Power BI Templates & Seed File
Starting any Power BI Project typically considers the end user experience and interface (UX, UI – how the Reports and Dashboards look and behave) really early on given it’s visual appeal. These templates may help expedite other Power BI developers and beginners to get started.
The need for Templates and Backgrounds…
Design is the silent ambassador of your brand
Ever since I started working with large datasets, originally in Excel, there has always been a need to provide insights in a format that the end user can read, understand and take action from the insight quickly.
Users can spend hours trawling through large, cumbersome reports and Power Point decks filled with data tables, charts and PDFs searching for answers.
Power Pivots, large tables and the standard Excel charts and visuals have typically reigned as king in larger organisations.
Most of the time – the insight is there, but can be buried in dis-organised formats – and given limitations of the tool its provided in, normally static, it can be very difficult to make the insight both engaging and interactive that allows the user to get the insight they need and also perhaps to be informed of something they never even thought of.
If the end user is a senior player, such as a CEO, CFO or member of the ‘C-Suite’, they typically want the answer promptly – but also want to be informed of other influencing factors that may aid their decision making.
Lastly – whether the organisation is large or small – there has always been a need for consistency in the ‘look and feel’ of the report output. This started with just adding the company logo in the top left of the Excel sheet – and now has become engrained into anything remotely Analytical. Accurately representing the ‘brand’ of the company, and its sub-departments, Brands or divisions is increasingly important.
Incorporating the company colour scheme, corporate guidelines and imagery into Business Intelligence is both commonplace and demanded for across any size company today.
Enter Power BI
When I started using Power BI in 2014 – it was simply because Excel couldn’t do the job for my role and downstream consumers at the time. I needed a more powerful tool to crunch the numbers, and a better way of sharing the insight and keeping a broad audience engaged to deliver results.
As a very operational person, I was just as much concerned about the final UX/UI of the Excel output as I was about the accuracy and quality of the insight – but I was by no means a graphic designer or ‘proper’ developer, I had only dabbled with software before as an extension of day-job. Excel was just too limiting when handling massive amounts of transactional data and trying to share interactive reports with Macros/VBA with over 400 locations and c1200 users, over email I might add – just didn’t cut it.
Power BI enabled me to build complex (data models), repeatable (measures and calculations) and scalable (publishing and sharing) reporting solutions that allowed me to reduce the time taken to produce reporting – and make it look the part too.
Margins, Distribution, Consistency, and Alignment are extremely important and often overlooked. If done poorly, these elements can take attention away from the story and leave users dissatisfied and confused.
Fortunately, all four of these items can be tackled quickly and easily with a well made background.
At the very start of a Power BI project, large or small, you should already have an idea of the story the data will tell, either through requirements gathering or your own knowledge of the data.
What you may not currently have however, is either the technical expertise or know-how to effectively implement this within a Power BI report.
What Chris writes above serves as the reference point for what I am sharing with you, an extension of what was provided as part of Power BI’s December 2019 release of the Sales and Returns Sample Report, which Chris and Miguel Myers created.
I have simply built out the concept a bit further – and incorporated some concepts I have been using for some time with many clients and projects.
Some key concepts I consider for every report – and therefore incorporate into reporting templates follow these general principles:
- Accurately represent the ‘brand’ or data subject area
- Include common go-to features throughout – such as a page title and data source
- No more than 6 KPIs at the top of the page
- No more than 6 ‘big’ visuals dominating the page
- Consider the audience and intended method of consumption
Overview first, zoom and filter, then details on demand
How to use the PBIX file or PNG files in Power BI Desktop
NOTE: The ZIP files do not contain watermarks.
How to install and use in Power BI Desktop
You can either use the Seed file in the download, then bring in your data, or use an existing PBIX file and add the background PNG files to your report pages.
- Download the ZIP file by entering your email below
- Save the Download files on your device
- Export the ZIP file content to your device
Use the PBIX Template
- Open the PBIX file in Power BI Desktop
- TIP: Turn on the gridlines and snap to grid from the View menu in the ribbon
- Explore the alignment of the existing visuals in Page 1, delete as required
- Edit your Theme as required
- Bring in your own data into the report
Use the PNG or Power Point files
- Open your existing PBIX file
- With no visuals selected – from the Visualisations panel – select Format (paint roller)
- Select Page Background
- Set the Transparency to 0%
- Add an image from the downloaded files – or saved from Power Point
- Change Image Fit to ‘Fit’
Power BI Template – Free
This template, background and Power BI seed file can enable you to quickly build out Enterprise ready Reports by incorporating the designs into your Power BI desktop files.
Get Premium Templates
Premium Templates include Photoshop layouts so you can edit colour Themes and re-size the tiles