Recently while on Chandoo’s webinar I saw very interesting use of Emojis used as icons for creating KPIs in Power BI. And this is definitely worth a post.

In this post, I’ll talk about how can you

  1. Create indicative icons in Power BI
  2. Where can you readily find these emojis (a.k.a icons) and
  3. How can you use them in a report

Just like always…

Let’s start with this simple data!

Month Actual Budget
Jan 180 130
Feb 140 180
Mar 200 120
Apr 160 160
May 110 180
Jun 150 150
Jul 130 110
Aug 190 170
Sep 160 180
Oct 150 190
Nov 160 170
Dec 130 190

This is no-where close to what you’d really do in Power BI but for the heck of having some simple data to work with please flow with me.

Following the good manners of creating two measures

Actual Sales = SUM(Data[Actual])
Budgeted Sales = SUM(Data[Budget])

 

Proceeding to a simple Table/ Matrix visual

 Use Icons in Power BI
Unfortunately to have custom icons in Power BI you don’t have a visual so we are going pull this off with DAX!

 

A little DAX for Creating Icons..

I am going to write a simple SWITCH measure

KPI 1 =
SWITCH(
    TRUE(),
    [Actual Sales]>[Budgeted Sales],"✔️",
    [Actual Sales]<[Budgeted Sales],"❌",
    "➖"
)

Now if you are wondering how the hell did I get the tick (and other) icons in my DAX code. I’ll explain

  1. These icons are available at these sites- Get Emoji and Emojipedia (there could be others too!)
  2. Important: Get any emoji you want but the emoji should be a text object and NOT a picture
  3. Since the emoji will be a text, you’ll be able to copy and paste it between double quotes in your DAX measure.
  4. Before you ask.. Yes, you’ll retain it’s original color, formatting etc..

 

Here’s some Display of Icons…

Use Icons in Power BI

 

Some things to keep in Mind!

  • Don’t go overboard with it, be subtle! Remember, nothing beats simplicity
  • Using too many icons can also slow down your report. I have seen some performance issues because of these icons being used

 

DOWNLOAD THE POWER BI FILE

 

Some More Power BI Tricks

  1. Copy Paste Data in Power BI
  2. Create a Pivot Table in Power BI
  3. PAYTM Dashboard in Power BI
  4. Calculating Fiscal Year in Excel and Power BI

 



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