7 Best Power BI Visuals You Must Know in 2023

Data visuals are the most critical component of any business analysis tool. Currently, Power BI is one of the leading tools in data analysis field. Also, it is known as one of the industry standards for creating data visualization through its different types of visual charts and tables.

Ever thought that is Power BI easy to learn for creating data visualization reports? If yes, then you must know that Power BI contains a plethora of visual that easily make data stand out.

To optimally leverage Power BI, you must understand the essential visuals and their application in different scenarios.

And that’s why we are here today.

Today we will look at the seven best Power BI visuals and top 5 custom Power BI visuals to help you build the most information-rich dashboard. These tools ensure that you can create a visual experience in storytelling via data.

7 Best Power BI Visuals

Detailed data is complex and overwhelming. Power BI brings excellent interactive data visualizations perfect for your needs when you want to learn to make a good report in Microsoft Power BI.

Here’s a list of top 7 visuals from Power BI that make complex information easily understandable.

  1. Data Representation with Waterfall Chart

    The waterfall chart is highly important and one of the best Power BI visuals. It displays the variation in the initial value (or the first column) and the final value (or the last column). Waterfall charts also show you how the values have changed positively or negatively.

    Waterfall charts in Power BI

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    In the image above, the portion of the chart from FEB to AUG displays the effect on the initial value by positive and negative changes. The waterfall chart is also sometimes referred to as the bridge chart because of the ‘bridge’ of negative and positive values it creates.

    Why to Create Waterfall Charts?

    Waterfall charts are great for displaying changes in a specific unit of measurement over time. For instance, when you want to visualize the changes in net income throughout some time, the waterfall chart is the most suitable visual to depend on.

    When to Use Waterfall Visual Chart?

    • To visualize changes in money spent and earned over a while
    • To display changes in annual profit
    • To display the sales of a product or service and the money earned from it
    • To show the employee census for a year
  2. Data Visualization with Table Chart

    Tables are a common yet robust form of visualization that Power BI offers. It is rows and columns of related data points arranged in a way that makes sense logically.

    Tables in Power BI reports

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    A single category may have multiple values that come underneath it. And a table can represent this in an orderly manner.

    Why to Create Table Chart Visuals?

    Tables are a great choice of visualization when you need to compare data points. Data is present in rows and columns, making it easy for further manipulation.

    When to Use the Table Visual Chart?

    • To visualize a significant category with multiple values
    • To visualize data points in a tabular view
    • To compare numerical (data) values
  3. Data Representation with Bar and Column Chart

    Use bar and column charts to create effective dashboards. In Power BI, bar and column charts are one of the most common data visualizations.

    Bar and column charts_1
    Bar and column charts

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    Depending on whether you need a horizontal or vertical view, you can choose the bar chart or the column chart for your on-demand requirements to present data in a report.

    Why to Opt for Bar and Column Chart Visuals?

    Bar charts are helpful when you need to visualize a value across different categories. On the contrary, column charts display a single category changing its values over time.

    When to Use Bar and Column Chart Visuals?

    • To display long data labels using bar charts
    • To display a large number of data sets within a category
    • To display any negative data point using column charts
  4. Visualize Your Data with Combo Chart

    As the name suggess, combo charts combine two different visuals. It forms when you visualize data using column and line charts.

    Combo charts

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    Why to Opt for Combo Chart Visuals?

    One of the main reasons why combo charts work is they provide better insight into the data in a fraction of the time. At a glance, more information is relayed to you by both visuals.

    When to Use Combo Chart Visuals?

    • To display more information in less space
    • To display data with the same X axis but a different Y axis
    • To display the relationship between two different categories
  5. Make Visualization of Your Data with Area chart

    Area charts or layered charts are also popular visuals. It is used in two ways—basic charts or stacked area charts. The basic chart highlights the area contained within the line chart and the Axis.

    Area charts Basic Layered and Stacked

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    In stacked area charts, one or more basic charts are stacked on top to display related information within the same parameters of measure. Unlike basic charts, stacked charts measure changes as a combination of many smaller quantities.

    Stacked Area Chart

    Source: Microsoft Power BI Community

    Why to Opt for Area Chart Visuals?

    Area chart visuals are useful in cases where you need to capture a trend. Using the area chart, you can visualize total value changes over a timeframe and compare them.

    When to Use Area Chart Visuals?

    • To compare trends over time
    • To see changes in total value
    • To see the total profit of a business from profits over time
    • To highlight the magnitude of the undergone change
  6. Data Visualization with Funnel Charts

    Funnel charts are an interesting visual to work with. It is powerful to display linear data in a sequential, top-down format.

    funnel charts

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    For instance, a sales funnel is an ideal example of a funnel chart. You can visualize data effortlessly, where every stage forms a part of the total. Here, you filter data through stages where the first stage will be the largest of them all and so on.

    Why to Opt for Funnel Chart Visuals?

    Funnel charts are great visuals when data trickles down to smaller values. A funnel chart is ideal for visualization if data goes through at least four levels.

    When to Use Funnel Chart Visuals?

    • To understand conversion rates like in a sales funnel
    • To track the flow for scenarios like marketing campaigns, and shopping carts.
    • For data that grows smaller as each stage completes.
  7. Data Visualization with Gauge Charts

    A gauge chart, also known as the radial gauge chart, is an arc with the value measured against a goal or a key performance indicator (KPI).

    Radialmessgerät-Diagramme in Power BI

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    The line here indicates the target value you need to achieve. The larger text value indicates the current value it is at. Along the ends, there is also a minimum and maximum that the current value can progress toward.

    Why to Opt for Gauge Chart Visual?

    A gauge chart can easily represent sales of a product each month. The line or needle will point to the sales goal you need to achieve. And the current value will be the number of products that you have successfully managed to sell so far. In scenarios such as these, with only a single goal, gauge charts are a far better choice for a visual.

    When to Use the Gauge Chart Visuals?

    • To measure progress against a business KPI
    • To display only one unit of measurement
    • For an easy understanding of the current state of progress
  8. Those were the top visuals of Power BI. However, if you are looking for additional flexibility and customizations, bi visuals will not disappoint you. There are a plethora of custom visuals that are fully customizable as per your unique requirements.

List of 5 Best Power BI Custom Visuals

Power BI houses a library of fully customizable, open-source visualization tools. You no longer need to share regular data. Instead, an interactive and easy-to-understand representation of your data is readily available to you using Power BI custom visuals. Learn more about what Microsoft Power BI does. So, you can utilize Power BI properly for complete data analysis.

Now, here are the top 5 Power BI custom visuals that you should know.

  1. Creating Data Visualization with Text Filter

    Text Filter is a simple custom (visual) filter you can use to enhance data visualization. It is a search box that filters out data in a dashboard.

    Text Filter

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    The most remarkable feature of using a text filter. If you have a rich dashboard with many visuals and want to filter it all simultaneously, you can do so using this custom visual.

    Why to Use Text Filter Visual?

    Text filters are perfect when you want to display only a part of the data from the whole set. It is also one of the simplest custom visuals to set up, so you can use it for quick filtering scenarios.

    When to Use Text Filter Visuals?

    • To quickly filter and display only a subset of data
    • To filter all other visuals on the dashboard in one go
    • To filter using text
  2. Data Visualization with Play Axis or Dynamic Slicer

    It becomes crucial to relay information effortlessly when demonstrating or presenting data to an audience. Play Axis, also known as Dynamic Slicer or Power BI slicer, makes this an easy task.
    Dynamic Slicer

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    Sometimes situations require you to animate charts for visual purposes. In that case, a dynamic slicer can animate the other dashboard visuals by clicking the ‘play’ button.

    Why to Opt for Play Axis Visuals?

    Play Axis is the perfect tool to animate your visuals. It creates a dynamic viewing experience, and you only need to focus on the data and the trends it depicts.

    When to Use Play Axis Visuals?

    • To present data in a meeting
    • To avoid too many clicks on the dashboard
    • To smoothly display the evolution of data
  3. Timeline Slicer

    This certified visual is a date range selector filter. The Timeline Slicer allows filtering data within a lower and higher level range.

    Timeline Slicer

    Source: Microsoft Power Bi

    Instead of filtering dates by date format, the Timeline Slicer simplifies data visualization. Even more impressive is that you can switch out Months to Years or Quarters.

    Why Timeline Slicer visual?

    Timeline Slicer is a great visual to make date filtering more interactive. It is also more visually pleasing and makes data easier to interpret. If you don’t require filtering using exact dates and only an approximate range, then the Timeline Slicer is a better choice for a visual.

    When to use Timeline Slicer visual?

    • To show crucial filters on the report canvas
    • To filter using a date range and not an exact date
    • For views that quickly need to switch between months, years, or even quarters
    • To reduce the clicks in selecting dates within the dashboard
  4. Create Data Visualization with Tornado Chart

    Tornado charts are an advanced version of a bar chart. It is a great visual tool for comparative studies of data. Each category has a low and a high value.

    Column Chart (Side by Side) visual

    Source: Microsoft Power BI Community

    Tornado charts successfully relay the variations of inconsistent inputs. You can easily embed this into your dashboard as an open-source visual for a more comprehensive data visualization.

    Why to Opt for Tornado Chart Visual?

    A tornado chart is handy for a relative comparison between actual values and the variables it depends on. A tornado chart can easily deduce the low and high outputs reached for variable values.

    When to Use Tornado Chart Visuals?

    • To display sensitivity analysis
    • To compare variables with a value
    • For general purpose comparisons
  5. Make Data Visualization with Zebra BI Charts and Tables

    Zebra BI Charts and Tables are a user-friendly custom Power BI visual perfect for all types of reporting purposes. It is a flexible tool for creating reports that meet security standards and enables you to create complex Power BI reports that combine waterfall charts, small multiples, and some other advanced features. It is also a free visual with a license available for advanced features.

    Zebra BI Tables

    Source: Microsoft Power BI

    Why to Opt for Zebra BI Chart Visual?

    If you want a dashboard with multiple visual elements, then Zebra BI custom charts are probably the tool of choice. You can create different options, from comparison zebra bi tables and cross tables to hierarchical tables.

    When to Use Zebra BI Chart Visuals?

    • To create income statements, variance analysis, and other business reports
    • To display the business forecast

Got more questions about Power BI visuals? Here are the answers to your FAQs.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many visuals are available in Power BI?

Power BI has a multitude of Power BI visualizations available for different scenarios. From line charts, pie charts, bar charts, ribbon charts, and even R script visuals, there is a type for every kind of data representation. The most commonly used data visuals are bar charts, area charts, pie charts, and more.

Is Tableau better or Power BI in visuals?

Since both Tableau and Power BI are top business intelligence solutions in the market today, they both have their similarities and differences. Power BI has an ease of use factor, especially considering visual tools’ drag-and-drop functionality. It also offers a variety of visualizations serving multiple functionalities compared to Tableau. Power BI Service is also a powerful customer help tool for tool insights.

Why is Power BI so popular?

Power BI visualization is known for its many advantages—flexibility, scalability, and ease of use. It is an essential tool for all types of data analytics work. Lastly, the Power BI dashboards are user-friendly and serve as a top business intelligence solution.

Use the Best Visuals to Create Powerful Data Analysis Reports

In a time when data has precedence like never before, organizations equipped with proper knowledge of Power BI visuals will definitely leap far ahead.

Power BI is one of the best visualization tools from Microsoft that aids business analytics by extracting powerful information from large datasets. Power BI data visualization helps you create a stunning visual representation of complex data. This makes data easy to understand and enables smart decision making.

Visualization is an essential characteristic of Power BI. And through this article, you now have a comprehensive idea of the most common and popular Power BI visuals including custom visuals. Using appropriate Power BI visuals in various situations is essential; you can do this easily now when you know their application.

Finally, it’s time for you to bid goodbye to data-intensive reports that are a pain to understand. With Power BI visuals, data becomes easy to understand for you and your clients. Data analysis reports become interesting and easy-to-comperehend. And it is far more efficient to draw actionable insights from them. Power BI visuals are ready for your business. Are you ready to use Power BI for creating data-rich and simplfied reports?

Gaurang Bhatt

Written by

Gaurang Bhatt

Gaurang has 15+ years of experience solving complex business problems and enabling businesses with data-driven decisions using data analysis and predictive modeling tools like Tableau, Power BI, Looker, and Google Data Studio. His expertise lies in data visualization, reporting, and creating ETL pipelines. In addition, he is passionate about exploring different technologies like machine learning and AI. He shares his knowledge and learnings on the LabsMedia platform.