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Power BI for Business Analysts: The top tools you need in your toolbox

If you’re a business analyst who uses Power BI, here are the top tools you should have in your toolbox.

You’ll need more than just a basic understanding of how to build good reports in Power BI or other apps as a business analyst.
You’ll learn how to create visually stunning and useful reports in the most efficient and effective way.

1. Charts with a lot of additional features
Power BI has a large number of visualization. It features everything from pie charts to treemaps, map visualization, clustered column charts, and more. Advanced business charts, such as those that compare actual to plan, actual to projection, or actual to previous year reports, are not available in any business study.

2. Variance Analysis
The majority of advance charts allow for variance analysis. A clear and accessible variance analysis should be included in every business dashboard or report you create.

3. The top N, plus others
Filtering that is more complex may be required. You can, for example, filter the top five elements by value in Power BI, but you can’t do Top N + Others. This feature lets you define the number of top elements to show, as well as the “Others” element, which combines all remaining elements into one. This is a handy little tool that you should incorporate into your dashboards, however it’s tough to do so in Power BI. You’ll need to add some more advanced DAX into your Power BI model to execute this.

4. Use the top N charts as a launching pad
We’ll talk about waterfall charts, especially bridge charts with Top N, where you don’t just pour all of your data in at once. You can genuinely ensure that you’re only making the most important modifications, those that had a positive or negative impact on your total result. A good bridge chart with Top N elements, either positive or negative, in Power BI dashboards and reports is a fantastic business analysis tool.

5. Tables containing groupings of variants
Clear tables with variations and several categories, not just simple basic tables or metrics, are what a real business analyst requires in Power BI. For example, monthly or month-to-date results for a certain time should come first, followed by year-to-date results, and lastly full-year results. Although you are most likely presenting actuals vs. plan in the current quarter, you should also give projection vs. plan in the full-year results.

6. Bridge chart subtotals
If you need to produce an intermediate result before the final result in your chart, this is quite useful. This diagram will aid you in displaying the difference and explaining how and why a particular value changes. When working with EBIT and EBITDA, this is critical. To accomplish this, you’ll need waterfall charts with subtotals, as well as a configurable way to present and calculate them.

7. Presenting forecasts
In Power BI and other technologies, business performance analysis usually focuses on data that has already been acquired. But, as we report, should we neglect to look ahead and try to foresee what will happen? That’s why importing your forecast estimates into Power BI, especially the most current ones, and displaying them clearly in your reports and dashboards is a good idea.

8. Profit and Loss Statement / Price Calculations
If you’re presenting income statements, P&Ls, or other formulas, you’ll need additional tools like vertical waterfall charts, often known as calculation charts. P&Ls and income statements may be difficult to understand since they contain mixed datasets with positive KPIs like revenue and negative KPIs like expenditures and expenses that must be removed. This is difficult enough on its own, but when you add subtotals, it gets even more complicated.

9. Price, volume, and mix variance analysis
Variance analysis is the most important and significant assignment for every business analyst. PVM variance analysis can be used to see how changes in product pricing, volume, and mix affect revenue. Within your company, this study might be applied to certain areas or categories.

10. Multiples of a small number
You’re constantly arguing how much data and visualization tools to include in a report as a business analyst. If you add too much, the end-user won’t be able to understand it. If you add too little, you risk missing out on critical information. So, where do you go to find that perfect balance?

Small multiples is a presentation technique that allows you to provide more information while also increasing your comprehension. This allows you to include more charts in a single image while also enhancing data density.

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PBI VizEdit helps you to create Power BI custom visuals which othewise are not available in Power BI. It is a do-it-yourself solution to create a custom visual without writing a single line of code. The whole process of creating visual and utilizing it in Power BI are not only less expensive but also less time consuming too. 


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