Custom Visuals: How This Really Works

Power BI is first and foremost a visualization tool that allows you to tell stories from certain data. The choice of visual elements in Power BI is constantly improved. In addition, there is a gallery of visual elements, set up by Microsoft, where developers can offer their visual elements. This gives Power BI users access to an even wider choice of visuals when it comes time to build a report in Power BI. When it comes to the custom visuals at events then this process can be quite an important matter.

Visual Gallery

Who can propose visual elements?

Any developer can propose a visual element. Each must also provide a file with some examples and a help page.

Who can use these visuals?

All Power BI users are invited to use the visual elements of the gallery. However, Microsoft does not guarantee the stability of these visual elements, developed by third parties. It is therefore up to you to do a lot of tests before using them in a crucial report.

How to use these visual elements?

First, when you click on a visual element, a dialog box opens. You can download a.pbix file with examples of how to use this item, and you can also visit a help page. Finally, you can download the visual element and save it to your computer.

Info on a given visual

Once in Power BI Desktop, just click on the three small dots and choose the file to import. You will now have access to this visual element from your visualization panel.

How to upload a visual

  1. LineDot Chart

This visual element has recently been added. We love it because it is animated. If you show a graph of sales over time, you will have a bubble to represent each sales value per period, but these bubbles will not all appear at the same time. They will appear one after the other, according to the time series. The principle is similar to the one used by Power Map / 3D Map. It plays, neither more nor less, a video of your data.

  1. Performance indicator

We used this visual element a lot but Microsoft added some time ago its own performance indicator, so we use it less and less. However, this indicator presents additional information, namely the variation of the KPI in% between the beginning and the end of the time series.

  1. Bullet Chart

The majority of my customers use bullet charts to view their data and this type of chart is not available in the choices offered by Microsoft. This visual element is simple but very useful and a good contribution to the choice of native graphics.

  1. Chiclet Slier

This visual element allows to insert images in your segments (slicers) and to make a professional presentation. That said, since the appearance of this visual element in the gallery, Microsoft has greatly enhanced the options of its core segments. However, we often use the “Chiclet Slicer” because it is easy to use and gives great results.

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