Two Ways To Improve Your Power BI Visuals Right Now

With the March release of Power BI, we saw two new features that I have been waiting for – Report Theming and Cross-highlighting and drillable Matrix Visual.  Let’s check both out to see how they can help you, too.

Report Theming

With report theming, you can easily change the color pallet of your reports to match corporate colors, other themes or other User Interface aesthetics.  Color theming is an important part of the report and dashboard design.  Done right, your choice of color helps tell your data story.  Previously, I would spend approximately 10% of my development time tweaking the color palette for the visuals and showing options to the client. With the Report Theming preview, you can now import a JSON file that contains the color palette you would like to use.  For details on how to do this see the Power BI March release blog.

New Matrix Visual Preview

The new matrix visual preview includes drilling into hierarchies, stepped layouts, and cross highlighting and filtering from the matrix headers and cell contents.  In my “Supercharge Your Dynamics GP Dashboards & Reports with Power BI,” I used the old matrix visual to create a simple profit and loss statement.  The matrix could be filtered by other slicers within the report but didn’t allow you to drill down into the description categories or cross-highlight between other visuals within the report.  By contrast, the new matrix visual allows this functionality.  In the screenshot below, you can see on the right how it allows you to drill down into the hierarchies by right-clicking or using the visual grouping created in the row section. For details on this functionality check out the Power BI documentation.Power BI Matrix

Besides the limitations and considerations highlighted in the Power BI new Matrix visual blog post, I also found another limitation.  When creating a new Matrix visual with measures, as I did in the above screenshot, you lose the ability to drill to the See Records functionality in the right click Drill menu.


Stay tuned for the future developments of the reports and an overview of their functionality. For help with building reports like this, please contact KTL Solutions to kick starting your organization into becoming data driven by exploring your Business Intelligence, BI360, Power BI, Microsoft Dynamics GP and CRM needs.

BARRY CROWELL, MBA | BI/EDW Solution Architect

Barry is a Microsoft SQL Certified Professional with a strong knowledge of the Microsoft’s BI Stack (SSIS, SSRS, SSAS and Power BI). He has architected, developed and deployed clients’ Business Intelligence needs using Microsoft’s BI Stack and/or Solver’s BI360.  His solutions have included SSIS ETL tools, SSRS reports and dashboards, Excel dashboards, Power BI reports and dashboards, and SSAS cubes. He has performed implementations as the lead consultant and/or end-user project manager. Barry has over 20 years of experience working in accounting and the Microsoft Dynamics GP industry, and in various industries such as housing authorities, universities, Tribal governments, and casino hospitality. He possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting and Business Administration from Black Hills State University and a Master’s in Business Administration from La Salle University.  Barry’s experience in both the IT consultant field and experience as an accountant gives him the ability to understand the issues from both the IT and Finance prospective, and provide a solution that fits the needs for all parties involved.

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