Joshua Fennessy

Getting to know Power View–Part 4: Putting it all together

What do you think of Power View so far?  Hopefully you find it easy to work with.  That is one of the major tenants of the product.  This is the first Microsoft reporting tool that I believe truly delivers an easy-to-use interface for self-service analytics.

In this final entry to the Getting to know Power View series, we’ll take a quick look at few more features and also explore options for sharing and presenting data with Power View.

Visualization Formats

During the course of this series, we have looked at two different chart types, column and line. There are many more available in Power View.

imageScatter – An animated view that allows for comparison of multiple measures and dimensions. Includes a play axis – typically to animate change over time.
image100% Bar– A visualization, similar to a pie chart, but in column format that allows for analysis of contribution to a whole. Also works with the title bar on top – a new filtering option designed to conserve report design space.As you can see, Power View includes lots of options for designing highly visual, interactive reports.

Other Major Features

Context Sensitive Filtering
Have you tried clicking on a chart area yet? If not, give it a shot. Notice how all of the other objects on the view are filtered? This is one of the great ways that Power View lets us analyze our data. This filtering is automatic! Nothing to configure. A very powerful tool indeed!
Multi-page Reports
On the left side of the Power View design screen, notice the View 1/1 text? You can add new views – think pages – to your report and build a good story to tell. You can start with a general view, then dive into detailed areas on subsequent views. Multiple views is very handy to use with the next feature…
Export to PowerPoint
Power View certainly isn’t the first technology to have an export to PowerPoint option. The results may be a bit surprising though! Go head, click the File menu and select Export to PowerPoint. Enter a file name and location, and your presentation is created. Go ahead and open the imagefile, and start the Presentation. You’ll notice a button in the bottom right corner. That’s right! You can interact with LIVE DATA during your PowerPoint presentation. This is going to be a HUGE benefit to using Power View to create reports.

Final Thoughts

While Power View certainly isn’t the most sophisticated reporting tool available; it is head and shoulders above any other Microsoft tool in terms of usability for non-developers.   As Tabular Models, like SSAS and PowerPivot become more mature in the corporate space, I believe Power View is going to be a go-to tool for many analysts.  What do you think?

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