Out of the box, Power BI gives you access to many common data visualizations. Sometimes the basic charts don’t get you to where you need to go. Luckily, Microsoft and the Power BI community created custom visualizations that will be available to you. I am going to give you a quick primer on how to access those and then let you know what my favorite visualizations are.

Downloading Custom Visuals

There are two different ways of accessing custom visuals straight from Power BI.

    • On the visualizations pane, you can click on the ellipsis icon and you will see the option to Import from store. Once you click on this a pop-up will appear and allow you to search and add custom visuals. Please note, this method works in both the Desktop application and online with Power BI.



    • On the Home tab, there will be an option From Store under Custom Visuals. This method is only applicable when using Power BI Desktop.


  • Favorite Custom Visuals
    There are many options out there for custom visuals and it is constantly being updated with more. Below are my three favorite custom visuals.Bullet Chart by OKVizA bullet chart is a great visual introduced by Stephen Few which allows you to show performance against a target. One use of a bullet chart is revenue and expense tracking against budget. This chart allows you to track your target, your actuals, and then qualitative reference bands. The bands can be used to track the number’s state, such as Bad, Acceptable, Good.

    Brick Chart by MAQ Software

    This visualization is a different way to look at percentages. It has 100 squares which are colored by a categorical field depending on the percent of total. For our example below, we are looking at overall Profit by Region and we can see that the Central Region has the highest profit.

    Hierarchy Slicer

    This really isn’t a visual, but a slicer, however it allows you to add hierarchal fields to a slicer and it will retain the hierarchy. For instance, if you used a date field in this slicer, you can have a hierarchy of year, quarter, and month.

    There are many custom visuals available and it can be overwhelming at times. Hopefully this will help you as you start to explore custom visuals.

  • By the way, be sure to checkout last week’s post about the October 2017 release of PowerBI in case you missed that!