3 tips for creating Power BI Desktop reports [Guide]

PowerBI allows to create reports with ease but that doesn’t mean that they would look good without a major effort. That’s why we have create a list of 3 tips that can help to achieve professional PowerBI reports.

The difference between a corporate report versus a basic one is based on a few rules and design principles that are easy to follow. Don’t be afraid, you don’t need to be a designer to follow these steps.

1. Define a report stucture

The first task is to decide the space of each element.

Usually, corporate reports are created from a common template, similar to Word or Excel templates, where logos, fonts, and text sizes are defined to follow branding guidelines.

The default size of a PowerBI canvas is 1280 x 720 pixels. This can be changed from the Visualization page, clicking the format icon ()

Because reports can come with different requirements, generally I create a generic template, where I define the location of the logo, the type of the font and assign spaces, giving to future analyst a wide range of action.

report_layout

2. Group of measures

A common tip is to group all measures together. That allows to keep track on the measures created. Also means that you don’t need to scroll down assuming you have multiple tables.

From the Home menu, on the section External Data there is a button called Enter Data. From there you can create a table, the name we choose is Group of Measures. It doesn’t matter that Column1 is empty.

After creating the table, we create our first measure. First we need to click Column1 for selecting the table, and create a measure – from Modelling and click on New Measure.
Right-click on the Column1 and select Hide.

3. Report Layout

More is less in terms of design. A good rule of thumb is allow between
20px – 40px between figures, so they don’t look over crowded.

William Thompson in the PowerBI summit of 2017 presents the Gestalt principles. Basically they are:

  1. Proximity and similarity: Objects that are place together have to be similar.
  2. Continuity: Using same axis for similar objects. Basically being consistent.
  3. Figure and grand: Using different colours for highlight different concept and values.
  4. Enclosure and symmetry: Enclose similar visuals.

Author: Angelo Canepa

Business Intelligence Consultant with more than 4 years of experience in the UK market across media and e-commerce companies. Proficient on Business tools such as PowerBI and Tableau.

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