Formatting is often overlooked when creating Power BI reports, yet it is something that really elevates a report. I highly recommend spending the time to format or set up a style of formatting reports when you start using Power BI.
To help you on your journey I am starting a Power BI Formatting blog series where we are going to look at different ways you can format Power BI reports.
In today’s example I want to create four separate charts based on the sales invoice type to track the average amount of quotes, orders, invoices and returns by country.
I started by connecting to my sales table and then created four different visuals showing document amount by country. I applied a filter to each visual by sales transaction type for each of the categories I want.
Here is what my visuals looked like:
The problem is we cannot distinguish which visual is showing us which sales transaction type unless we look at the filters pane and it is currently showing us the total of all document amounts.
I need to identify what each of the charts is showing and change the data points to show as averages versus totals.
Changing Field Names
There are a few different ways you can change a field name.
- Rename the column in Power Query.
- This will change how the field name appears in your field list and is helpful if you have an obscure schema name that you may not understand what data it contains. (Example: Changing column DCDT to Document Date)
- Rename the field on the fields pane.
- This has the same effect as renaming a column in Power Query as it affects how the field appears in your field list. This is helpful if you want to change how the field appears in multiple visuals that will use the same verbiage.
- Rename the field for an individual visual.
- Sometimes you do not want to change from the schema name so you can trace back exactly where the data is coming from in the data source or you may not want all visuals to use the same verbiage. In these cases renaming a field for an individual visual is the best option.
For my report I am going to rename the field for each individual visual as they all contain the same fields but because of filtering I want them to be worded differently.
To rename the field select the down arrow next to the field you wish to change on the visualizations pane. From the box that appears select “Rename for this visual”.
Here is how my visuals looked after renaming the fields:
You can see that both the axis and title have changed to reflect the new verbiage. Now I need to update the visuals to show averages versus totals.
Each field contains a default summarization and that is what visuals will show when first created.
- Change the default summarization.
- Use if most of your visuals will need a different type of summarization to avoid having to change each visual individually.
- With the field highlighted in the fields pane select a summarization within the column tools tab.
- Change the summarization for an individual visual.
- Use if you want the data to appear differently just for one visual.
- On the visualizations pane select the down arrow next to the field you want to update. (This is the same area we were in to change the name on an individual visual.)
As I only want to show these four visuals as averages I chose to change the summarization at the individual visual level. Here is what my visuals look like now:
Although this looks like the last picture we know now that the data points are showing us average amounts versus total amount.
I hope you enjoyed today’s formatting examples. Stay tuned for future blog posts on other ways you can format your Power BI reports.
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant