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Data Visualizations in Power View

SQL Server 2012
Important note Important

Please visit the most up-to-date Power View documentation on office.microsoft.com. Power View is now a feature of Microsoft Excel 2013, and is part of the Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and 2013 Enterprise Editions.

In Power View, a feature of SQL Server 2012 Reporting Services Add-in for Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition, you can quickly create a variety of visualizations, from tables and matrices to bubble charts and sets of small multiple charts. For every visualization you want to create, you start with a table, which you can then easily convert to other visualizations, to determine which one best illustrates your data. To create a table, you click a table or field in the field list, or you drag a field from the field list to the view. Power View draws the table in the view, displaying your actual data and automatically adding column headings. You do not insert an empty table in the view and then add data to it. As you select more fields, they are added to the table in the view.

To convert a table to other visualizations, you click a visualization type in the Visualizations gallery on the Table Tools Design tab. Depending on the data in your table, Power View enables and disables different visualization types to give you the best visualization for that data.

To start another visualization, you create another table by clicking the blank view before selecting fields from the fields section of the field list.

Some of the many data visualizations available in Power View

Crescent data visualizations
  1. Slicer filtering the report to breads

  2. Cover flow navigation for tiles, currently on croissant

  3. Card in a tile container, filtered to the current tile (croissant)

  4. Line chart in tile container showing quantities consumed and server, filtered to croissants January to December

  5. Small multiples, filtered to breads and sorted in descending order by quantity served

  6. Column chart filtered to breads, showing quantities served and consumed

To add fields to the view, you:

  • Click a table name in the fields section of the field list.

    Power View automatically adds a table to the view with the fields that the model designer has identified as default fields for that table. You can then add, remove, or rearrange columns.

  • Expand a table in the fields section of the field list and select individual fields. A one-column table is automatically created in the view.

  • Click the arrow next to the field in the fields section, and then click Add to Values.

  • Drag a field from the fields section to the layout section of the field list.

  • Drag a field from the fields section directly to the view. You can drag it to an empty spot to start a new table, or drag it to an existing visualization.

As you add fields to the view, they also show up in the Values box in the layout section in the lower half of the field list.

When you add a field to the view, you immediately see the actual values in that field–the same values you would see in reading and full-screen modes. The columns are formatted according to their data type, as defined in the model that the report is based on.

Note Note

For optimal performance, Power View doesn’t fetch all the data in a table at one time. It fetches more data as you scroll.

When you have a table selected in the view, any fields you select are added to that table. They get added to the layout section of the field list, and the table resizes itself to accommodate them.

To start a new visualization, you click the view before selecting fields from the field list, or drag a field to the blank view.

You can add fields to a table in the view from the same or another table in the fields section of the field list, if the tables in the field list are joined by relationships in the model on which the report is built. For example, Product and Category tables could be joined on a CategoryKey field. If there is no relationship defined between the field in the view and a field in the fields section of the field list, the field in the fields section is disabled.

Note Note

You cannot define relationships between tables in Power View. They have to be defined in the model upon which your report is based, either in PowerPivot for Excel or SQL Server Data Tools (SSDT). For more information, see Relationships Overview.

After you’ve created the table, you can convert it to many other visualizations. The ribbon automatically enables the items in the Visualizations gallery on the Table Tools Design tab that make the most sense based on the data in the table, and disables those that won’t work. For example:

  • If a table has no measures, you cannot convert it to a chart. A table needs at least one measure before you can convert it to a chart.

    For more information, see Measure and Non-Measure Fields in Power View.

  • You can only convert a table with one column into a slicer. If the table has more than one column, the slicer icon will be disabled

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You can convert your table to a matrix, with row and column groups, By default a matrix will have totals, and subtotals for the groups, but you can turn them off. Add column groups by dragging a field to the Column Groups box.

Tip Tip

If you don’t see the Column Groups box, make sure Matrix is selected in the Visualizations Gallery.

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Power View offers a number of chart options: column, bar, line, scatter, and bubble. Charts can have multiple measures and multiple series. You have several design options in a chart – showing and hiding labels, legends, and titles.

Even in reading and full-screen modes, charts are interactive: As you click values in one chart, you:

  • Highlight that value in that chart.

  • Filter to that value in all the tables, matrices, and tiles in the report.

  • Highlight that value in all the other charts in the report.

For more information, see Filtering, Highlighting, and Slicers in Power View.

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Small multiples are small repeating charts. They make it easier to compare many different values at the same time. As you add more data (groups or measures) to a visualization:

  • In a matrix, you can have multiple row and column groups as containers.

  • In a chart, things quickly get cluttered and cramped.

Small multiples solve this clutter by spreading the information out over a series of charts that are alike in size, scale, and measurement, to make comparing the values easy.

  • Vertical multiples expand across the available page width and then wrap down the page into the space available. If all multiples do not fit in the available space, you get a vertical scroll bar.

  • Horizontal multiples expand across the page. If all multiples do not fit on the page width, you get a horizontal scroll bar.

You can set how many multiples to display across and down. On the Layout tab on the Chart Tools contextual tab, click Grid and select the number of charts to display across and down.

If you click the pop-out button on a set of small multiples, you do not see more of the multiples; each multiple is larger.

Small multiples showing a bubble chart for each month. Grid options set the number of charts across and down in the small multiple window.

Small multiples - one bubble chart per month

Synchronized axes in small multiples

In small multiples Power View automatically synchronizes the horizontal and vertical axes and the bubble size in bubble charts. All small multiples have the same axis values. This makes it easier to compare the values in one multiple to another. However, if values in one multiple are much greater than in another, it can be harder to read the multiple with the smaller values.

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You can convert a table to a series of cards that display the data from each row in the table laid out in a card format, like an index card.

Cards display the default image in a prominent location, with the default label field in the banner of the card.

Cards with primary image

In the Visualizations gallery on the Table Tools Design tab, click the arrow to show all the visualizations, and then click the Card icon.

The model author can set the Default Label property on a field in the model, and it will be the heading for a card. For example, for a Contacts table, the default heading would probably be each person’s name. The model author can also set the Default Image property on an image field in the model, and it will be the default image on a card. For more information, see Configure Table Behavior Properties for Power View Reports (SSAS Tabular).

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You can convert a table or matrix to tiles to present tabular data interactively. Tiles are containers with a dynamic navigation strip. You choose a table field or row group to tile by, and the navigation strip displays those values. As you flip through the values in the navigation strip, the related information appears in data visualizations that you add to the container. All content in the container is filtered by the selected value.

This tile container, filtered by category, uses the category image in the cover flow navigation, and contains a line chart and set of cards filtered for the category selected.

Tile with line chart and cards

By default, when you convert a table or matrix to a tile container by clicking Tiles on the Design tab, a navigation tab strip displays the first table field value or row group value, or uses a field set by the model author. The remaining fields are displayed as a table nested in the container.

Instead of letting Power View pick a default field to tile by, you can also drag a field from the fields section of the field list to the Tile by box in the layout section of the field list.

After you’ve created a set of tiles, you can also:

  • Add multiple data visualizations such as charts to the tile container.

  • Switch between the two navigation styles: a tab strip that displays values at the top of the tile container or a cover flow that displays values at the bottom of the tile container.

  • Choose whether to synchronize the axes for a chart across all the tiles.

  • Add filters to the visualizations in the tiles container.

  • You can create a visualization on the view, and then cut or copy it and paste it into the tiles container. When you do, it will be filtered by the value in the navigation strip. You can also do the opposite: cut or copy a visualization in a tiles container and paste it in the view, or in another tiles container.

Synchronizing axes in tiles containers

By default, Power View does not automatically synchronize the horizontal and vertical axes, series, and bubble size in charts in a tiles container. For each chart, it sets these scales based on the values in the chart on each individual tile. This makes each chart easy to read. However, it can be hard to compare values across multiple tiles if the scales are not consistent. You can choose to synchronize charts across the tiles to make it easier to compare the values in the chart from one tile to another. However, if values in one chart are much greater than in another, it can be harder to read the chart with the smaller values.

Synchronizing the series means that every value is in the legend for every chart, even if a value doesn’t exist in a specific chart. For example in a chart of items sold tiled by month, if the series is not synchronized, items in the Items list in the legend will vary, depending on what sold that month. If the series is synchronized, items in the Items list will be fixed, so even if an item didn’t sell that month, it will still be in the list.

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Scatter and bubble charts are a great way to display a lot of related data in one chart. In scatter charts, the x-axis displays one measure and the y-axis displays another, making it easy to see the relationship between the two values for all the items in the chart.

In a bubble chart, a third measure controls the size of the data points.

Following data over time

To view changes in data over time, you can add a time dimension to scatter and bubble charts, with a ‘play’ axis. When you click the play button, the bubbles travel, grow, and shrink to show how the values change based on the play axis. You can pause at any point to study the data in more detail. When you can click a bubble on the chart, you can see its history in the trail the bubble has followed over time.

Bubble chart with play axis and data labels

Bubble chart with play axis and data labels

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Color-based categories for scatter and bubble charts

You can add a field to the Color box for a scatter or bubble chart, and it will color the bubbles or scatter points differently, according to the different values in that field, overriding the bubble colors. For example, adding the Category field to a bubble chart of foods assigns different colors to the bubbles depending on if they are fruits, vegetables, breads, or beverages.

Bubble chart with different colors for the Category values

Bubble chart with color series

The field must be a non-measure field, and can have no more than twenty instances.

Note Note

You can click a color in the legend to highlight all the bubbles for that color, but that will not show traces for all the bubbles in that color. You have to click each bubble individually to show its trace. You can select more than one bubble at a time by pressing Ctrl+Click.

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