Basics About Report Visualizations

Table and Matrix Visualizations 

The Table visualization was selected by default. The table is a grid that contains related data in a logical series of rows and columns. The table supports two dimensions, and the data is flat, which means that duplicate values are displayed and not aggregated. It can also contain headers and a row for totals. 

The Matrix visualization looks like the table visualization; however, it allows you to select one or more elements (rows, columns, values) in the matrix to cross-highlight other visuals on the report page. 

Bar and column charts 

Power BI Desktop has a variety of bar and column chart visualizations that present specific data across various categories in a stacked or clustered format. The stacked format will stack the information items on top of each other. 

Pie chart, donut chart, and Treemaps 

The pie chart, donut chart, and Treemap visualizations show you the relationship of parts to the whole by dividing the data into segments. From a data analysis perspective, these charts are not useful because interpreting the data that they present can be difficult. However, these charts are often used for aesthetic reasons due to the colorful segments that they display. These charts are best suited for illustrating percentages, such as the top five sales by product or country, or any other available

When using pie charts, donut charts, and Treemaps, try to avoid presenting too many categories because it results in thin slices (or rectangles) that provide no added value to the user. If you do need to present all categories in your dataset, it is better to use another type of visual, such as a column chart. 

Pie charts and donut charts present data by dividing it into slices, while the Treemap visualization displays data as a set of nested rectangles. Each level of the hierarchy is represented by a colored rectangle (branch) containing smaller rectangles (leaves). The space inside each rectangle is allocated based on the value that is being measured. The rectangles are arranged in size from top left (largest) to bottom right (smallest). 

A Treemap is ideal to visualize: 

  • Large amount of hierarchical data when a bar chart cannot effectively handle the enormous number of values. 
  • Proportions between each part and the whole. 
  • The distribution pattern of the measure across each level of categories in the hierarchy. 
  • Attributes, by using size and color coding. 
  • Spot patterns, outliers, most-important contributors, and exceptions. 

Card visualization 

The card visualization displays a single value: a single data point. This type of visualization is ideal for visualizing important statistics that you want to track on your Power BI dashboard or report, such as total value, YTD sales, or year-over-year change. 

Funnel visualization 

The funnel visualization displays a linear process that has sequential connected stages, where items flow sequentially from one stage to the next. 

Funnel charts are great options in the following contexts: 

  • When the data is sequential and moves through at least four stages. 
  • When the number of items in the first stage is expected to be greater than the number of items in the final stage. 
  • To calculate a potential outcome (revenue, sales, deals, and so on) by stages. 
  • To calculate and track conversion and retention rates. 
  • To reveal bottlenecks in a linear process. 

Gauge chart 

A radial gauge chart has a circular arc and displays a single value that measures progress toward a goal or target. 

The value at the end of the arc represents the defaulted maximum value, which will always be double the actual value. To create a realistic visual, you should always specify each of the values. You can accomplish this task by dropping the correct field that contains an amount into the Target value, Minimum value, and Maximum value fields on the Visualization pane.