Power BI Desktop – Working in Data Model and Creating Visualizations (part 3/3)

In this article I would be discussing how to work with data model and create visualizations. I would recommend you read through my previous two topics in this series, for better understanding of the examples we are working with here:

Power BI Desktop – Connecting to Data (part 1/3)

Power BI Desktop – Working in Query Editor (part 2/3)

Data Model

So we had a great progress while preparing a clean data in query editor. If you want to load the data into the data model now then click Close and Apply in the Home tab.

Once you close and apply changes, you will see that the interface changes, because now we are in the actual data model. So, we are now in the report view, where we can create our visualizations. You can toggle between report view and the data view. The data view will show you the actual data.

Now we will go to the Data View, and change the Country column. Power BI has a great functionality to show country specific data, but we will have to tell Power BI that the first column is Country and not some plain text.

To do that, select the first column and then on the Modelling tab select Data Category as Country/Region. Did anything change? You will note a new symbol against Country in the Fields area.

Creating Visualizations

Let us create some visualizations right now. For that we need to be in the report view.

To create a visualization, you can go to the Visualization column and select a visualization type by simply clicking it. Let us create a stacked column chart. You can see the style in the design area, which you can move around.

Let us increase the size of the tile and to add data, you can go to the Fields column and then drag the table fields into the corresponding field of the visualization. So for example, drag:

  • GDP into Value area.
  • Year into Axis area.
  • Country to the Legend area.

Now our chart looks better, but we have too much information in the chart. So, we might setup a filter to only see the Top 10 countries by the total GDP. To do this we keep the Visualization in the report area selected and scroll down in the Visualization column. Under the Country area change the filter type to Top N and specify the Show Items as Top 10, and By Value as GDP (drag-drop). Click Apply Filter.

Now you can see that we have only Top 10 countries in our visualizations.

But maybe we have a better way to visualize the data. You can change the current visualization by simply selecting from the different visualization types in the Visualization column. For example, lets choose a World Map type. You can see the visualization change.

We still see the Annual values.

If you want to see only the total values, i.e. sum of all the years included in the data model, then you can go to the fields column and unselect the Year. If we now click on the formatting area and enable Category Labels, then we can also see the names of the Top 10 countries.

This makes the visualization even better.

That is it. We have now finished the three series of articles discussing how to easily work with Power BI Desktop. Of course, there is more to Power BI. Keep following my blogs @Threadpunter and happy Reading.