Create custom Q&A suggestions

Create custom Q&A suggestions

With Power BI, you can add your own suggested questions for others who use the natural language query box.

Video: Adding custom questions

Users will see your suggested questions when they ask a question.

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To add your own questions, select the ellipsis next to the dashboard that you want to use. Select Settings from the menu. You can completely disable the Q&A search input box from the Dashboards section of the Settings page.

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To add questions, select the Datasets section. All datasets that are associated with the dashboard are displayed. Select the dataset that is associated with your dashboard from the list, select Featured Q&A questions, and then select the Add a question link. Enter your question or prompt into the input box and then select Apply.

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When anyone selects the search input box, they’ll see your suggested entries at the top of the prompt list. Custom questions are a valuable way to get dashboard users to think about the type of data that is available and how to best use it.

For more information, see Create featured questions for Power BI Q&A

Introduction to the Power BI service

Introduction to the Power BI service

This unit explores the Power BI service and shows how it can help you turn your business intelligence data into data insights.

The following are the tasks that you will complete in this module:

  1. Upload reports
  2. Create dashboards
  3. Ask questions of your data
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Video: Introduction to the Power BI service

The Power BI service is the natural extension of Power BI Desktop, and you can use its features for uploading reports, creating dashboards, and asking questions of your data by using natural language. Additionally, you can use the service to set data refresh times, share data with your organization, and create customized service packs.

Sign in to the Power BI service

Before you can sign in to Power BI, you’ll need an account. To get a free trial, go to app.powerbi.com and sign up with your email address.

For detailed steps on setting up an account, see Sign in to Power BI service

Quick insights in Power BI

Quick insights in Power BI

The Power BI service can automatically look for insights in a dashboard, report, or dataset.

Video: Quick insights

From the Datasets section, select the ellipsis beside the dataset that you’re interested in and then select Get quick insights.

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When you select Get quick insights, Power BI searches the data for patterns. After about 15 seconds, the notification changes to let you know that Power BI found some insights.

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When you select the View insights button on the notification, you’re presented with a page of visuals. You can scroll down through the page to view and consider the visuals.

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As with any other visual, you can interact with the visuals on the Quick Insights page. You can also pin any of them to a dashboard or filter to uncover additional insights.

With Quick Insights, you can let Power BI do the work to spot outliers and trends in your data. Use those findings in your dashboards or continue to refine and filter to get to the insights that you need.

For more information, see Generate data insights automatically with Power BI

Create and configure a dashboard

Create and configure a dashboard

Dashboards in Power BI are one-page collections of visualizations that are created from within the Power BI service. You can create dashboards by pinning visuals from reports.

Video: Create a dashboard

Pinning a visual to a dashboard is a lot like pinning a picture to a corkboard on a wall, where the visual is pinned to a particular spot for others to see. To pin a visual, open its report on the Power BI service. Hover over the visual that you want to pin and select the pin icon.

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You can select a destination dashboard for the visual from the drop-down menu or create a new dashboard. You can pin visualizations from multiple reports and pages to a single dashboard, allowing you to combine different datasets and sources into a single page of insights.

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On dashboards, you can add any sort of visualization, including graphs, maps, images, and shapes, by pinning them. After a visual has been pinned to a dashboard, it’s called a tile.

Your dashboards appear in the Dashboards section on the left side of the Power BI service. Select a dashboard from the list to view it.

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You can change the layout of visuals on a dashboard however you’d like. To resize a tile, drag its handles in or out. To move a tile, simply select and drag it to a different location on the dashboard. Hover over a tile and select the pencil icon to open the Tile details form, where you can change information in the Title or Subtitle fields.

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Select a dashboard tile to view the report from which it originated. You can also change that link by using the Set custom link field on the Tile details form.

You can pin tiles from one dashboard to another, for example, if you have a collection of dashboards and want to create one summary board. The process is the same: hover over the tile and select the pin icon. Dashboards are simple to create and to change. You can customize your one-page dashboard to show exactly the information that it should.

For more information, see Introduction to dashboards for Power BI designers

Ask questions of your data with natural language

Ask questions of your data with natural language

Sometimes, the fastest way to get answers about your data is by asking questions in the Q&A feature of Power BI.

Video: Ask questions in natural language

Note: Currently, Power BI Q&A only supports answering queries that are asked in English; however, a preview is available for Spanish that can be enabled by your Power BI administrator.

Explore Q&A

You can use Q&A to explore your data by using the intuitive, natural language capabilities of Power BI and receive answers in the form of charts and graphs.

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Ask a question

Ask a question about your data in Q&A by using natural language. Natural language refers to the ordinary language that humans use to communicate with one another every day. An example would be, “What are the total units by region?”

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Q&A is available on dashboards and reports in Power BI. Go to the dashboard and place your cursor in the question box to open the Q&A screen.

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If the visuals’ axis labels and values include the words salesaccountmonth, and opportunities, then you can confidently ask questions. For example, “Which account has the highest opportunity” or “Show sales by month as a bar chart.”

Other helpful items are provided on the side of the screen. For each dataset, Q&A shows you keywords and occasionally shows you some sample or suggested questions. Select any of these to add them to the question box.

Another way that Q&A helps you ask questions is with prompts, autocomplete, and visual cues.

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Q&A visuals

Q&A picks the best visual based on the data that is being displayed. For example, numbers might be displayed as a line chart while cities are more likely to be displayed as a map.

You can also tell Q&A which visual to use by adding it to your question. Q&A will prompt you with a list of workable visual types. By using the previous example, you could ask, “What are the total units by region by pie chart?”

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For more information, see Create a visual with Power BI Q&A

Share dashboards with your organization

Share dashboards with your organization

Power BI reports help you find data, collect it in a data model, and build reports and visualizations. These features are even more powerful when you share your insights with others in your organization.

Video: Share dashboards

To share a dashboard, open it in the Power BI service and select the Share link in the top left-hand corner.

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From the Share dashboard page, select the Share tab. In the Email address field, enter the names of people whom you’d like to grant access to your dashboard. You can also copy and paste email addresses into this field, or you can use a distribution list, security group, or Office 365 group.

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If you select the Send email notification to recipients check box, then your recipients will receive an email with a link to the shared dashboard. You can add an optional note to the email.

Note: Recipients without an existing Power BI account will be taken through the sign-up process before viewing your dashboard.

Anyone whom you share a dashboard with can see and interact with it exactly as you do. However, they have read-only access to the underlying reports, and they have no access to the underlying datasets.

For more information, see Share Power BI dashboards and reports with coworkers and others

Display visuals and tiles in full screen

Display visuals and tiles in full screen

When you’re looking at dashboards or reports in the Power BI service, it can be helpful to expand and focus on an individual chart or visual. You can do that in two different ways.

Video: View visuals full-screen

Hover over a dashboard tile and select the ellipsis to see possible actions for the tile. Select Open in focus mode to expand the tile to encompass the full dashboard space.

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Focus mode allows you to see more detail in your visuals and legends. For example, some of the columns might not be shown because of the space that is available in the tile.

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In Focus mode, you can pin the visual directly to a different dashboard by selecting the pin icon. To exit Focus mode, select the Exit focus mode icon in the top-left corner.

The process is similar when you are viewing a report. A visual is still interactive in Focus mode, though you will temporarily lose any cross-filter effect between visuals.

Edit tile details and add widgets

Edit tile details and add widgets

After you’ve built a dashboard, you can format your tiles in the Power BI service.

Video: Edit tile details

To modify a tile, hover over and select the ellipsis to see the choices that are shown in the following screenshot.

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Select the pen icon to open the Tile details pane. From this pane, you can change the tile’s TitleSubtitle, or include its last refresh time.

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By default, when you select a dashboard tile, you’re redirected to the report from which it originated. To change this behavior, use the Set custom link field on the Tile details pane. One popular use of this feature is to redirect users to the organization homepage when they select a logo image.

Add images and text to your dashboard

You can also add tiles that contain images, online videos, text boxes, or web content. When you select the Add tile link in the upper-left corner of a dashboard, the Add tile dialog box appears.

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When you add a text box, for example, a Tile details pane appears on the right side, where you can edit details. A section is also available for you to define or modify the tile content, such as a rich text editor for a text box.

With tiles and the ability to edit details, you can customize your dashboard and make it appear how you want.

For more information, see Edit or remove a dashboard tile

Get more space on your dashboard

Get more space on your dashboard

After you’ve built a dashboard, you can format your tiles in the Power BI service.

Video: Edit tile details

To modify a tile, hover over and select the ellipsis to see the choices that are shown in the following screenshot.

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Select the pen icon to open the Tile details pane. From this pane, you can change the tile’s TitleSubtitle, or include its last refresh time.

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By default, when you select a dashboard tile, you’re redirected to the report from which it originated. To change this behavior, use the Set custom link field on the Tile details pane. One popular use of this feature is to redirect users to the organization homepage when they select a logo image.

Add images and text to your dashboard

You can also add tiles that contain images, online videos, text boxes, or web content. When you select the Add tile link in the upper-left corner of a dashboard, the Add tile dialog box appears.

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When you add a text box, for example, a Tile details pane appears on the right side, where you can edit details. A section is also available for you to define or modify the tile content, such as a rich text editor for a text box.

With tiles and the ability to edit details, you can customize your dashboard and make it appear how you want.

For more information, see Edit or remove a dashboard tile

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