Use the Analytics pane in Power BI Desktop

With the Analytics pane in Power BI Desktop, you can add dynamic reference lines to visuals, and provide focus for important trends or insights. The Analytics icon and pane is found in the Visualizations area of Power BI Desktop.

Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

Note

The Analytics pane only appears when you select a visual on the Power BI Desktop canvas.

Search within the Analytics pane

Beginning with the February 2018 release of Power BI Desktop (version 2.55.5010.201 or later), you can search within the Analytics pane, which is a subsection of the Visualizations pane. The search box appears when you select the Analytics icon.

Search box, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

Use the Analytics pane

With the Analytics pane, you can create the following types of dynamic reference lines:

  • X-Axis constant line
  • Y-Axis constant line
  • Min line
  • Max line
  • Average line
  • Median line
  • Percentile line
  • Symmetry shading

Note

Not all lines are available for all visual types.

The following sections show how you can use the Analytics pane and dynamic reference lines in your visualizations.

To view the available dynamic reference lines for a visual, follow these steps:

  1. Select or create a visual, then select the Analytics icon from the Visualizations section.

    View analytics for a visual, Visualizations pane, Power BI Desktop

  2. Select the type of line you want to create to expand its options. In this case, we'll select Average line.

    Average line, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

  3. To create a new line, select + Add. Then you can name the line. Double-click the text box and enter your name.

    Now you have all sorts of options for your line. You can specify its Color, Transparency percentage, Line style, and Position (compared to the visual's data elements). You may also choose whether to include the Data label. To specify the visual measure to base your line upon, select the Measure dropdown list, which is automatically populated with data elements from the visual. Here we'll select Culture as the measure, label it Average of Culture, and customize a few of the other options.

    Average line of culture, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

  4. If you want to have a data label appear, change Data label from Off to On. When you do so, you get a whole host of additional options for your data label.

    Data label settings, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

  5. Notice the number that appears next to the Average line item in the Analytics pane. That tells you how many dynamic lines you currently have on your visual, and of which type. If we add a Max line for Affordability, the Analytics pane shows that we now also have a Max line dynamic reference line applied to this visual.

    Max line and average line totals, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

If the visual you've selected can't have dynamic reference lines applied to it (in this case, a Map visual), you'll see the following message when you select the Analytics pane.

Unavailable analytics for a Map visual, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

You can highlight many interesting insights by creating dynamic reference lines with the Analytics pane.

We're planning more features and capabilities, including expanding which visuals can have dynamic reference lines applied to them. Check back often to see what's new.

Apply forecasting

If you have time data in your data source, you can use the forecasting feature. Just select a visual, then expand the Forecast section of the Analytics pane. You may specify many inputs to modify the forecast, such as the Forecast length or the Confidence interval. The following image shows a basic line visual with forecasting applied. Use your imagination (and play around with forecasting) to see how it may apply to your models.

Forecast feature, Analytics pane, Visualizations, Power BI Desktop

Note

The forecasting feature is only available for line chart visuals.

Limitations

The ability to use dynamic reference lines is based on the type of visual being used. The following lists describe these limitations more specifically.

You may use x-axis constant line, y-axis constant line, and symmetry shading on the following visual:

  • Scatter chart

Use of constant line, min line, max line, average line, median line, and percentile line is available on these visuals:

  • Area chart
  • Clustered bar chart
  • Clustered column chart
  • Line chart
  • Scatter chart

The following visuals can use only a constant line from the Analytics pane:

  • Stacked area chart
  • Stacked bar chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Waterfall chart
  • 100% Stacked bar chart
  • 100% Stacked column chart

The following visuals can use a trend line if there's time data:

  • Area chart
  • Clustered column chart
  • Line chart
  • Line and clustered column chart

Lastly, you can't currently apply any dynamic lines to many visuals, including (but not limited to):

  • Funnel
  • Line and clustered column chart
  • Line and stacked column chart
  • Ribbon chart
  • Non-Cartesian visuals, such as Donut chart, Gauge, Matrix, Pie chart, and Table

The percentile line is only available when using imported data in Power BI Desktop or when connected live to a model on a server that's running Analysis Service 2016 or later, Azure Analysis Services, or a dataset on the Power BI service.

Next steps

You can do all sorts of things with Power BI Desktop. For more information on its capabilities, check out the following resources: