Power BI, a business intelligence and visualization tool from Microsoft, enables data analytics, and data visualization is increasingly popular with the growing technological advancements. The Power BI was initially designed in the summer of 2010, and the following year the public download became available. There are some key elements of Power BI, such as Power BI desktop, Power BIService, Power BI Gateway, Power BI Report Server, and Power BI apps.

Ok, so moving on to the article, we will cover all the details about the basics of Power BI desktop and how to create one using Power BI Desktop.

What is Power BI?

Microsoft Power BI is a business and data analytics service that enables professionals to analyze, process and visualize vast volumes of data. The tools help businesses to extract insights, draw conclusions and share the respective results in the form of dashboards and reports across the employees and the organization’s various departments. To generate the reports and dashboards, drag and drop feature with a range of interactive data visualization is present. It helps to manage the data better, resulting in enhanced insights into the businesses. 

To learn more about Power BI, you can go through this detailed blog: A Detailed Guide of Power BI 

Why Power BI?

There are a plethora of tools present in the market; still, many organizations rely on Microsoft Power BI. Let’s explore the top reasons businesses choose Power BI to meet their self-service and enterprise business intelligence needs. 

  • When there is a smaller volume of data present, the Power BI works better and faster. 
  • Power BI is easy to understand, user-friendly, and intuitive, as it has an interface based on Microsoft Office 365. 
  • You can work with various data sources such as Excel, Text/CSV,  JSON, SQL Server databases, IBM DB2, MySQL, etc., while using Power BI. 
  • Power BI has functional integration with Microsoft Azure cloud Platform. It helps to analyze patterns and insights in datasets. 

Components of Power BI

There are multiple components available in the Power BI. Let’s have a look at the brief introduction of each of them. 

1. Power BI Desktop

Users can create, visualize, and analyze data models and reports with the Windows program Power BI Desktop. Preparing data and producing interactive data visualizations is a powerful tool.

2. Data Sources

The different locations where your data is stored, such as databases, Excel files, web services, or cloud-based storage options, are referred to as data sources. To import and analyze data, Power BI can connect to a wide variety of data sources.

3. Power BI Service

Users can share, collaborate, and publish Power BI reports and dashboards to a larger audience using the cloud-based Power BI service, which is offered by Microsoft.

4. Power BI Gateway

A bridge that enables safe data transmission between on-premises data sources and the Power BI service in the cloud is called the Power BI Gateway. The reports and dashboards benefit from having the most recent data available.

5. Power BI Report Server

Without utilizing the cloud-based Power BI service, customers can host and administer Power BI reports and KPIs inside their organization’s network with the help of Power BI Report Server, an on-premises solution.

6. Power BI Embedded

By integrating interactive Power BI reports and dashboards into unique applications, websites, or portals, developers can give users a seamless analytics experience.

7. Power BI Mobile Apps

Users on Android, iOS, and Windows devices may access and interact with their Power BI reports and dashboards while on the road, thanks to applications called Power BI Mobile Apps.

8. Power BI Query

A data transformation tool called Power BI Query, also referred to as Power Query, enables users to connect to numerous data sources and perform data cleaning, combining, and shaping operations before loading the data into Power BI for analysis.

9. Power Pivot

With the help of the Power Pivot add-in for Excel and Power BI Desktop, users may use massive datasets from many sources to build complex data models and carry out complex computations using Data Analysis Expressions (DAX).

10. Power View

Users can build interactive charts, graphs, and maps using the Power View interactive data visualization feature in Excel and SharePoint to improve data analysis and reporting.

11. Power Maps

Users can plot data on a 3D map using Power Maps, a 3D geographical data visualization tool in Excel, enabling a more engaging approach to analyzing and presenting geographic information.

12. Power Q&A

Data exploration is made more simple and more approachable by the use of Power Q&A, a natural language query tool that enables users to ask questions about their data in everyday language and obtain interactive visualizations as a response.

What is a Power BI Dashboard?

Power BI Dashboard

“Power BI dashboard is a single page, often called a canvas, tells a story through visualizations.” 

As it is limited to one page, a well-designed dashboard contains only the highlights of the whole story. Users can view related details of the reports and charts on the dashboard. It is a feature of the Power BI service. These are not available on the Power BI Desktop, you can’t create dashboards on mobile phones, but you can share and view them there. 

Basics of Dashboard 

All the visualizations you see on the dashboard are called tiles. Each report is based on the dataset, and you pin these tiles to the dashboard from the reports. Basically, a dashboard is an introduction to the underlying reports and datasets. You can also pin different kinds of tiles to the dashboard.

  • Pin an entire report page.
  • Create a tile in Q&A  and pin it.
  • Pin a tile from a report.
  • Pin a tile from another dashboard.
  • Pin a tile from Excel.
  • Add images, videos, and many more to the dashboard. 
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Why Use Power BI Dashboard: Benefits 

Here are the top benefits of using the Power BI Dashboards.

  • Dashboards are a way to monitor your business and see all the important metrics in one look. 
  • You can show multiple or single data in the dashboard from different datasets.
  • You can also customize dashboards to meet the requirements of any enterprise. 
  • You can share a dashboard with other colleagues in your organization.
  • To provide a unified user experience, dashboards can be embedded into applications. 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard?

Creating a dashboard in Power BI can be an interesting process; in fact, you can do this in just six simple steps. Here is what we can do. Let’s get started.

Before starting, you must download and install the Power BI and know little information about the platform. 

Step 1: Signing Up and Installation 

You can easily download the application from the Microsoft Power BI website, but before doing this, you have to sign up for an account. Microsoft offers you three options for a Power BI account: Pro, Power, and Premium. You have to select the one that is most beneficial and have features required by your business. Once you register, download and install the app for the OS. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation. 

User Interface

Once the Power BI app is booted up, go have a look at the dashboard. That will appear like this: 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard? SETPS 1

The main section of the Power BI interface includes:

  • The Ribbon 
  • Report View/Canvas
  • Pages Tabs
  • Visualizations Pane
  • Data Pane

Step 2: Connecting and Importing to Data Sources 

This process is an important one as the Power BI works on the various data and then makes the report. So you have to import and connect to various data sources while creating a dashboard in Power BI. 

Supported Data Types

There are some particular data sources that only support Power BI, so before importing, you can ensure that it supports it or not. Here are some familiar data sources include:

  • CSV files
  • Power BI data sets and data flows 
  • Excel files
  • SQL databases 
  • Web Services
  • Sharepoint lists 
  • Other cloud-based data sources or connectors 

For a complete list of accepted data sets, head to the Ribbon panel and click on “Home” and click on Get Data option to choose the data format your data set in. And then also if you do not see your data format in the opened menu, click on more, and a pop-up of all accepted data sets will appear. Given below are the images you can go through for a better understanding. 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard? SETPS 2

After clicking Get Data this screen will appear: 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard? SETPS 3

Connecting and Configuring Data Connections 

Here are the steps by which you can connect your data set to Power BI: 

  • As we did above, repeat the steps under the home page go to get data.
  • Choose your data set’s file type.
  • Select your desired data set. Or you can also configure the selected data source by following the prompts in the get data dialog box. 
  • Sometimes you might need to transform and clean your data set with the edit queries function to ensure that your data is ready to use. 

Note: Data cleaning includes removing unnecessary rows, renaming columns or attributes, and cleaning null values that may affect the insights you could draw from the data set. 

Step 3: Creating and Customizing Visualization 

It is important to have engaging and aesthetic data reports to hold your reader’s attention span for longer. With the help of Power BI, you can easily achieve it by using different chart types that connect together to tell a story. Power BI is a better option to take your visualization to the next level. 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard? SETPS 4

Selecting the Correct Visualization Type 

There are multiple options present in the Power BI for adding to your report, but do not put all of them. Choosing the right one is necessary. The image referring to the figures serves as a pin icon, which you can use to drag and drop your desired chart. Here are some common visualization types and the best case for when to use them. 

  • Bar Chart- These are used to compare two categories or values. They can even be created horizontally or vertically. 
  • Line Chart- To visualize continuous data over time.
  • Tables- they are used for displaying the exact quantities
  • HeatMaps- Although most of the time, it is used for the geographical representation of the data, they are generally used for displaying the relationship between two variables. 
  • Scatter Plot- This is often used alongside line charts to quickly identify trends and correlations. 

Customization Appearance and Formatting 

After learning to pin visuals, now it’s time to customize the appearance and format of your visualization. This will make your dashboard more attractive and aesthetic, resulting in better engagement of readers with content, making the overall report more informative.

Here are some relevant formatting settings that you’ll likely use:

  • Title: The title should be short and understandable. It should contain the central message of your visualization.
  • Color: Choosing different colors can make the charts easy to read and define each element separately. 
  • Legends: Readers can learn to link certain colors or lines with particular variables or types of data by using legends.
  • Axis: Users should be able to easily recognize the X and Y axis by looking at the labels on them.

Other than this, there are some other features and settings available that you can add, but they are not that necessary a minimalist dashboard, instead of a clustered one is better at sharing and driving home a story. 

Step 4 – Building the Dashboard

Adding Reports Pages and Visuals 

So we have discussed how to choose the visualization in the previous section. 

Organizing and Arrange Dashboard Components 

A good and appealing design is equally important as having the correct data and selecting the right visualization. Here are some points you have to keep in mind. 

  • Capitalizing on Space and Margins
  • Object Spacing
  • Sizing and Visual Priority 
  • Implied and Explicit Sections
  • Color 

Step 5: Implementing Interactivity and Dynamic Behaviour

To create a better user experience, visual interactions can be added for users to interact with. It makes it easier for you to present in the meeting, focusing on a particular place or time. The ability to edit and apply slicers and filters in real time is a potent tool to better your data story. 

Here are some rules you can follow to do this:

1. Select a visualization to make it active 

2. Display Visual Interaction options 

3. Click filter and highlight Icons on the top right corner of the selected visualization, depending on what you want to do. 

How To Create a Power BI Dashboard? SETPS 5

So, for instance, if you want to highlight a specific section, you can use the highlight icon. This is really helpful when you have to highlight any particular data without creating another chart. 

Step 6: Sharing and Collaborating

The ability of Power BI to share and collaborate is a powerful feature that allows others also to view and edit other people’s work. 

  • Publishing Interactive Dashboards

After completing the creation of the dashboard, you can share and publish the completed report for your team or organization to access. Here’s how to do that:

1. Locate the dashboard that you want to share or open it.

2. Click on the “Share” button.

3. In the “Share Dashboard,” you have to enter the names or the emails of the people or the groups you want to share with. 

4. There is also the option of including the message for them and then at the last click to the “Grant Access.” 

  • Share with The Team Members

You can share with the team members by following these steps:

1. Go to the “Workspace” tab. There you can find the shared projects and a folder that has the current project named “my workspace.”

2. Create a “New Workspace.”

3. Add the member’s email or name, and you can also customize the access permission levels when working with secure data. 

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Dashboard vs. Report in Power BI

Here is the table showing the comparison between Dashboard and reports. 

PagesHas only one pageHas one or more pages 
Data sources  Contains one or more reports and one or more datasets per dashboard  Contains a single dataset per report 
Availability on Power BI desktop It can’t filter or slice the view It can filter, highlight and slice the view in various ways
Availability on Power BI desktop Dashboards are not available in Power bi desktop Can create reports on Power BI Desktop 
Featured You can set one dashboard as your featured dashboardCannot create a featured report 

Best Practices for Creating Power BI Dashboards

Seven best practices to follow to create Power BI dashboards are mentioned below- 

1. Know your audience 

So are you also confused about sorting a lot of data and, at the same time, want to present it to the team in a more understandable way? You can solve this problem just by using the Power BI dashboard. An effective dashboard can clearly communicate the message to the end users. This makes things much more understandable that enhances the way of maintaining the data and presenting it to a larger group of people. Also, keep in mind there are some things that you have to keep in mind while making the dashboard, such as-

  • For whom are you making the dashboard?
  • What elements can you put in it to distinguish everything? 
  • Different colors theory to recognize the elements better. 

2. Limit the Visuals and Reports on The Dashboard 

By now, you might have decided who you are making the dashboard for or for your own organization. Then you also have an idea of showing the KPIs to present. Since you have a fixed amount of data and space to utilize, then you have to think of putting the most important one on the dashboard. You can show the ones that are useful for most of the users so that this can help most of the users in the organization. You can do some other things to sort this out by keeping these three things in mind. 

  • Proximity 
  • Similarity
  • Enclosure 

Proximity here refers to grouping the elements that are similar and can be used together or based on the location. Similarity means using the visual perception of the audience by grouping similar fonts and colors together. An enclosure means showing physical demarcation by a visual border or shading to make them a part of a group. 

3. Choosing the Right Visualization 

After maintaining your dashboard with the right visualization also, it can be possible that the users do not find it appealing. It is said that the human brain digest visual information more effectively than text. So it is very important to display your dashboard in a way that resonates with your audience. Here are the top 5 types of data usage charts you can select from-

  • Distribution 
  • Comparison
  • Relationship
  • Representation 
  • composition 
Decide the Type of Chart Is to Be Used Based on The Data Usage

You can use different visualization based on your data, but always remember who is going to consume the dashboard, as the whole purpose of the dashboard is to simplify the data, not complicate it, and for better understanding with a little effort. 

4. Avoid poor labeling and provide context 

Labeling and context are the two important on-screen parameters to analyze the role of data in specific dashboards. BI Dashboards and Visual representation, which lack these two parameters, will limit their ROI. Here  

Global Superstore Data Dashboard

Taking the example of this dashboard what do you observe by seeing it? Ok, you can say it is sales data but other than that what do you understand? It can be a little issue to understand this as no labeling of the content is available making it hard to understand. 

5. Focus on Color 

Normally all the dashboards are made with lighter backgrounds to maintain the flexibility it provides with the color, But due to the digital fatigue growing increasingly, the darker mode is preferred to provide better comfort. But preferring an intermediate range of color from the palate can be more effective as highly contrasting black and white also cause discomfort and create a sense of urgency. You can consider the colors given below, choosing for your dashboard.

6. Avoid Data Clutter 

So when creating one dashboard, you might think that you have to put all the elements in the dashboard and not let a single left out. This notion has two major disadvantages:

  • Data wouldn’t make sense 
  • The purpose of the dashboard is lost

So focus on putting the data that are most important to show in the dashboard and avoid the cluttering of the data as it may lead to unwanted data in one place. 

7. Test Dashboards 

This is a very important and short step for the dashboard when created. There are some times when you keep on focusing on the elements of the dashboards and might lose sight of its usability. So, before implementing anything, you should focus on testing it for the end users. This can also lead to keeping the end users in the loop about the progress and workings of the design. 

Power BI Dashboard Examples

Here are some of the Power BI Dashboards according to different industries- 

1. E-commerce Sales Dashboard  

Ok, so as you know now, you can use the dashboard to simplify a large amount of data. This dashboard is designed here to be used by online retailers and provide them with a high-level to granular understanding of how different products are performing. The dashboard can also show the data for yearly, quarterly, and monthly growth rates. This help in identifying which product is doing best in which location, etc. 

2. Inventory Management with Advanced Data Analytics

Inventory management is also one of the important processes in any industry; thus, creating a dashboard that fulfills all the requirements of the information can be really helpful for the team. The dashboard can contain upcoming orders and the orders that are placed, the number of items that can be used, and how much the product quantities are remaining to analyze the products to remain updated again by category. 

3. Analytics for HR with Power BI 

Power BI dashboards can be customized for HR also. The dashboard can contain the number of employees, their performance, active employees, total working hours, attention ratio, and many more. These things can also further break down into department-wise information, education details, and the things that are more important to decrease the daily chaos. 

4. Finance Analytics Dashboard

Finance Dashboards can contain various aspects such as revenue, gross profit, and net profit charts with all the details of the past or upcoming years. You can even sort the data according to months or yearly. It optimizes budgeting, forecasting, and financial planning processes. Also, one scalable dashboard to handle growing data volumes. 

5. Patients Healthcare Analytics 

This dashboard informs about the patient’s details, the efficiency of health checkups at a hospital, showcasing their patient profile, time spent by them in each lab, waiting time, their location and distance from the hospital, cost-effective benefit aspects, and many more. 

Why Choose Emizentech for Power BI Dashboard Customization?

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Emizentech, as a leading Power BI Company, can provide you with the perfect assistance. With a team of 100+ Power BI Developers, we have successfully implemented 200+ power bi in several businesses and also helped them with creating custom dashboards for their organizations. We offer multiple services such as Power BI integration services, Power BI consulting services, Power BI implementation services, Power BI customization services, and Power BI migration services. 

With the help of these services and implementation, we ensure you provide the best outcome, understanding all the requirements of your business. We can make a real-time interactive Power BI dashboard to reach the max potential of using Power BI and solve your data analytics challenges. For further details, you can contact us 24*7.


This blog has covered all the related information about the Power BI dashboard. We have seen how to build how to customize one according to your organization, its functionalities, and why it is important for businesses. 

Suppose you are also facing difficulty managing your data or making a perfect report dashboard. In that case, you can quickly get it done by a top Power BI development company. You can also contact our team for any consultation to get the answers to all the queries related to the Power BI dashboard. 

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With a decade of experience in eCommerce technologies and CRM solutions, Virendra has been assisting businesses across the globe to harness the capabilities of information technology by developing, maintaining, and improving clients’ IT infrastructure and applications. A leader in his own rights his teammates see him as an avid researcher and a tech evangelist. To know how the team Virendra can assist your business to adopt modern technologies to simplify business processes and enhance productivity. Let’s Talk.