Power BI - Data Visualization Software

By: Rachel Scanlon on 3/13/2018

In this blog post we are going walk through how you would create a report from existing data in Power BI desktop. In my situation I have an Excel spreadsheet depicting the number of new products that have been added over time since the inception of the database. The executives of the company would like to compare this against yearly sales to see if the drop in new additional products in the years between 2008 and 2013 *truly* affected sales. If so, to what degree was this a factor? We are then going to embed this report, so it can be displayed for them on their intranet site.

First you need to download a copy of Power BI Desktop.

Open Power BI Desktop and select “File > New”. This will open a new Power BI document.

Click the Get Data icon. As you can see, you can access data from pretty much any source you want, but for this blog post we are going to use an excel spreadsheet containing data I exported from a “Product” table in a SQL Server Database.

This will open a dialog allowing you to choose the data source.

Select the checkbox for the one you need and it should display a snapshot of the data, as shown below.

Select “Load”. It will then take a few seconds to parse the data. Then you will see the names of the columns from the Excel spreadsheet.

I’m going to select the “Clustered Column Chart” option and then chose the “ProductId” and “Created” on which to base my report.

This will automatically generate a graphical representation of your report. Mine shows how many new products have been created each year since the table’s inception.

Obviously, this is a very simple example for demonstration purposes. In a businesses scenario you may connect to SQL server and do a direct query on multiple tables to obtain the data for a complex report.

Next we are going to hit the “Publish” button (you will be prompted to save your report as a *.pbix file).

When you hit “Publish”, a dialog with appear asking you to sign in to Power BI. If you don’t already have an account, you can sign up for free here.

Choose “Select”.

The service will then publish your report to Power BI. This may take a few seconds.

Open your *.pbix file in Power BI.

This will launch your report in a browser window.

Select “Publish to Web”.

“Create embed code”.


You can copy the iFrame html into any web application page to display your report.

Below you can see mine displayed in a .NET application.