How to Develop Insightful Dashboards with Microsoft PowerBI


Data visualization can be a powerful tool to communicate complex data. It is presented in an easily understood format. It is not sufficient to create a chart or graph and then call it a night. It is crucial to produce insightful reports in order to truly utilize information. Reports that communicate the story behind data.

Reports that provide insight into key trends and patterns help decision makers understand them. Identifying areas of opportunity, and making informed decisions. When bar charts and analytics graphs only tell part of the story they can lead to people making wrong decisions.

Microsoft Power BI is a tool that allows you to create holistic reports. Microsoft PowerBI is one tool that allows this.

What is Microsoft Power BI (Business Intelligence)?

Microsoft Power BI, also known as Business Intelligence Tool (BI), is a powerful business intelligence software. You can connect multiple data sources into one dashboard. Power BI allows you to model and visualize data in a holistic way.

Over 500 data connectors are available on the platform. These connectors allow users to access data from sources like Salesforce, Excel and Azure. Users can use pre-built templates to create data-rich reports faster. Virtual dashboards can be shared and collaborated on by teams.


Designing Great Data Visualization Reports

What is required to get started with Microsoft Power BI?

  • Registering for software

  • Connecting your data sources

  • Create report visualizations using its tools

But great reports go beyond that. We'll cover some tips and best practices to get the most from your Power BI output .

Consider Your Audience

Design dashboards for reporting with the end-user in mind. What do they want to see? Are they interested in sales figures? Do they want to know about insights that could help them target productivity gaps?

It is important to use clear, concise language as well as effective visuals. They help highlight the most important takeaways of the data. You can tailor reports according to the technical knowledge and business goals of your audience.

Do not overcomplicate things

Often, less can be more. You may have too many reports if your dashboard appears crowded. The more reports you add, it becomes more difficult to understand the key takeaways.

All but the essential reports should be removed. Consider using bar charts to combine different data sets into a single report. Dashboards are meant to show the most important data quickly, so try to avoid scrolling.

Explore Different Chart Types

Try presenting data in different formats. Switch between pie charts, bar charts, and more to discover the chart that best tells your story. Get some feedback when building a dashboard for your company. Ask the people who will be reviewing the reports what chart type they prefer.

Learn about Power Query

PowerQuery is an engine for data preparation. This tool can help you save a lot time when creating insightful reports. Microsoft's Power BI, Excel and other tools use this engine.

Learn how to use this tool to help you with:

  • Connecting multiple data sources to dashboard

  • Previewing data queries

  • Building intuitive queries over many data sources

  • Data size, velocity, and variety are defined

Create maps with Bing Hints

Bing and Power BI are integrated, allowing for the use of default map coordinates. Bing's mapping capabilities can be used to enhance your geocoding.

If you want to plot cities onto a map, for example, name the columns after their geographic designation. This will help Bing find the exact information you are looking for.

Tell people what they are looking at

Use text boxes and tooltips to provide context.

One or two sentences will save someone from spending 5-10 minutes trying to understand why you sent them the report. This context may help them make a faster decision. This helps to avoid confusion and misunderstandings.

Use emphasis tricks

Most people read from left to right, and top to bottom. Put your most important chart in the upper left corner. Then, follow up with the next important report.

Increase the font size, or use bold text to make certain numbers stand out. It is important that your audience grasps the main points.

Colors can be used to highlight certain things, such as "High, Middle, Low". For example, low accident levels could be colored green, mid-level accidents in yellow and high level accidents in red. This gives the data a more visual context.

Need help with Power Bi, or other Microsoft products?

We can assist you in getting started with Microsoft 365 or Power BI. Call us today to set up a time for a discussion about how you can leverage this powerful platform.