What you need to know to start using Microsoft Power BI
Power BI can help any business see valuable insights that lead to profits. And the good news is, you do not have to be an expert to use it.
Tips & tricks if you’re new to Power BI
1. Talk the Talk
If you are totally new to Power BI here are a few terms to get you started:
- Visuals aka Tiles: the elements that provide the means for you to tell a story with your data and the pages of your Power BI report such as bar graphs, scatterplots, tables, pie charts, maps, and more.
- Report: the backbone of Power BI. Most users will pull in their data and create a report with multiple pages featuring lots of visuals in both Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service. One way to visualize a Power BI report is to think of it as a PowerPoint presentation with however many slides you need. That “presentation” is a Power BI report, and the slides are Pages with navigation tabs on the bottom for you to move between your report pages.
- Dataset: the collection of data that you’ll use in visuals to tell a story with your data. Datasets can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet or as complicated as a combination of SQL server tables. Your dataset is the basis of your report and subsequent dashboard.
- Dashboard: the Power BI Service from reports. Think of a dashboard as a high-level summary of your dataset(s). This dashboard is a single “page” with visuals from a single report or multiple reports. Dashboards are meant to provide quick insights in the data you have presented in your report(s).
2. Tell a story with your data
3. Ask Questions
Once you determine which questions to ask, then you can create visuals to represent those questions.
4. Keep Reports Simple and Straightforward
Other tools Power BI has to help you get your point across include word usage charts, box and whisker models, and circular matrices. The more you master the built-in features of Power BI, the better you will be at executing and leveraging your reports.
5. Customize Report Designs
Audiences will be drawn to fluid and colorful visual designs in your reports. And Power BI provides you with full control over the appearance of your reports.
- Apply contrast within visuals
- Implement optimal color palettes
- Highlight important data with color
- Consider color vision deficiencies
- Use color with purpose
- Choose appropriate color scales
- Use color to differentiate key elements
- Distinguish color and data