Power BI – Custom charts: Waterfall chart, Scatter chart, Funnel Chart

Many students have difficulty understanding the essence of the custom charts and especially when to use them. To help the student community, we are writing this article to explain advanced charts like the Waterfall, Scatter, and Funnel Chart.

Default Charts of Power BI Desktop:

The Power BI Desktop tool comes with some of the basic charts, such as

  • Stacked bar and stacked column chart
  • Pie chart and Donut chart
  • Line, Area and Stacked area chart
  • Combination of Line Stacked column charts etc.

There are some advanced charts based on the geo-location on the map, such as

  • Map Chart
  • Filled Map Chart
  • Azure Map Chart

You must have encountered all these basic charts in real-time business scenarios. However, we all know that Power BI is a very vast tool & has many visuals to explore. Power BI has creative visuals that can convey critical information in a single chart, such as a Waterfall chart, Scatter Chart, Funnel Chart, etc.

Water Fall chart:

The name of the chart itself depicts that it looks like a waterfall when we observe it from right to left, but the story that it conveys is different.

When we observe the above chart, we can see that there are bars on the x-axis representing years and sales on the y-axis. It is now evident that those bars are telling us the total sales for the respective year.

Now, if we take a closer look between the two years 2016 and 2017, the sales in 2017 have decreased compared to 2016. Considering that there are three categories contributing to the total sales, it conveys which category has increased or decreased from the previous year’s sales and by what amount.

The category furniture increased its sales by 13k in 2017 compared to its previous year’s sales. In the same way, technology and office supplies have unfortunately decreased their sales by 12k and 15k in the year 2017 when compared with the previous year’s sales.

This chart is beneficial in finding out the difference in actual sales compared with the time and categories.

Scatter Chart:

When we have two or three numerical types of data to visualize, say Sales, Profits, and Quantity sold, a Scatter chart is handy. 

Scatter chart is usually divided into four quadrants mentioned in the above fig 2. The x-axis represents sales, the y-axis represents profits, each bubble represents a subcategory and the size of a bubble represents the quantity sold. 

· Quadrant 1: From the above chart we can say that the category phones and Accessories have been one of the major contributors to profits, but the sales of the product and quantity sold are also high, which clearly tells the story that the higher the sales, higher the profits. 

· Quadrant 2: From the above chart, we can say that the category copiers is the leading contributor to profits, and the size of the bubble is relatively small, which means that the quantity sold is less and the sales of the product are also less than quadrant 1. 

· Quadrant 3: The categories in this quadrant have made fewer profits and also fewer sales which clearly conveys concentrating on those categories to work on. 

· Quadrant 4: The categories in this quadrant have huge sales but are the least contributors to profits.

In this way, we can classify the performance of the categories as per their sales, profit contributions, and quantity sold.

Funnel Chart:

The Funnel chart is a perfect fit when we have a hierarchical process of data to visualize. The data should go through sequential stages, as shown in the above example. The process starts with prospects they had and goes through sequential stages of conversion. It helps us to see the conversion rate from the previous stage.

There are many examples involving hierarchical processes like lead conversions in sales for email marketing, the selection process involved in hiring candidates for jobs, etc.

The charts mentioned above are default charts that are available by default in the Power BI desktop version. There are almost 230+ charts in Power BI, which are available in the Microsoft store. However, we may not be able to access those charts by using Power BI Desktop free version.

Rizwan Shaik

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