Data visualization has grown to become an integral part of our work lives, be it personal or corporate. Data visualization has got immense possibilities: it can simplify the most complex facts and figures and transform raw data into useful business insights. Microsoft’s data visualization suite, Power BI comes as a handy tool, easing up data operations and making decisions. One of the distinguishing features of Power BI service is its dashboard.
A Power BI dashboard is a single page visualization that can be configured to display key metrics for analytics, insights and more. The dashboard also known as canvas, visualizes only the highlights of a story. The details can be analyzed in the related reports.
Dashboards are a feature unique to Power BI service alone, and not available on Power BI Desktops. Also, you can view and share your dashboards on mobile devices, but not create them on mobile.
A Power PI dashboard is actually a well knit set of tiles, which you can selectively pin to your dashboard. And each report is based on a dataset. You can think of dashboards as a connection to the reports and datasets in the backend. Clicking on one visualization guides you to the report in the backend and you can update the dataset to see changes update automatically to your dashboard.
Dashboards aren’t just about seeing your data in a pretty way, but it is about being interactive and updating tiles as and when the backend data changes.
Dashboards are a wonderful way to monitor any system, be it machine performance or business insights, by keeping only the key metrics in view. The dashboard visualizations are not limited to one data set, but can be based upon multiple data sets and reports. Regardless of whether the data is stored on cloud or on-premises, a dashboard can combine both kinds of data to provide a consolidated view.
Now that we know how data-driven a Power BI Dashboard can be towards gaining business insights along with dashboard basics, let’s dive right in! Here is the ultimate step by step Power BI dashboard building guide.
In the first step of our Power BI dashboard guide, we import a sample Power BI dataset and use it to create our own custom dashboard. Our sample dataset is an Excel Workbook with two sheets. On importing the workbook in Power BI, it adds a dataset along with a report to our workspace. The report is created automatically using the Excel sheets.
The report, by default, opens in Reading view. Each tab on the left of the worksheet should represent a page of the report.
Image Source: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/service-dashboard-create
Power BI should then open up a new dashboard. It has one tile containing the visualization you just pinned.
Now that you have created your own dashboard, it’s time to customize your charts on the basis of the kind of data you are using to gain insights upon. This is a significant step, and if not considered properly, your data visualization may turn misleading.
The following few strategies might prove helpful:
There are mainly 4 classifications of charts based on their functionality:
The types of charts that prove the best suitable for portraying these classifications of data are:
Once your dashboard is self- sufficient with the right insights and charts, click on the Save button on the toolbar. Since Power BI charts are built over Excel data, they shall keep updating as and when you update your Excel sheet.
You also get the option to Publish your dashboard to the Power BI service for sharing purposes.
Congrats! You just created your first custom dashboard! Keep exploring and customizing your dashboards.