Custom X Axis Range

Matt Smith shows how to set a custom X axis range on Power BI charts:

The problem was the auto options for the X-Axis range was wrong and he recommended setting it manually.

To this is simple, click on the visual with the faulty X-Axis, then on the left hand menu, click the paint brush, then expand the X-Axis and manually enter the start and end

What’s interesting is that the answer came from submitting feedback from within the application.

Ways To Embed Power BI

Adam Saxton gives three methods for using Power BI on your own website:

Developers have the option to use the Power BI REST API’s to embed tiles or reports into their website or application. This option does require that the end user is signed into Power BI. This means that they will need to have signed up for Power BI. They will then see the items that they have access to.

Official Documentation – Power BI REST API’s

GitHub Sample Repo

I only remembered the first option, but the REST API is very interesting.

Custom Visuals: Chord

Devin Knight has part nine of his custom visualization series:

In this module you will learn how to use the Chord Power BI Custom Visual.  Chord diagrams show directed relationships among a group of entities using colored lines (chords); this allows for an easy representation of correlating data.

Chord diagrams, when done right, can be extremely informative.  The problem is that they’re also really confusing to the uninitiated.

Listing Enterprise-Only Features

Patrick LeBlanc has an embedded report which shows Enterprise Edition-only features:

Someone recently asked me if there was a list of all the SQL Server “Enterprise Only” features available on the web.  I pointed them to the Features Supported by the Editions of SQL Server web page and thought I was done.  He stated that this site was good, but did not provide a simple list of enterprise only features.  I thought for a second, and my thoughts went straight to Power BI.  Why?  Simple, there are tables on the web page, and Power BI can easily extract that data into a data model.  I am not going to go into all those details in this blog post.  Maybe one day, but for now take a look at this interactive Power BI report and let me know what you think.

I think this layout is a bit easier to read and follow than the features website, although I’d love to be able to click on an item and get more information on the feature.

Dot Plots

Devin Knight continues his custom visualization series:

In this module you will learn how to use the Dot Plot Power BI Custom Visual.  The Dot Plot is often used when visualizing a distribution of values or a count of an occurrence across different categorical data you may have.  Watch this module to learn more!

This particular visualization seems a bit distracting for my tastes, but check out Devin’s video.

Single Slices And Chart Slicers

Matt Allington has a post up on improving your Power BI user experience:

The example on the right adds more value over the one on the left.  The example on the right uses a column chart instead of a slicer.  The benefit of this is you can communicate more information to the user than you can with the static slicer.  In this case I am displaying the total value of each of the scenarios which means it is easy to see the relative difference between them.  And this all happens while still providing slicer capabilities thanks to the powerful cross filter feature in Power BI.  This is what I mean by adding value by thinking outside your old paradigms.

Definitely read the comments on this one; they are full of great questions and suggestions.

Power BI Costs

Adam Saxton looks at pricing in Power BI:

You can get a quick look at the differences between free and Pro by looking at the Power BI Pricing page. You can also look at the official documentation for what is Pro content.

So, that’s it! Right?

No so fast! There are other factors that may come into play, or you may be wondering about. You may think they are part of Power BI, but they may be separate.

What I like about this post is that Adam goes into detail on some of the other potential costs involved aside from product licensing.

Enhanced Scatter Visualization

Devin Knight continues his Power BI custom visuals class:

The Enhanced Scatter functions very similarly to the standard Power BI scatter chart but with a few new properties added to it including:

  • Shapes as markers

  • Background image support

  • Crosshair interaction

I’ve enjoyed going through this series and getting a chance to dig into custom visuals others have created.

Comments As Documentation

Chris Webb shows that comments in the Advanced Editor become step property tooltips:

The June release of Power BI Desktop has what seems to be a fairly unremarkable new feature in that it allows you to add descriptions to each step in a query in the Query Editor window. However the implementation turns out to be a lot more interesting than you might expect: the step descriptions become comments in the M code, and even better if you write M code in the Advanced Editor window your comments appear as descriptions in the Applied Steps pane.

I think this is a smart move, although it does mean that you have to keep those comments up to date…

Power BI KPIs

Patrick LeBlanc explains a confusing part of KPIs in Power BI:

Now, take a look at the KPI visual.  What happened?  First, you should notice a trend line on the KPI that depicts Sales Amount for each month.  This is cool and a great feature of the visual, but wait.  Why doesn’t the Indicator value and the goal match the values in the Card?  Now I see the confusion.

I appreciate that Patrick put in several embedded reports to show us exactly what’s going on.


September 2017
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