Skip to main content

Open-Source Custom Visuals Now Available for Power BI

by Dann Anthony Maurno
Assistant Editor, MSDW

Power BI Gallery 

Microsoft's Power BI team on its blog has announced the ability to use custom visuals for every single user of the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. Yes, the team released 44 features in September (e.g., report-level filters and Drill Up/Drill Down for column and scatter charts) but "October is bigger. Much bigger," promises Technical Fellow and blog author Amir Netz of the Power BI team.

It's bigger, says Netz, because "with custom visuals we are simply blowing past every limit of what is possible in data visualization and business intelligence," and doubled the visualization options available to Power BI users. And promises Netz, there will be new visualization options coming every week - ones created by and uploaded by the Power BI community.

This is a bold move by Microsoft, but a clever one. User-sourced templates have long been available in Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint. But these visuals are not drag-and-drop creations; they require significant expertise, including coding.

So far, those developers are only too eager to create new visuals. Last month the team released the Power BI developer tools "preview" and announced its Power BI Best Visual Contest for developers. "Within a span of four weeks the community built dozens of new visuals...more new visuals than the whole Power BI team created over the last four years," Netz marvelled.

Custom visuals cannot come fast enough for the Power BI user community. Visualizations came up in conversation at last week's UG Summits, with a few Dynamics customers noticing specific types of chart ...

FREE Membership Required to View Full Content:

Joining gives you free, unlimited access to news, analysis, white papers, case studies, product brochures, and more. You can also receive periodic email newsletters with the latest relevant articles and content updates.
Learn more about us here

About Dann Anthony Maurno

Dann Anthony Maurno is a seasoned business journalist who began his career as International Marketing Manager with Lilly Software, then moved on as a freelancer to write for such prestigious clients as CFO Magazine; Compliance Week;Manufacturing Business Technology; Decision Resources, Inc.; The Economist Intelligence Unit; and corporate clients such as Iron Mountain, Microsoft and SAP. He is the co-author of Thin Air: How Wireless Technology Supports Lean Initiatives(CRC/Productivity Press, 2010).