11. The Analytics Pane


The Analytics pane allows you to add various reference lines to charts, such as average, min, max and constant lines. We’ll create some of these lines in this lesson.


The Analytics Pane

  • The analytics pane lets you create reference lines on your charts
  • The exact lines available vary by chart type, but can include constant lines, average lines, minimum lines, maximum lines
  • These reference lines are dynamic, so for example an average line will update if the average value in your dataset changes


In this lesson we'll look at how we can use the Analytics pane to add dynamic reference lines to our charts. These can be particularly useful when evaluating performance as they can allow us to compare data with targets, averages, or other useful metrics.

We'll examine the Analytics pane using the visuals we created in the previous lesson. To bring up the Analytics pane we'll need to select one of our visuals. We'll select the line chart and then select the Analytics icon below the Visualizations pane. We now have the ability to add a Constant Line a Min or Max Line, an Average or Median Line, or a Percentile Line.

The exact selection of lines varies according to the type of chart. Note that some chart types do not support analytics features. Our software company has a target of selling to 42,000 users a month. A constant line can help us easily see if we're reaching this target. We'll select Constant Line, then Add, and enter 42,000 as the Value.

We'll now format the line. We'll double click Constant Line 1 and change the name to Target Users.

We'll then change the style to Dotted and add a Data label with Display units as Thousands.

Next, we'll make the line easier to see by reducing the Transparency to zero. It's now apparent when monthly sales are above or below our target number of users. Let's move on to the bar chart of users by sales person. Suppose we want to know the average number of users that each sales person has brought in. As we head back to the Analytics pane we see the same formatting options. We'll add an Average Line and name it Average Users.

This time, we'll make the line stand out by changing the color to yellow. Again, we'll reduce the Transparency to zero and add a Data label.

In order to see the label, we'll change the Vertical Position setting to Under to put it at the bottom of the chart. We can see that the average sales person has brought in just under 33,000 users. Note that these analytics lines are dynamic. Imagine we want to leave out the bottom two sales people, as they're clearly outliers. To do this, we'll select the Fields icon and we'll modify the Visual level filter for Sales person. We'll Select All, and then deselect both Barcus and Stefani.

Now that they're gone, you can see that the average line has moved up to 37,223. This dynamic aspect of the analytics lines can be very useful when you're frequently interacting with graphs. Let's stop the lesson here. The analytics offered may not be particularly advanced but their dynamic nature makes them handy tools for your visualizations. In the next lesson, we'll look at how to create bubble and scatter plots.

Dashboards and Visualizations
Introduction to Visualizations in Power BI


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