What is Data Visualisation?

2nd Oct 2019
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We know that when analysing a large amount of numerical data, it can be difficult to communicate clearly what the data is representing. Data visualisations are used as an effective way of telling the story behind the numbers.

Visualisations can also be used to help spot trends and patterns that would otherwise be hidden behind the numbers. This is known as exploratory analysis. Thankfully, Power BI is equipped with a powerful suite of interactive visualisations, and an easy to use interface.

All visualisations in Power BI can be customised, meaning you can design your own reports and dashboard to suit your preferences.

You can learn more about how to format visualisations below:

X-Axis and Y-Axis

Both the X and Y Axis can be turned on, or off. You can also change the colour, text size, font and set the title for the Axis.

Data colours

By selecting Data colours in formatting, you can change each of the bars to different colours. Data labels will add the value point to the column, and you can set formatting for the labels such as text size, font and colour.

Plot area

Plot area will allow you to add an image to the background of a visualisation, and Background will allow you to add a colour. Boarder will add a border to the visualisation.


Within Title, you can rename the visualisation, and set the formatting, including text colour, size, font, and background.

Pie charts

As mentioned, each visualisation has its own formatting option. The options available for a pie chart include data colours, detail labels, background, border and title.

There are multiple label styles available for pie charts. You can choose the labels to show only the Category, the Data value, the Percent of total, both the Category and Data value, or show all detailed labels.

Filters and slicers

When you are working with filters and slicers, selection controls can be found under formatting. Options here include Show Select All. This will add a new option, allowing the user to click only once, to select all the items. Single Selection, when turned on, will only allow one item to be selected at once. When turned off, multiple items can be selected at once. 

Click here to view a video we've put together which should help explain things further. 

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