Dashboard Week Day 5: Power BI

by Clare Fox

As if Tableau 8 wasn’t enough – today we had to deal with PowerBI.  I’d never used the software before so this was a trial and error exercise really.

The Data and data prep

The dataset for today was a dataset from Kaggle that recorded all the transactions from one grocery store between 2016 and 2019 and the task was to create a KPI dashboard for this data.  

The dataset (unlike some days this week) was quick to download and pretty clean and easy to use.  But as I’ve learnt this week – filter down on a topic and filter down fast! So I chose to focus on avocados.

I prepared the data in Alteryx, filtering on avocados, parsing the date and creating a couple of fields.  As I didn’t know much about how to use PowerBI or if I could create calculations within it, I wanted to create the fields I needed to Alteryx first so that I only needed to concentrate on visualising in PowerBI. So, in Alteryx I added a field for profit per transaction as well as cost per transaction and total sales for the item in the transaction.

In Alteryx, I also deleted a couple of fields I knew I wouldn’t be needing.  Confusingly there seemed to be a couple of fields which could be mapped to the selling price of the item – there was a column for both ‘Price’ and ‘Sell Price’ so I deleted one of these as well. Not sure if it was the right one…

Visualising in PowerBI

At first PowerBI felt strange as I’m used to using Tableau, the software looks very different and things are organised very differently. However, after a bit of exploring and experimenting, I found that I could put together a KPI dashboard in the software pretty quickly which was handy because I only had a couple of hours.