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Data Visualization in Power BI – Its Role in Business Intelligence and How it Helps You Make Better Decisions - Evolvous

Data Visualization in Microsoft Power BI 

Drawing insights from data has become critical for the success of modern business. Business Intelligence has occupied a vital role in developing strategies that help organizations become more efficient and make the most of the existing opportunities. Now, Business Intelligence itself relies on certain core techniques. One such technique is data visualization. If you look at Power BI – one of the most widely used Business Intelligence tools around and it relies heavily on data visualization. So, what exactly is data visualization? What role does it play in business intelligence and how Evolvous is using the data visualization capabilities of Power BI to help you make better decisions. 

What is Data Visualization? 

Data Visualization is the graphical representation of information and data. It involves visual elements such as charts, graphs, maps, and other interactive tools to present data patterns, trends, and insights clearly and concisely. 

Just think about it, what is easier to understand – hundreds of rows and columns of sales data on your Excel spreadsheet or a graph that charts the sales growth based on that very data?  

The primary goal of data visualization is to make complex data more understandable, actionable, and accessible to a wide range of users, including non-technical audiences. 

What are the Common Types of Data Visualizations 

Here are some common data visualization techniques commonly used in different scenarios. 

  1. Bar Charts: They are used to compare categories or show the distribution of data across distinct groups. 
  2. Line Charts: This is ideal for showing trends over time or continuous data points. 
  3. Pie Charts: Useful for illustrating proportions and percentages as a whole. 
  4. Scatter Plots: Displaying the relationship between two variables to identify correlations. 

How to Set Up Data Visualization in Power BI? 

Power BI allows you to create data visualization without requiring any significant technical knowledge. The best thing about data visualization in Power BI is that it gets updated in real time, thereby allowing you to analyze the latest data. 

Here is an overview of the steps needed to create data visualization in Power BI. 

STEP 1: Connect to a Data Source 

  • Open Power BI and click on ‘Get Data’ from the ‘Home’ tab. 
  • Choose the data source that you want to connect to. Power BI allows you to import data from Excel spreadsheets, SQL servers, SharePoint etc. 
  • Follow the prompts to access the data. 

STEP 2: Transform Data 

  • You might need to clean, filter and transform your data in some cases to get a more appropriate visualization. Click on ‘Transform’ Data to access the Query Editor, which would allow you to optimize your data set. 

STEP 3: Create Visualization 

  • Once the data is loaded, go to the ‘Report’ view by clicking on the ‘Report’ icon. 
  • Select the fields you want to visualize from the ‘Fields’ pane on the left. 
  • Choose the visualization type (bar chart, line chart, pie chart) from the visualization pane. 

STEP 4: Configure Visualization 

  • You can drag and drop the required fields to values, axis, and legend areas of the visualization. 
  • Use the ‘Format’ and ‘Visualizations’ panes to customize the appearance, labels, colors, and other settings of the visualizations. 

Please note that you can add multiple data visualizations for a single data set to understand and analyze the data in a better way. 

STEP 5: Add Filters and Slicers 

  • Use the ‘filter’ pane to add filters to your visualizations, allowing users to interactively explore the data. 
  • You can also create slicers to provide a user-friendly way to filter data across multiple visualizations simultaneously. 

STEP 6: Publish and Share 

  • Save your report by clicking on ‘Save’ option. 
  • If you want to share the report with others, then you would need to click on the ‘Publish’ button to publish your report to the Power BI Service 

GET MORE FROM POWER BI WITH EVOLVOUS: Evolvous is the leading Microsoft Power BI Consultant in Canada, helping organization realize the full potential of Power BI by offering custom solutions. Click here to know more about our Power BI services. 

How Does Data Visualization Help in Business Intelligence? 

Now that we have an idea of what data visualization is and how to set it up on your Power BI platform, let us look at the role it plays in business intelligence. 

Here are some of the ways in which data visualization helps in business intelligence. 

  1. Enhances the Understanding of Data: Modern businesses generate a lot of data. The key objective of business intelligence is to understand and analyze the data to optimize processes and achieve better results. Visual representations of data give a clear and concise overview of data trends, patterns, and relationships. This allows you to identify insights quickly. 
  2. Enables Real-Time Monitoring: Having access to the latest data and analyzing it is central for the success of your business intelligence endeavors. With data visualizations, especially in tools like Power BI, you can monitor key metrics and performance indicators in real time. This empowers your business to respond quickly to changes in the market, identify emerging opportunities or risks, and make timely actions. 
  3. Facilitates Data Exploration: Data visualization enables you to interact with the data closely. You can apply filters, drill down to the details and explore different angles to analyze the same data set. This increases the utility of the data as you can uncover insights and answer ad-hoc questions without the need for extensive data manipulation or SQL queries. 

As you can see data visualization does play a pivotal role in business intelligence. But what kind of an impact does it have on your day-to-day decisions? Let us look at that now. 

How Does Data Visualization Help You to Make Better Decisions? 

When you are running a business, you need to take crucial decisions to ensure short-term as well as long-term growth. Decisions naturally become better when they are founded on data. Here are some of the ways in which data visualization can help you make better decisions. 

  • Identifying Trends and Patterns: 

 Data visualizations can quickly reveal trends and patterns in your business data that are not evident from raw data. You can discover patterns like seasonal fluctuations in sales or long-term trends in customer demand. This allows you to take suitable measures by optimizing resource utilization and maximizing ROI (Return on Investment). 

Example: Let us say you are running an eCommerce website. A line chart can show monthly website traffic that helps you to identify spikes in traffic during specific marketing campaigns. This allows you to focus your advertising budget on the most effective campaigns and optimize its online presence accordingly. 

  • Comparing Performance

Comparison is always an effective way to understand what is working for your business and what is not. With data visualization, you can easily compare different metrics and performance indicators. This visual comparison enables you to quickly identify top preforming areas and areas that need improvement. 

Data Visualization Example:

Store managers can look at stacked bar charts that display the revenue breakdown of various products offered by the store. This would allow them to identify which products contribute more to the revenue and focus efforts on underperforming products to boost their sales. 

  • Detecting Outliers 

Outliers are often ignored when analyzing raw data. However, on proper analysis, they can tell you a lot. With data visualization, you can easily spot outliers and anomalies that require further investigation. Detecting outliers can help you understand the reasons behind such unusual occurrences and take appropriate actions. 

Example: By closer analysis of the scattered plot of customer satisfaction ratings, you might discover that one customer service representative is consistently receiving lower ratings. By identifying this outlier, you can provide additional training to improve the performance of the representatives and enhance customer satisfaction levels. 

Power BI Data Visualization in Action – How a Mining Company in Canada Improved Performance  

At Evolvous, we have been helping businesses from diverse industries to utilize the data visualization and business intelligence capabilities of Microsoft Power BI to optimize operations. Our custom solutions help clients to make better decisions and ensure sustained growth. 

Teck is one of Canada’s leading mining companies, a significant exporter of Canadian natural resources, namely potash from Saskatchewan and steelmaking coal from the western provinces and has over 50 years in the supply chain industry. Their business analysts processed everything manually using Excel files and other internal applications.  

With our Power BI solutions, they were able to set up an interactive Power BI dashboard that could pull up four types of reports prepared on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The reports included: 

  • Safety and incidence report  
  • Hourly net dumping report  
  • Ship loading report in kilotons!  
  • Maintenance report 

The reports relied heavily on a range of data visualizations which gave them a quick yet in-depth understanding of their processes. The company got an overview of costs through numerous charts based on daily, weekly, and monthly data, and was able to use this information for budgeting and reducing expenses. The charts and graphs on the safety and incidence report allowed them to monitor the frequency of safety-related incidents and understand the underlying reasons. This helped them take necessary safety measures and create a safer working environment.    

To know more about how our Power BI solutions helped Teck to optimize its operations, read the full story here. 

Tips to Use Data Visualization Capabilities in Power BI 

To get the most from the data visualization capabilities in Power BI and use them to improve your decision-making, we suggest that you adopt the following tips and strategies. 

  • Keep Visualizations Simple and Clear 

Avoid cluttering your reports with too many visualizations or unnecessary elements. Use appropriate chart types and use color, labels, and titles effectively to highlight key points. This helps decision makers to quickly grasp the information to make informed choices. 

  • Use Interactive Elements to Explore Data 

You can use filters, slicers, and drill-down options to allow users to interact with the data visualization and access detailed information. This helps to find answers to specific questions, perform scenario analysis and gain deeper insight from the data. 

  • Contextualize Data 

Make sure that you add descriptive titles, subtitles, and annotations that explain the purpose of the visuals and the insights they convey. You can use tooltips and data labels to provide additional context for individual data points. Context reduces the time spent on understanding the purpose of a visualization, interpreting the data correctly and gaining more useful insights. 

Bonus Tip: Create Interactive Dashboards 

You can also build interactive dashboards in Power BI that highlight the most critical metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) at one place. You can arrange data visualizations logically in the dashboards to present a coherent story and provide a more comprehensive overview of organizational performance. 

Get More from Data Visualizations in Power BI with Evolvous 

As a certified Microsoft Gold partner in Canada with an experience of working with a diverse range of clients, Evolvous understands the unique challenges that your business might face. So, if you want to utilize the full potential of Power BI, getting custom solutions from Evolvous is a smart way to get started. 

With Evolvous, you get the following advantages: 

  1. Efficient Data Modeling and Transformation: Our team of Power BI consultants in Canada can help you structure your data appropriately for effective visualizations. We help with data modeling, creating relationships between tables and transforming data in Power Query to ensure that the right information is available for visualization. 
  2. Better Interactivity and Drill Downs: We help in implementing custom interactivity features in your Power BI data visualizations, allowing you to drill down into details and explore the data further. This aids in making real-time decisions. 
  3. Integration with Data Sources: We assist in integrating Power BI with various data sources and external tools, such as Azure Services, SQL Databases, SharePoint etc. This expands the scope of the data available for analysis and visualization. 
  4. Customization & Branding: Customize the look and feel of your Power BI reports to match your organization’s branding and design preferences. This ensures that the data visualizations and other elements align with your corporate identity and deliver a more consistent experience. 

GET STARTED TODAY: Visit our Power BI Solutions page to find out how we can use data visualization & the entire range of capabilities of Power BI, to improve the performance of your organization. 

Also read:

5 ways to grow your business using Microsoft Power BI

Microsoft Power BI service provider 

10 things you can do with Power BI

8 things that make right for Power BI Industry

5 Benefits of SharePoint for the Manufacturing Industry

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