Microsoft’s Power BI is one of the most powerful visualization tools available at any price. That’s mainly because it offers so many customization options. Power BI custom visuals can display your data in ways you never thought possible.

    This selection guide will introduce you to ten Power BI custom visuals that are particularly impressive. This is just a small taste, but it proves how diverse and comprehensive this software is. Seeing these visual aids may even inspire you to create your own custom visuals and gain more insight into your data.

    What Are Power BI Custom Visuals? 

    Power BI custom visuals are made by Power BI users and shared with others. The software already provides you with many standard visualizations that allow you to look at your data from different perspectives. However, custom visuals expand on these offerings. Essentially, if users can’t find what they need in the standard options, they are free to make their own.

    To use a custom visual, you can browse the Microsoft AppSource or Integrated Office Store and find one that fits your needs. You simply download the file (if you’re on Microsoft AppSource) or select it from the Integrated Office Store. The benefit of downloading visualizations from Microsoft AppSource is that you can see a description of how the tool is used before you start using it yourself.

    There are two types of Power BI custom visuals: 

      • Uncertified visuals are created by users but have not been reviewed by Microsoft. These aren’t always high in quality. The majority of custom visuals are uncertified, so you may still find a diamond in the rough.
      • Certified visuals have been reviewed and officially approved by Microsoft. These visuals are not only high in quality, but they also meet strict security standards and support other options, like integration with other Microsoft software.

    You don’t have to use certified visuals exclusively. However, if you work with sensitive data or wish to present your data to shareholders, this is the most recommended option. These visuals look professional and offer you additional support, including tutorials and troubleshooting.

    Below, we’ve put together a short list of some of our favorite Power BI custom visuals that take data analysis to the next level.

    The Best Power BI Custom Visuals 

    There are ten Power BI custom visuals that many users rate highly. They are:

    • Dot Plot by Maq Software: Some of the best custom visuals take a standard Power BI offering and expand on it. Dot Plot is a bubble chart that offers a greater number of dimension columns (four) as well as three axis fields. You also have more control over the appearance of the chart, including stacked axis and vertical or horizontal orientation.
    • Breakdown Trees: This visual displays information from least complex to most complex. On the left, it displays basic information such as dates; on the right, it displays more detailed data such as sales figures. It also shows which data points are directly connected.
    • Impact Bubble Chart: In standard bubble charts, you can select the size of the bubbles and place them on the x-axis and y-axis. With Impact Bubble Chart, you can also change the color of the bubble based on the data. Higher numbers are deeper in color, while lower numbers appear less saturated.
    • Tadpole Spark Grid by Angry Koala: This visual aid shows the most recent figures in thick, dark lines on a standard grid. It also color-codes the lines based on the data. Black lines stand for increases and red lines stand for decreases. This is helpful because you can see changes easily, particularly recent ones.
    • Synoptic Panel by SQLBI: This complex visual tool colors areas of any image based on the data provided. For example, if you have a map of sales figures by territory in a state, it will color each area based on these numbers.
    • Hexbin Scatterplot: This is similar to the Impact Bubble Chart. It colors each area based on the data. However, the visual aid uses hexagons to group points on the plot. If there are many points in one area of the plot, the hexagon will appear darker.
    • Advanced Time-Slicer BrushChart by Cambridge Technology Partners Team: This tool allows you to look at data from very short periods of time. You can zoom in on certain timeframes for a more detailed view.
    • Power KPI Matrix: Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are displayed in rows and columns based on category. All of your operational figures are grouped in one spot, making it easier to analyze this specific data set.
    • Chord Diagram: This is one of the most visually-appealing tools. The Chord Diagram compares data based on two attributes and uses color to differentiate between each data set. You can look at multiple products in your line and see which products have mainstream appeal vs. products that have small market appeal.
    • RadarChart: This compares two different data sets on a radar chart. For example, you can see the areas in which a staff member excels as well as weak points. You can also compare this performance to average company-wide performance results.

    This list is not comprehensive. There are many other incredible Power BI custom visuals that you can use to understand your data and make better decisions.

    How to Explore Power BI Custom Visuals 

    With so many Power BI custom visuals to choose from, selecting just one isn’t an easy decision. You could spend hours browsing the AppSource for new tools.

    The best way to explore Power BI is by enlisting the help of Power BI experts. They know which standard visuals are most effective, and are familiar with the latest custom visuals. Some of these experts also create custom visuals for clients based on specific needs. If you need to display your data in a certain way but none of the visuals on the market can do it, you can get one crafted from scratch just for your organization.

    Power BI’s standard visuals are fantastic, but they aren’t always designed with your specific business in mind. By embracing Power BI custom visuals and getting advice from data scientists, you’ll make detailed data reports that are as informative as they are beautiful.


    To learn more about Power BI custom visuals, contact Tek Leaders today. Our team specializes in creating detailed visualizations for our clients and can help you identify the most useful visual aids for your needs. If you have more questions about the tools and services we offer, you can reach us by email directly.

      Author: Devender (Dev) Aerrabolu

      Devender (Dev) Reddy Aerrabolu is the CEO of Tek Leaders. His goal is to help SMBs bring value from their data. Dev helped Tek Leaders grow from scratch into a $25 million enterprise by focusing on clients’ data needs.