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Creating a Dashboard on Power BI

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  • March 27, 2022

In this article, we are going to figure out how to create a microsoft bi dashboard. For this, I will be using a sample dataset on Power BI to walk you through the process step by step. You can tag along and follow me for practice!

Loading a Sample Dataset on Power BI

If you happen to have no dataset to work with and still want to learn how to create a dashboard, you can do so by loading a sample dataset on Power BI itself!

The first thing that you need to do is open Power BI Desktop. Click “Get Data.”

get data on power bi

Once you have done that, you will be provided with options to get data from different sources. Click on “Try a sample dataset.”

adding data to report

Once you have clicked on it, a pop-up will appear, click on “Load sample data.”

trying sample dataset on power bi

For me, the financials sample dataset appeared on screen. I ticked the first table and clicked on “Load.”

loading sample dataset on power bi

Getting Started with Creating a Dashboard

Now that we have a dataset, the next step will be to create a dashboard.

What Is a Dashboard?

According to Wikipedia, “A dashboard is a type of graphical user interface which often provides at-a-glance views of key performance indicators (KPIs) relevant to a particular objective or business process.”

According to Klipfolio, “A data dashboard is an information management tool used to track, analyze, and display key performance indicators, metrics, and data points.”

Microsoft BI dashboard provides businesses with instant access to key information such as sales numbers. It has also been observed by healthcare businesses that using a dashboard assists in improving patient results such as declining infection rates. It is important to know what all should be included in a dashboard to make the most out of it.

What Does a Dashboard Include?

A dashboard comprises all reports’ important details (the reports might be for a business to observe its performance, etc.) in a graphical manner in the form of graphs, charts, and so on.

Now that we are familiar with this. Let us begin our process of creating it. Once you load the financials sample data on your Power BI dashboard, you will be provided with a blank rectangular screen and various options on the right side of the screen. The blank rectangular screen is which will comprise all your charts and graphs. That is where you will create your dashboard!

The “Fields” section shows all the data which you loaded on Power BI software. I had ticked and loaded only one sheet from the the financials sample data and that’s why only that specific sheet’s data is available for me.

When you expand financials, you will be provided with every single column headings which will assist you in gathering more insights from it.

The “Visualizations” section on the right-hand side(next to Fields) comprises of all the charts and graphs you will in order to create a dashboard. Not just charts and graphs but, you can also import R script visuals, Python visuals, Decomposition tree, and more.

Now that we are familiar with the basics, let us begin with experimenting our data by graphically displaying it.

Steps To Creating a Dashboard

I’m selecting the “Stacked Column chart” for this experiment.

microsoft bi dashboard

Since I selected that chart, I’m now able to see it on the dashboard. However, if you look closely, it has no information in it. How come? It’s because we didn’t select the data fields for the graph! Power BI alone isn’t smart enough to figure out which data we want on which graph unless and until we inform it.

In order to update the data fields to the selected graph, Head onto the “Fields” section.

Please keep in mind that you cannot tick two columns randomly just for the sake of making a graph. Although a dashboard with a lot of graphs will appear nice, the main purpose of a dashboard is to present the most significant facts and insights.

Ticking random columns makes no logic and provides no insights into the data, rendering the graph meaningless!
If you choose “Month Name” and “Date,” the image below is what will be displayed when you turn that specific portion into a graph. (In order to select any data, just tick it from the “Fields” section after ticking a graph of your preference from “Visualizations” section.)

Will this offer us with any relevant information, or perhaps any information at all? No! However, if you combine “Month Name” with “Profit,” the data will look like this after it’s transformed into a graph.

microsoft bi dashboard power bi

This type of data is what we call meaningful data. This is because just looking at this graph helps us understand a lot about the company’s earnings. It gives us answers to inquiries such as,

  • “How much profit was earned each month?”
  • “Which month made the most profit?”
  • “Which month made the least profit?”
  • “Is there a recurring pattern in this?”
  • “Is the profit fluctuating a lot month after month, or is it consistent?”

Just like this, we will add more graphs/charts representing important data! The next chart which I want to include in this dashboard will be a “line chart.” This time I’m going to combine “Units Sold” Field with “Month Name” Field and convert it into a meaningful chart.

Why This Info In Particular?

This is because it will enable me to determine how many units were sold each month. Not only that, but I can also relate this with the other chart. For example, in October, 2,01,104 units were sold, resulting in a profit of 34,39,781.02. In May, 51,771 items were sold, resulting in a profit of about $8,28,640.06. What we may deduce from this is that as the quantity of units climbed month after month, so did the profit.

However, 53,420 units were sold in the month of March. Since the units have grown, we may just have predicted that the profit will be larger than the profit obtained in May. Instead, its profit was $6,69,866.87, which was $158,773.19 less than the business’s profit in May. So what we can clearly determine from this data is that the units did not rise month after month, nor did they increase steadily, but rather at random. Do you see how much insight we were able to gather just from 2 charts? A dashboard includes multiple charts containing such data which helps analysts summarize important information.

I’m going to follow the same steps which I did for creating the previous chart.

After following the steps, the following is how my microsoft bi dashboard will look:

power bi

One more thing if I haven’t mentioned it already earlier, you can move these graphs anywhere on the dashboard. So if I wanted to relocate the second chart opposite to the first chart, I could do it easily by just left-clicking and dragging it where I want it to be. You can also modify its size by left clicking it.

I just modified the microsoft bi dashboard!

Completing My Existing Dashboard

In order to complete my dashboard, I combined more such fields from the financials sample data and created different charts available in the “Visualizations” section.

The following is what my microsoft bi dashboard looks like:

power bi dashboard

I hope I was able to help you!

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