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Data Visualization

Data Visualization with Microsoft Power BI - Basics and Beyond

Navdeep Singh Gill | 13 April 2023

Data Visualization with Microsoft Power BI

Introduction to Microsoft Power BI

There are several tools that make it easier for us to analyze the trajectory of business assets using data. However, Microsoft Power BI is something so unique that makes it super easy to make data-driven decisions.

It is one of the oldest, most famous, and most accessible tools for Data Visualization and business intelligence. From different sources, it collects and helps to convert into an interactive dashboard and BI reports. It is available as a Power BI Desktop, and mobile but also available for it service based on Saas. Business users use a set of services provided by it to create reports and achieve a goal. It apps help in generating reports, whereas its services help in publishing reports. It is a cloud-based service provided by Microsoft that helps viewers to visualize data, and this process is called Data visualization with it.

It helps in sorting, analyzing, and comparing data more frequently and quickly. It is compatible with various resources like Microsoft Excel, Access Database, SQL Server, which helps make the best choice for data analysts.

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Installation process of Power BI

It only runs on Windows machines if Mac users want to use that they need to have Windows Azure and load Power BI onto that, which can connect it to MAC directly from the cloud. User can use it in two manners:-

  • In the online version, from the Microsoft store, install the app and sign up.
  • Software is downloaded locally and then install it. Try to follow all the installation process.

Pro Tip: It is available in two versions, i.e., .32-bit and 64-bit.To get the latest version to follow this link

install power bi

3. Click on Download; you will get a pop-up window that will ask to open on Microsoft store. After that, you will get an install option, then click on Install. When all the installation process is completed, you will get a window like this.

power bi installation complete

Key features of Microsoft Power BI

  1. Data Visualization using it provides a full variety of visualizations like stacked column chart, matrix chart, filled map, funnel chart, waterfall chart. It helps in creating attractive dashboards and reports.
  2. It takes data from various sources like Excel, SQL Server, and many more. Dataset is used to create a dashboard using different visualizations. Datasets can be filtered and sometimes a subset of essential data.
  3. A tile in Data visualization with it contains a single visualization in the dashboard. Tiles help in comparing different information to get a clear view of the result. Tiles are adjustable and can be placed anywhere.
  4. Power Bi also provides a navigation pane in which users can use navigator from a data view to a relationship view and a report view. Users can also navigate between reports, dashboards, and dataset conventionally.
  5. Reports in it contain various dashboards of a different kind. The report helps in representing a complete and structured presentation of data in multiple manners.
  6. It has a particular functionality called Q&A functionality. It is the fastest way of getting the answer to your question using natural processing. Due to this functionality, it is top-cited in gaining SELF-SERVICE BI.
  7. It is easy to use and does not require any special skills. Therefore, ordinary users can access it easily.
  8. Data Visualization using it has one more special functionality called DAX (Data Analysis Expression). For performing analytics, it has predefined codes and specific functionality. Around 200 functions are available in the Power BI library.
  9. Feedback and help buttons are used in setting various options like giving feedback, downloading, and asking for help.
  10. Most of its product is updated every month with more functionality.
A method of translating raw data into visual forms like charts, graphs, and maps. Click to explore about our, Graph Analytics and Knowledge Graph Use Cases.

Data Connectivity in Power BI

Let us practice connecting data in it. To do this, click on get data you will get a display window like this.

launch power bi

To get data from various resources like excel, Access database, SQL Server, click on Get data. A drop down will be displayed like this.


excel with power bi

After clicking on the Excel option, you will get a window like this; you will get a preview of all the sheets that you want to load, then click on the Load tab.

power bi excel option

After clicking on the load tab, you will see the data of Excel file

excel sheet data

This is a relationship view that will represent the relationship between two sheets by putting a line between them.

power bi excel attributes relation

SQL Server

Click on the Get data, click on More, drag mouse on the database and click on the SQL Server Database.

SQL power BI

Press the Connect button; then, it will ask the server name and database name (which is optional) and select import then OK.

SQL server database

What are the types of visualization in Power BI?

Power BI visualization

It helps in designing reports which are collections of various visualization charts or graphs. Reports are represented on two or three pages, and they are sometimes related to one. Like this, a cluster helps in differentiating the time spent by each employee on a particular project.

designing reports in power bi

The pie chart is used to display the contribution of every employee in project p0001.

power bi pie chart

This treemap will represent emp id will employee having bonuses and their gender.

power bi tree map

This card will help to show terms like total productivity, total income, count of employees like it is telling no of hours spent on each project.

Many more visualization charts and graphs are available, like stack column charts, donut charts, map charts, and slices.

Designing a Dashboard in Power BI

A dashboard is a selection of various Data Visualization Tools like a pie chart, slice, KPI, cluster Bar Chart, and many more. This helps in comparing multiple fields simultaneously. As we know, the report consists of two or more pages, where the dashboard is of a single page.

We are living in a data-driven world and the amount of data continues to expand. Its potential is teaching us to grow together with it. Data wants to tell us its story. Know more about Real-Time Streaming Data Visualization

How to create an attractive dashboard?

Once we are done with the dataset according to our requirements, they will start designing our dataset. Its dashboard provides visualization tools that will tell a story better on a single page. Let’s take a real-life example to understand it better.

Emp_id By Productivity

This tells employees with the highest productivity using the line chart.

power bi employee productivity

Total_income and productivity By Emp_id

This is a treemap that will tell the total income and productivity of each employee.

total income chart power bi

Time spent on each project By Emp_id

This will represent the contribution of each employee in each project.

time spent power bi graph

Points to be considered about the dashboard

  1. This is a complete dashboard as we can see this is colorful; the proper font is used; everything will be apparent to the viewer.
  2. Dashboards will help the viewer to make decisions faster and frequently.
  3. Data Visualization using it does not need any special technical skills.
  4. The dashboard should be designed in such a way it should look attractive and catch the human eye automatically.


With the usage of Power BI, it helps in solving significant problems in seconds by displaying data on the dashboard using attractive colors, proper fonts, maximum interactivity, and providing the facility of sharing dashboards with others. It techniques in it also helps in taking data from different sources like Excel, SQL databases, and websites. It using Power BI in Excel provides an neat and clean dashboard that will help the viewer to make a faster decision. It is one of the most accessible data visualization tools and does not require any technical skills. It helps the viewer to reach their goal and think further. If we do experiments and practice, it helps in learning more features in analyzing and also make us familiar with it. We want to create the best visualization with it by doing more and more revisions at 

each stage.