Frank Bastien 12 blogposts

Power BI: Use visuals to share information with external parties

Frank Bastien

Power BI reports are used within your organisation via a browser, mobile app, Excel and, last but not least, via Teams.

It may sometimes be necessary to highlight certain findings or a specific connection and communicate these “offline”, to external partners for example.

In a Power BI report, you can simply copy certain visuals (either filtered or not) to integrate them into reports, presentations, email communications and/or chat messages.

Power BI: Subscribe to Power BI

Frank Bastien

You can access your organisation's Power BI reports through a browser, the mobile app, Excel and, last but not least, through Teams.

However, not all users need to have daily access to the Power BI report in order to keep up with the results.

These users can simply subscribe to one or more pages of a Dashboard or Report, which can be emailed to them at their preferred frequency and time.

This is a very smart and spontaneous way to keep track of specific reports.

Need to explain a Power BI report in a presentation? Then use personal bookmarks!

Frank Bastien

Reports often have several filter options, multiple “slicers”, you can filter by visual, by page or the whole report, and then of course, there’s the interaction from other visuals. This often results in a number of clicks before you have chosen the right setting for a view.

The use of personal bookmarks is ideal for this: you make a series of selections which you save, and then you work on the basis of those selections.

If you want to use a Power BI Report to tell a story during a presentation, then this feature is invaluable. You set your personal bookmark in advance, instead of making selections “live”.  It saves a lot of clicks, and makes the transition from situation to situation seamless, eliminating the risk of making a wrong selection.

Integrate your Power BI reports in Teams

Frank Bastien

We’ve watched Teams grow into a central knowledge and communication hub in most organisations. One of the perks of this software is the fact that you can share and use your reports and analyses in it. In this post, we’ll explain how you can embed your Power BI reports in Teams.

Bulk create Teams Meetings based on an Excel list

Frank Bastien

As an HR, marketing or operational team member, you may have been confronted with situations where you need to set up individual Teams sessions for a series of colleagues.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could just create and describe those sessions in an Excel table and use that table to create all sessions automatically in Teams at the push of a button?

Well… you can! Power Automate makes it easy to set up automations like this one.

How to edit Power BI visuals as a user

Frank Bastien

In most organisations, reports in Power BI and on other BI platforms are created by specialists in consultation with the person who requested the report. While these reports meet most expectations, there are situations where users need or want to have their data presented in a different way. They might want to include an additional perspective that wasn’t in the original report, for example.

This need is often temporary and doesn’t require the existing report to be changed.

To accommodate this, Power BI now offers users the option to change the way visuals are displayed. This option is called ‘Personalize Visuals’. The precursor to this option, ‘Decomposition Tree’, was similar in some ways. In this blog post, I’ll shed some light on both options.

Use custom tooltips to create interactive BI reports

Frank Bastien

When you create a report in Power BI, you can use different kinds of visuals which are designed to let you analyse data from different perspectives. There are also several methods available to distil additional information from your data, such as drill-down, drill-through, and interactivity between visualisations.

Build your own Power BI reports based on existing data sets

Frank Bastien

In many organisations, Power BI reports or data sets are created centrally. For reports, this means the organisation aims to create them with a standard setup.

Power BI is a ‘Self-Service BI’ platform, a solution that was developed to give any average user the means to build their own reports and gain insight into specific analyses or questions.  Of course, Power BI offers a ‘light’ version of BI, because not everyone is knowledgeable about BI or has experience with it.

One of the things you can do with Power BI is create reports based on existing data sets. Data sets are the foundation of a report: they contain one or several data sources that have been prepared for use in a data set where needed, as well as the necessary calculations for the analyses performed on these data.

Power BI: Styling and storytelling in reports and dashboards

Frank Bastien

Most Power BI users are impressed with the possibility to create custom visuals, which sometimes results in very colourful reports/dashboards – and occasionally even leads to documents that teeter on the edge between looking professional or amateurish. Where do you need to draw the line?

Power BI: Using multiple date fields

Frank Bastien

Like several similar solutions, Power BI works best if data are structured in a star schema, which is a structure that consists of fact and dimension tables. Typically, one of these dimensions is the date dimension. This dimension can filter your data based on calendar-type fields. If there are multiple Date fields in the fact table (such as OrderDate, DueDate, ShipDate…), there are some considerations to take into account.

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