi Dashboard
Power Bi simplifies the data and representing it in a dynamic visualization. There are several advantages to the Power Bi dashboard. Let’s discussed here one by one:
- Easy to start. If you are a beginner, still you are able to create a dashboard from your data.
- Power Bi allows viewing Power BI dashboard or report on multiple platforms or devices. You can check it from mobile, tablet through their native application like Android, iOS, iPad, windows, etc.
- Power Bi dashboard is like a canvas, that having one or more visuals on a single page at a time.
- The drag-drop functionalities help end-user to create their own report in a minute.
- It allows saving in the local system.
- Also, it allows publishing the Power bi dashboard on the Power Bi cloud service.
- If you are a pro user then you have the ability to set up the alert.
Disadvantages of the Power Bi Dashboard
Some disadvantages of the power bi dashboard, that we must to know. There are:
- If you are using Power Bi free version, then it does not allow the user to share visuals with others.
- There is a limitation when dealing with large data. The data must not be larger than 250MB.
- It is rigid in handling the relationship between tables.
- It is not appropriate for advanced analytics from big data.
- There is no filtration that occurs in Power Bi Dashboard.
You may like the following Power BI tutorials:
- How to combine multiple files from SharePoint folder in Power BI
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- How to embed Power bi report in PowerApps portal
- How to display Power bi google analytics in PowerApps
- Power BI: How to Connect Most Recent File from a Folder
- Power bi best practices
From this above tutorial, we learned how to create a Power Bi dashboard in power bi? Also, we discussed:
- What is the Power Bi dashboard?
- How to create a dashboard in Power Bi?
- How to create a Power Bi dashboard using the excel file?
- How to create a Power Bi dashboard using the data from the SharePoint list?
- How to save, share, and publish the dashboard in the Power bi service?
- How to get more visuals and how to use those visuals with examples?
- Know about customizing functionalities to make visualization more attractive.
- Advantages and disadvantages of power bi dashboard
After working for more than 15 years in Microsoft technologies like SharePoint, Office 365, and Power Platform (Power Apps, Power Automate, and Power BI), I thought will share my SharePoint expertise knowledge with the world. Out audiences are from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, etc. For my expertise knowledge and SharePoint tutorials, Microsoft has been awarded a SharePoint MVP(8 times), check out My MVP Profile. I have also worked in companies like HP, TCS, KPIT, etc.