Anyone that has ever done reporting for a company will understand all too well that everyone wants to see the data in a slightly different way. No matter how inclusive your visuals, unless you create a separate report for everyone someone will always ask if the data can be visualized a bit differently.
Because people absorb data differently there is no way a single report can satisfy or work for absolutely everyone. Power BI has quite a few features that allow you to create a more interactive report, allowing end users the ability to choose how to view the data.
Slicers are filters that are placed within a report. These are based on a specific column within your data set and allows end users to filter what records they want pulled for the report visualizations.
In the above example we have four separate slicers: Sales Territory, Customer Class, Salesperson ID and Customer Name. With these filters an executive could keep all slicers blank to see overall company progress, a sales manager could filter to their territory, a marketing manager could filter by customer class or an individual salesperson could view only their data.
Drill downs allow you to dig into your data by starting from an overall summarization and then expand into a defined hierarchy. A common use of drill downs is based on date, where the overall visual starts by year with the ability to drill into quarter, month and day.
These hierarchies can be created with any of the data points you have, another common one I see is going from division to branch to individual managers.
There are a few different ways to view your data in a drill down.
In the above examples the top chart is the original visual showing us information by division. A straight drill down allows us to select a data point on the chart to drill into the next level of the hierarchy. The bottom chart shows us the commercial division split by project manager.
In the above example instead of choosing a particular data point we expanded the chart to the next level, now we see all the data split by project manager without choosing a specific division.
In this final chart we have expanded all levels and we see multiple points showing the data by both division and project manager.
Creating a drill through page allows you to have more detailed information about a specific data point. Drill throughs can be used to dig into a particular record, like an individual job or customer, or they can be used to show different visualizations for a specific group.
In our first example we right-click on the individual job we want to look further into and choose the drill through which brings us to the second screenshot showing more data about the individual job.
In our second example we right-click on the data point for territory 2 and choose the drill through which brings us to the second screenshot with different visuals pertinent to that territory.
End User Report Creation
Another option for interactivity is to allow end users the ability to use the dataset you are sharing to create new reports. This will give end users more control over the report they see but keeps them using the same dataset you created to make sure everyone is looking at the same data.
To enable make sure the box is selected when sharing the report.
While this is a beneficial option it will require additional training for end users.
Using Power BI’s interactive features help give end users more control over how they visualize data and frees up time for reporting admins by eliminating the need to create many copies or different views of report data.
-Jerica Coleman, CRM and Power BI Consultant