Home > Sample chapters

Visuals in Power BI

In this sample chapter from Microsoft Power BI Dashboards Step by Step, explore the features and benefits of various Power BI visuals, and how they can enable decision-makers to analyze aspects of the data that are important for organizational growth.

This chapter provides an overview of Power BI visuals, or visualizations, available for users to represent their data and for related analysis.

This chapter discusses out-of-the-box (OOTB) visuals from Power BI, and in what scenarios each type of visual works best. It also covers third-party visuals that can be used in Power BI—including how to download and import them into the application.

This chapter also talks about how to drill through data in Power BI and about filters available in Power BI. Filters enable you to choose precisely what data should be depicted by Power BI visuals.

Overview of visuals in Power BI

Visuals are an integral part of Power BI. Understanding them is crucial to properly implementing them in reports. This section covers the features and benefits of various Power BI visuals.

What are visuals?

A visual, or visualization, is a graphical representation of data in the form of a chart, graph, or map, which allows end users to analyze it in its simplest form. Visualizations enable decision-makers to analyze aspects of the data that are important for organizational growth. With Power BI, visually representing data is easy and straightforward, making it much easier to grasp the available information.

Benefits of using Power BI visuals

Benefits of using Power BI visuals include the following:

  • Power BI offers many visuals out of the box, which makes report development very easy. You just need to drag the visual to the report and add the necessary fields.

  • You can add filters at the visual level, page level, or report level, to make the report more relevant for users. (For more on filters, see the upcoming section, “Apply filters in Power BI reports.”)

  • You can use the R-Script Editor in Power BI to create custom visualizations. (Note that to use this feature, you must install R on your local machine.)

  • You can share visualizations in reports or on dashboards with others in your organization (assuming you have a Power BI Pro license).