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When creating reports using the Power BI service, it is important to recognize that certain design standards need to be met to ensure that your report does not end up confusing the reader, or worse, end up in the trash. There are many ways to create a compelling report from leveraging design tools to structuring the content in a meaningful way. Here are a few tips to consider when you take on the development of a Power BI report according to top Power BI consulting firms:

Tip #1 – Variety in Visualizations

Power BI consulting services will tell you that the first key point to note is that when it comes to visuals, more is not necessarily better, and neither is greater variety. Just because you can use 16 different graphs and charts to describe different metrics does not mean you should. Including a greater variety of visualizations will only confuse the reader, especially if there is no common thread between all the different metrics on the page. Minimalism should be your main aim as the fewer and more concise your tables and charts, the greater chance that each one will be properly interpreted and meaning will be translated.

Tip #2 – Circular Designs

Another key point to consider is that the human mind finds it difficult to interpret circular shapes and timelines, simply because most logic used on a daily basis is linear or chronological in nature – simply moving from point A to point B. Because of this, when creating charts and graphs, avoid using pie charts and other circular objects to represent key metrics and data because the reader will take a lot longer to make sense of what you are trying to convey. If other charts or tables could be used instead, opt for those to keep the time it takes to understand the insights to a minimum.

Tip #3 – Quantitative Representations

Power BI consulting services will also tell you to spend time planning how you will quantify different measures and metrics. One example of this would be to use the most effective scale to symbolize a certain set of data. The scale you use to represent your data will need to be best suited to the information you are planning to present. If you are looking to show how many more visitors are coming to your site to demonstrate how effective your marketing campaign was, take into consideration that your scale needs to reflect the outliers in the data as well to give an objective portrayal of the information and not skew it in any way. Don’t use too large a scale to represent a small amount either as the information you are trying to communicate will be overlooked completely.

Tip #4 – Minimize Attributes

As Power BI consulting services will tell you, pie charts will need to have less than 8 categories, or attributes, to be effective. Again, this goes back to circular shapes and the difficulty our minds have in retrieving information from such visuals. It is also harder to see the comparison of the values in a pie chart side by side, so to avoid confusion stick to linear representations like line graphs and bar charts when you can. Also ensure that each chart or graph on one page of the report directly relates to the next one for continuity and logical flow.

According to Power BI consulting firms, in every report the Power BI dashboard should communicate maximum insights to the reader in the least amount of time. It should not take more than 10 minutes to scan through a single page of visuals and extract the key points or understand the metrics being represented. You can ensure that you keep the reader engaged throughout the entire report by using the appropriate scale, minimizing variables or attributes, avoiding pie charts and other circular visualizations, and limiting the variety of charts or graphs that you use. Remember that visualizations should be compelling and appealing to readers and not confusing. If you follow these 4 tips, you will be well on your way to mastering the art of Power BI reporting.