Tutorial: From Excel workbook to a report in the Power BI service to Microsoft Teams

Your manager wants to see a report on your latest sales and profit figures by the end of the day. But the latest data is in various third-party systems and files on your laptop. In the past, it’s taken hours to create visuals and format a report, and you’re beginning to feel anxious.

No worries. With Power BI, you can create a stunning report and share it in Microsoft Teams in no time!

Screenshot of finished Financial Sample report

In this tutorial, we upload an Excel file, create a new report, and share it with colleagues in Microsoft Teams, all from within Power BI. You'll learn how to:

  • Prepare your data in Excel.
  • Download sample data.
  • Build a report in the Power BI service.
  • Pin the report visuals to a dashboard.
  • Share a link to the dashboard.
  • Share the dashboard in Microsoft Teams

Prepare data in Excel

Let’s take a simple Excel file as an example.

  1. Before you can load your Excel file into Power BI, you must organize your data in a flat table. In a flat table, each column contains the same data type; for example, text, date, number, or currency. Your table should have a header row, but not any columns or rows that display totals.

    Screenshot of Data organized in Excel.

  2. Next, format your data as a table. In Excel, on the Home tab, in the Styles group, select Format as Table.

  3. Select a table style to apply to your worksheet.

    Your Excel worksheet is now ready to load into Power BI.

    Screenshot of Data formatted as a table.

Upload your Excel file to the Power BI service

The Power BI service connects to many data sources, including Excel files that live on your computer.

Note

To follow along with the rest of this tutorial, download the Financial Sample workbook.

  1. To get started, sign in to the Power BI service. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so for free.

  2. In My workspace, select New > Upload a file.

    Screenshot of the Upload a file option.

  3. Select Local File, browse to where you saved the Financial Sample Excel file, and select Open.

  4. On the Local File page, select Import.

    Now you have a Financial Sample dataset. Power BI also automatically created a blank dashboard. If you don't see the dashboard, refresh your browser.

    Screenshot of My Workspace with Financial Sample dataset.

  5. You want to create a report. Still in My workspace, select New > Report.

    Screenshot of the New report option.

  6. In the Select a dataset to create a report dialog box, select your Financial Sample dataset > Create.

    Screenshot of Select a dataset dialog box.

Build your report

The report opens in Editing view and displays the blank report canvas. On the right are the Visualizations, Filters, and Fields panes. Your Excel workbook table data appears in the Fields pane. At the top is the name of the table, financials. Under that, Power BI lists the column headings as individual fields.

You see the Sigma symbols in the Fields list? Power BI has detected that those fields are numeric. Power BI also indicates a geographic field with a globe symbol.

Screenshot of what Excel data looks like in the Fields pane.

  1. To have more room for the report canvas, select Hide the navigation pane, and minimize the Filters pane.

    Screenshot of minimizing the navigation pane.

  2. Now you can begin to create visualizations. Let's say your manager wants to see profit over time. In the Fields pane, drag Profit to the report canvas.

    By default, Power BI displays a column chart with one column.

    Screenshot of column chart with one column.

  3. Drag Date to the report canvas.

    Power BI updates the column chart to show profit by date.

    Screenshot of column chart in report editor.

    December 2014 was the most profitable month.

    Tip

    If your chart values don't look as you expect, check your aggregations. For example, in the Values well, select the Profit field you just added and ensure the data is being aggregated the way you'd like it. In this example, we're using Sum.

Create a map

Your manager wants to know which countries are the most profitable. Impress your manager with a map visualization.

  1. Select a blank area on your report canvas.

  2. From the Fields pane, drag the Country field to your report canvas, then drag the Profit field to the map.

    Power BI creates a map visual with bubbles representing the relative profit of each location.

    Screenshot of map visual in report editor.

    Looks like the European countries are outperforming the North American countries.

Create a visual showing sales

What about displaying a visual showing sales by product and market segment? Easy.

  1. Select the blank canvas.

  2. In the Fields pane, select the Sales, Product, and Segment fields.

    Power BI creates a clustered column chart.

  3. Change the type of chart by choosing one of the icons in the Visualizations menu. For instance, change it to a Stacked column chart.

    Screenshot of Stacked column chart in report editor.

  4. To sort the chart, select More options (...) > Sort by.

Spruce up the visuals

Make the following changes on the Format tab in the Visualizations pane.

Screenshot of the Format tab in the Visualizations pane.

  1. Select the Profit by Date column chart. In the Title section, change Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

  2. Select the Sales by Product and Segment stacked column chart. In the Title section, change title Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

  3. Select the Profit by Country map. In the Map styles section, change Theme to Grayscale. In the Title section, change title Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

Pin to a dashboard

Now you can pin all of your visuals to the blank dashboard that Power BI created by default.

  1. Hover over a visual and select Pin visual.

    Screenshot of pinning visual to dashboard.

  2. You need to save your report before you can pin a visual to the dashboard. Give your report a name and select Save.

  3. Pin each visual to the dashboard that Power BI created, Financial Sample.xlsx.

  4. When you pin the last visual, select Go to dashboard.

  5. Power BI added a placeholder Financial Sample.xlsx tile to the dashboard automatically. Select More options (...) > Delete tile.

    Screenshot of More options for a tile.

  6. Rearrange and resize the tiles any way you want.

The dashboard and report are ready.

Now it's time to share your dashboard with your manager. You can share your dashboard and underlying report with any colleague who has a Power BI account. They can interact with your report, but can't save changes. If you allow it, they can reshare with others, or build a new report based on the underlying dataset.

  1. To share your report, at the top of the dashboard, select Share.

    Screenshot of Share icon.

  2. In the Share dashboard page, enter the email addresses of the recipients in the Enter email addresses box and add a message in the box below it.

  3. Decide which of these options you want, if any:

    • Allow recipients to share your dashboard.
    • Allow recipients to build new content using the underlying datasets.
    • Send an email notification to recipients.

    Screenshot of Share dashboard pane

  4. Select Share.

Share to Microsoft Teams

You can also share reports and dashboards directly to your colleagues in Microsoft Teams.

  1. To share in Teams, at the top of the dashboard, select Share to Teams.

    Screenshot of Share to Teams option.

  2. Power BI displays the Share to Teams dialog. Enter the name of a person, group, or channel and select Share.

    Screenshot of the Share to Teams dialog

  3. The link appears in the Posts for that person, group, or channel.

    Screenshot of post in Teams.

Next steps

More questions? Try the Power BI Community.