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Optimize Power BI Reporting and Designing

Microsoft Power BI comes loaded with plenty of report generation and design features. Power BI is considered one of the top tools for compiling a huge amount of data (both structured and unstructured) and presenting it in a visually comprehensible format. The tool is laden with a lot of features to ease the process of data analysis. It is necessary that you know the right ways to leverage the in-built features of Power BI. The Power BI experts strive to find a balance between visual appeal and usability.
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Imenso Software

Imenso Software is a client focused custom software development company.

Nowadays, businesses are relying heavily on data analysis and BI tools all over the world. While there are BI applications, Microsoft Power BI has carved a separate niche. Used widely by a broad range of users that include average web users, MNCs, and technology giants, Power BI is available in many editions. There is a free version, and a subscription-based version for enterprise users is also available. The tool is laden with a lot of features to ease the process of data analysis. It is necessary that you know the right ways to leverage the in-built features of Power BI. 

How to enhance the designing and reporting prowess of Power Bi

As a data analysis tool, Power BI comes loaded with plenty of report generation and design features. In fact, it is considered one of the top tools for compiling a huge amount of data (both structured and unstructured) and presenting it in a visually comprehensible format. However, the Power BI experts do not rely on the default settings of the tool in this regard. They tweak the default settings and features to extract the maximum performance out of the platform and aid the end-user. 

The Power BI experts strive to find a balance between visual appeal and usability. That is where Power BI implementation and tweaking come into the picture.

Listed below are some effective tips to enhance the designing and reporting capability of Power BI:

  • Evade visual element overload- Power BI allows the users to incorporate a lot of visual elements in the reports. Apart from the image and text boxes, there are many other elements. The visualization elements issue a query for rendering. When there are too many visual elements in a report, rendering can become sluggish, leaving the end–users irate. Imagine the plight of those users stuck with entry-level PCs or older devices! 
  • To evade this situation, it is wise to include only the useful visuals on the report page. There has to be a balance between keeping the page uncluttered and giving the users the required insight. If you find certain visuals cannot be discarded for clarity of understanding, try shifting them onto a different page. For example, it makes sense to blend single cards in a report into a multi-row card. On average, you may stick to 8 visuals per report.
  • Use slicers cautiously- There are some Microsoft power bi developers who like using slicers in the reports quite often. However, it is necessary to remember that slicers impact page performance negatively. It is prudent that you use filters in lieu of slicers. The functionality is the same, but the filters do not issue a query before the users interact. However, the slicers do issue queries prior to rendering. Using filters reduces load time and also frees up canvas space on the page.

However, it is feasible to keep a few slicers on a report page. You can check the impact before finalizing things in this regard. 

  • Test performance using Power BI Desktop- The power BI desktop version comes with an embedded Performance Analyzer. This can be useful for testing how the visual changes are done on an optimized page impact load time. You can use the Performance Analyzer to record and show the time required to render each visual element. This can be handy when dealing with a report with huge amounts of data crammed in. 
  • Discard unnecessary interactions between visuals- The ace Power BI developers are not only careful about choosing the visuals on a report page, but they also limit the interaction between chosen visual elements. This can enhance the final performance to an extent. 
  • Use custom visuals that are Microsoft AppSource certified- It makes sense to deploy Microsoft certified custom visuals for Power BI. These AppSource visuals have well-performing codes, and they undergo rigorous quality testing. Using Microsoft-certified custom visuals helps eliminate security woes as well. 
  • Data categorization for Power BI reports- The ace Power BI analysts make it a point to provide data categorization for the reports generated in the tool. Through Power BI data classification, it becomes easy to make the users aware of varying security levels. These include- LBI, MBI, and HBI. It also makes things easy for the users as they can figure out how reports should be shared with others outside or inside the entity.
  • Distinct gateways for “Scheduled Refresh” and “Direct Query”- Companies using the Power BI platform have to use gateways for two important functionalities, namely Scheduled Refresh and Direct Query. However, not everyone thinks of the fact that deploying the same gateway for these two functionalities actually slows down performance. So, it is better to use two distinct gateways to use these two functionalities.
  • Proper placement of data and elements- When designing a report in Power BI, it is necessary that you think from the perspective of the end-users. Typically, people tend to read left to right and from top to bottom. So, when you generate a Power BI report, keep the most important data in the top left section. Then, keep visuals with more details on the right side of the page. 
  • Also, make it a point to make the important metrics and data stand out from the rest of the elements in a report. It may be helpful if you change the text colour and size of the important data on the page. Accentuating the most important data is what matters here. 
  • Use the apt visual elements- By default, Power BI visuals look quite stunning and enticing. However, do not be content with that. A visual element that looks pretty may not be very effective on the users, eventually. So, evade using a type of visual just for the sake of aesthetics. Use the circular chart types with caution and choose them when there are eight or fewer sections. The 3-D charts look nice, but they can be harder to read. Try using data labels cautiously too.
  • Activate Row-Level Security- Power BI imports data that the user has the authorization to see. With RLS, it is possible to limit the data row access of users as per their roles. The immediate benefit of using RLS is that it enhances data security. 
  • Import data sets that you need- Just because Power BI lets you import whole spreadsheets, it does not mean you have to do that every time you fetch data from Excel or similar spreadsheet applications. Try to import only the required fields and tables from a spreadsheet page. This helps keep the overall report page size lean and makes rendering fast. 
  • Use Power Query Editor properly- The Power Query Editor is one of the assets of Power BI. With it, users can execute complex data transformations without knowing any additional tool. It eases the process of data transformation, but unplanned usage can also impact performance negatively. 
  • To evade that, you need to do the transformation steps in the apt way. Be clear about what you want to do with the data before you begin transforming it. If you need a part of the source data, just filter it at the beginning. It helps in speeding up things. Try to keep the number of steps used in the Power Query Editor limited. This will help in faster rendering. 

Wrapping up

Power Bi is a versatile Data analysis and BI platform with plenty of features; Microsoft keeps adding new functionalities with each update. There are so many complex calculations that take place when you use the tool. Sometimes, it may be quite hard to figure out why the report rendering and performance are getting sluggish. At such times, you may seek the services of veteran Power BI solution providers.

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by Imenso Software @imensosoftware. Imenso Software is a client focused custom software development company.Visit Us

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