How To Build A Dashboard Using BI Reporting Tools

BI Reporting Tools helps businesses to convert a vast volume of unfiltered data into visually appealing and easily decipherable reports. Using different charts, graphs, and visuals, you can present an honest and real-time picture of your business’s Key Performance Metrics (KPIs), operational efficiencies, market value, new income avenues, new opportunities, sales trends and much more.

What is a BI dashboard?

A BI dashboard is a simplified form of organizing unstructured data and reporting the same in a business-usability manner. It’s an information management tool that helps a business in tracking critical information and other data points relevant to specific processes, departments, and the organization as a whole.

By using a BI tool, management can get a holistic understanding of the objectives from a high level, find out the top performers, and outliers, what is happening, and why it is happening, and then take necessary steps to fulfill the objectives and achieve the business goals.

Best practices in a glimpse

Before building a meaningful dashboard, it’s essential to understand the fundamental Business Intelligence concepts.

  1. Ask yourself why you are building this dashboard – the purpose of the dashboard and who’s the target audience.
  2. Visuals play a vital role, but if you do not have clarity about their usability, you can neither use it optimally nor help the management make the right decision.
  3. Understand the data and get clarity on how to structure it. Until you know the data points, and understand the relationship between them, representing it and drawing a correlation will be difficult.
  4. Keep your dashboards clean by providing critical information. And highlight the data points that need attention.
We have professionals who can simplify your complex and unorganized data and present 
the same through comprehensible and meaningful dashboards. 
Contact us for a free consultation. 

Let’s build a simple dashboard using Microsoft Power BI.

If you want to learn a BI tool, then Power BI is the best to start with – not only because it’s one of the leading BI tools, but also because it has multiple features, and it’s user-friendly. Developing a basic dashboard using BI reporting tools like Power BI, is not tricky. However, this tool is also capable of solving critical analytical problems, and for doing that, you will need knowledge of SQL.

Power BI has been featuring as one of the top leading BI Reporting tools  in Magic Quadrant

Gartner Magic Quadrent

Let us now build a simple dashboard using Power BI

Step 1

Download Power BI Desktop. This free version is suitable for developing a dashboard, but for circulating it, you need it to upload it on the web, and for that, you will need Power BI Pro  @ $ 9.99/user per month. Once you upload it and generate a link, you can embed the same in your SharePoint and make it visible to your stakeholders.

Step 2

After installing, click on “Try free” and register with your credentials.

Step 3

Page 1 that is a blank page when you initiate Popwer BI desktop, looks like this (you can change the name of the page by clicking on “Page 1.”)

Step 4

Go to “File” –>“Get data” –> Excel

The following section contains the inbuilt visions that we will include in our dashboard.

By clicking on the “…” you can import more charts.

Once the data is successfully imported, each Excel sheet will reflect as a table in the “Fields” section:

And by clicking on each table, you can access the columns in it.  Measures (numbers) will have the symbol Σ (sigma) beside it.

Step 5

Power BI will prompt you to use the chart that best suits your data set.

For instance, when I click on Age and EducationField, I get the following chart:

You can now change the chart – first, click on the chart in the canvas, and then select the visual from the Visualizations section.

Step 6

For formatting, the chart including its fonts, colors, labels, graph color, go to the highlighted brush as shown below:

Once done with one chart, go ahead with the next one. You can also include text and change the name of your dashboard.


  • The placement and size of the charts and graphs can be changed and arranged according to your convenience.
  • Using “New Column” in Modeling, you can create a new column and calculate values for each row.


Online classes

There are multiple courses on Power BI:

  1. Course era BI Courses
  2. Udemy

PLEASE NOTE: This article contains basic Power BI knowledge and is suitable for beginners. We will share some more tips and tricks in the upcoming blogs, untill them, feel free to share your queries and opinions.

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