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Part 1: Power BI Insights

Novabone Insights in Power BI

Welcome to an insight into how I construct data, within Power BI. At Tick9, we provide different lenses of focus for our clients. This first part will delve into a sales overview, business growth and product overview. Also, a disclaimer that the data used in this blog is not real and is from a subset of an example database!!

When beginning a project with a client you are presented with brand new data that can be unclear. The data needs informative insights brought to it.  Our example will show what insights we can derive in Power BI, when presented with invoicing and forecasting data.

Sales Overview

An initial insight is to show some hard figures regarding a current state of affairs.  These can be presented in KPI’s, that show sales from recent periods, such as the current year. It is useful to compare recent sales against previous years. While we can compare the current year to the previous years, it will have a bias, as the current year will usually be incomplete. 

We can remedy this by comparing for ‘Year to Date’ against previous years, which means every year has the same number of days. Additionally, we can show a trend for these ‘Year to Date’ sales.  The plot below shows that our sales are above the previous year for the current period, but we are slightly below what our trend would expect.  

Total Sales and Year to Date Sales in Power BI

So are these trend figures only useful for total sales?  Actually, we can get insights from other areas like Regions and Products, to determine performance at granular levels.  This can be done in Power BI with the use of slicers, which filter data across multiple dimensions. 

Slicer Dimensions in Power BI


We can expand on our sales figures by comparing previous Years and showing them as percentages to give a better analysis of ‘Year on Year’ growth. This displays how a company’s sales compare from the previous year giving an indication of a  company’s growth or decline and prompting the question of why this is.

While it does make sense to show growth for ‘Year to Date’ figures, at the request of the client we were able to show growth for full years as well.  As the current year would be incomplete, we created a visual capable of discounting it thus allowing years to be easily compared to other plots on the same axis.

Sales Growth Report in Power BI

Products Overview

Insights can be gained by examining Product sales.  Power BI features easily allow extraction of the best selling Products.  Furthermore, we display a breakdown of Product sales by category and a tabular display of Product information and sales. This gives our client insight into product performance and aid the future strategy of the company.

Product Overview Visualisation in Power BI

To conclude, there are several insights we can deliver, that aid decision making and business intelligence. We have several other insights to show you in our next part, which will be coming soon. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about how we can give you insights in your Power BI reporting, get in touch at

Thanks for reading, Rob.

Rob Farrington
Data Engineer

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