Joshua Fennessy

Getting to know Power View – Part 2: A Tour

If you’ve been following along with this blog series – Part 1 is available here – then you’ve already created a data source – either PowerPivot or Tabular SSAS based and have Power View open and ready to engage on your monitor.

PowerView ScreenshotYou’ll notice quickly that Power View runs right in your browser session.  Additionally, it’s a Silverlight application, which means you’ll NEED Silverlight installed to use this.  There is no installed application on your computer.  It is a BROWSER APPLICATION only.  Try to right click.  You’ll only get a small context menu with one Silverlight option.  There is no right-clicking in Power View.

This reporting application was designed with simplicity in mind.  No property windows, no right click to set options.  Just the ribbon, some visualizations, and various customizations that can be done.

The Power View window consists of only a few sections:

  1. The Ribbon – On the top, the ribbon contains all of the tools and formatting options that you’ll need.  Note that it is context sensitive, so some menu options are only visible when a specific object type is selected.
  2. The Field List – On the upper right, the field list displays ALL of the fields available in the data source originally selected when the report was created.
  3. The “Fields” Section – On the lower right, the Fields section displays which fields are currently used by the selected object.  Note that this section is also context sensitive.  The Fields section will change based on which object type you are currently working with.  For example, a bar chart has different field area available to it as compared to a bubble chart.

Note that there is also no Design View.  In SSRS, you would first design what the report should look like, then execute it and make sure that it still looks correct all populated with data.  Power View is much different.  When you drag a field from the field list on the right, the data shows up right along with the field you select.

Go ahead, try it.  Expand the Internet Sales section in the Field List and drag the field Internet Total Sales  to the upper left of the report.  Notice the little calculator icon next to the Internet Total Sales field?  That’s telling you that you are looking at a measure – or value.  Dimensions – think filter by  fields — have no icon preceding their name.
PowerView Report 1

That’s how easy it is to being working on a report in Power View!  Why don’t you go ahead and add a couple of more fields to the report.  Find the Date section in the field list on the right.  Open that up and add the Calendar Year and Month Name fields to the Fields dialog box directly below the field list.  Be sure to put them in the right order: Calendar Year, Month Name, then Internet Total Sales.  Your report should now look like this.
Power View Report 2

Finally, give you report a title.  At the top of the report, you should see a text box pre-populated with Click here to add a title.  !! HINT:  Click there to add a title. !!  Please title the report Yearly Internet Sales

Also, don’t forget to save!  Even though you are working in the browser, you’ll want to save periodically.  There is no Auto-Save.  There is a Save button on the quick launch area next to the Office Button.  When you click that, you’ll have to choose a SharePoint Library to save in, and give the report a name.  Make sure you do that before continuing on.

Up Next…

Next you’ll learn how to transform a simple report into an interactive visualization.  Stay tuned!

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