Top features of Zebra BI visuals for Power BI

How do you create perfect financial reports and income statements with Zebra BI custom visuals?

These top features of Zebra BI Charts and Tables will help you to save time, money and effort by making your reports in Power BI understandable and actionable. These features include subtotals, inverting function for costs, reorderable columns, automatic variance charts and much more!

#1 Chart slider

The Zebra BI Charts visual features a "chart slider". To use it, simply hover over the visual and you'll see two arrows () on left and right side of the chart. Click on them and enjoy your data visualized with a different advanced business chart.

#2 Responsive layout

Zebra BI visuals for Power BI are the world's first fully responsive BI visualizations. The visuals will automatically adapt to the content presented and the available space.

#3 One-click changing of variance calculations

You can change the calculation of variances and difference highlights by clicking directly on the labels.

#4 One-click sorting

In the Zebra BI Tables visual just click on the column header to sort by the respective measure, presented in the column. If you're doing that on a hierarchical table, a multi-level sort will be applied automatically (across multiple levels simultaneously)!

#5 Our favorite: Small Multiples!

If you add another dimension to your existing chart (called "grouping" in Power BI), you'll get the multiples of whatever chart you chose. All the charts will be automatically rendered according to the same scale (automatically synchronized Y-axis). This enables end users to compare multiple data categories on the same page:

Introduced by J. Bertin and popularized by E. Tufte, the small multiples are considered one of the most powerful data visualization methods. That's why Zebra BI visuals for Power BI contain the most advanced algorithms for rendering multiple scaled charts among BI software so far.

Make sure you explore all the layouts available for displaying small multiples in the  Zebra BI Charts visual in order to find the perfect display for your dataset.

#6 Axis break in waterfall charts

One of the most frequently requested features in business reporting is just one click away 🙂

The 'axis break', while being a slightly controversial dataviz method, can help present the contribution of data elements to the total result more clearly.

It gets even better; the axis break also works in small multiples and you can control the extent of it in the settings.

#7 Hierarchical tables (fully responsive)

Advanced hierarchical tables will automatically calculate absolute and relative variances and adjust the display of all the elements to available space.

You can add an unlimited number of levels and show exactly the ones you want. These hierarchical tables are ideal for visualizing Profit & Loss reports (income statements).

#8 Expand/Collapse rows and columns

In hierarchical tables, you can expand/collapse rows and columns by simply clicking on the arrows. You can also choose to collapse or expand all, allowing you to tailor your tables to your exact needs and desires.

#9 Income statements (P&L) in Power BI!

User-friendly Profit & Loss reports finally possible in Power BI!
With subtotals, invertible rows for costs and automatically calculated absolute and relative variances (e.g. to previous year, to plan or both)... The full package.

Zebra BI's vertical waterfall charts and variance charts allow you to easily make sense of displaying and analyzing P&Ls, Income statements and pricing calculations.

#10 Native support for Dr. Hichert’s IBCS®

Zebra BI visuals are the first and only IBCS®-certified visuals for Power BI. They're fully compliant with Dr. Rolf Hichert's IBCS (International Business Communication Standards).

The IBCS standard design notation is rendered automatically, without adjusting any kind of settings!

The typical business scenarios like actual (AC), plan or budget (PL, BU), forecasts (FC) or previous year (PY) are automatically coded with standard patterns. The variances are presented in intuitive plus-minus, lollipop or waterfall charts. Even the tiniest details, such as the difference highlights, outlier indicators, semantic axis, etc. are automatically rendered in pixel-perfect accuracy.

#11 Segmented charts – visualize your forecasts!

Segmented charts allow multiple comparison points in the same chart, which is an especially suitable option for displaying forecasts.

A typical example of that is the comparison of both the actuals (AC) and forecasts/estimates (FC) to the plan/budget (PL) in the same chart. E.g. your AC running from Jan to Jul, your FC running from Aug to Dec (rest-of-year) and all of that compared to the plan. Try adding 3 measures to the Value, Plan and Forecast fields respectively and Zebra BI will display them like this:

#12 Drill-down (in a really nice way…)

Drill-down allows the users to ad-hoc analyze the variances and other important values in charts.

If a hierarchical dimension or multiples fields are added to the Category data field, the Zebra BI visual will automatically present the standard Power BI drill-down icons, allowing the users to:

  • Drill-down into a value,
  • Navigate to the next level in the hierarchy or
  • Expand all elements down one level in the hierarchy.

A classic example of this is drilling down from the full year to quarters and then months.

Note the additional animated 'drill-down tile' that appears at the top of the Zebra BI visual, clearly indicating which elements were selected for the drill down.


Just make sure you add multiple fields or even better, a hierarchy, into the Category data field:

#13 Adding custom columns to Tables

Zebra BI Tables support adding custom-calculated measures or data fields to the existing columns in the table. This takes the flexibility of Zebra BI Tables to the next level and enables users to create even more useful, informative and insightful reports. In addition, you can also rename a column by simply clicking on it. This functionality is perfect for adding:

  • Common size measures such as "% of Revenue" to your Income statements,
  • Additional measures, e.g. Gross margin in % to your Sales vs. Budget reports,
  • Custom-calculated variances, e.g. FX-corrected variances (in addition to regular variances calculated by Zebra BI Tables).

In the following animation, two additional data fields (Gross margin in USD and Gross margin in %) are added to an existing Sales vs. PY report:

#14 Waterfall charts with subtotals

Zebra BI Charts visual supports new waterfall charts with extremely flexible subtotals! 

This type of waterfall chart can be built by simply using just one measure (called 'Value' in the below picture) and a category data field (called 'Account' in the example below). To display an element on the chart axis as a subtotal, just right-click on the element name (e.g. EBIT 2019 in the screenshot below) and select Result from the menu. Similarly, you can invert a selected element in case it represents a "bad" KPI (e.g. costs/expenses) that decreases the final result.

This important new feature allows you to build waterfall charts for practically any data structure you can imagine. Of course, all other trademark Zebra BI features such as small multiples work with new waterfall charts. Here's a powerful example where the price-volume-mix variance analysis is calculated and presented visually for 15 countries simultaneously in Zebra BI Charts visual:

#15 Negative values in parentheses (more data label formats)

Sounds trivial, but so many Power BI users out there are struggling to set up their favorite number format.

Not in Zebra BI! Simply choose to display negative values in parentheses or with a minus sign from the menu.

#16 Re-order columns with drag & drop

The user interface makes it much easier to sort, rename and reorder columns. You can now rename any column directly in the visual (click on the ▼ dropdown icon in the chart header and simply edit the name). Changing the chart type for each column is also improved: click on the dropdown icon to choose the chart for the column.

#17 Extended JSON custom themes support

Fear not! We fully support your custom JSON themes, which means, once you import them, they will work with all settings in Zebra BI visuals (design settings, font types, placement of values, default settings, etc.)

Importing of your JSON themes is easy and all charts will apply your new style definitions immediately. You can even go to your Zebra BI member account, where you can edit your theme in a sleek designer and then simply download it as a JSON file directly from your profile.

#18 Interchangeable vertical and horizontal orientation

You can now switch between the vertical and horizontal orientation of your charts! This works for integrated, waterfall, column, and pin charts.

#19 Benefits of Microsoft-certified visuals

Both Zebra BI visuals for Power BI have been certified by Microsoft. What does this mean?

Certified visuals have to go through detailed testing by an internal Microsoft team, confirming that our visuals don't access external services or resources and they follow secure coding patterns and guidelines. You don't have to worry about security and compliance with Zebra BI visuals. Your confidential and internal data is completely safe.

Certified visuals can be recognized by a blue badge within Power BI desktop and a gold badge within AppSource. They also grant additional benefits like exporting your reports in PDF format or even directly into PowerPoint. They can also be displayed in received emails when you subscribe to report pages.

#20 Display the most important categories

You can now limit the number of categories that are displayed in the visual. All the other values are shown as Other element. You can choose to show Top N, Bottom N, or Top + Bottom N elements. The setting can be found at Categories > Top/bottom N. This is especially great when you want to highlight the categories that had the greatest impact on your business.

#21 Switch between chart and table seamlessly

Switch any column you want from a chart to a table column. This feature works both in chart view and in table view. The change is simple to implement, so you can always decide on what shape would you like your data to be shown, even if you are in the middle of work.

switch between chart and table column

#22 Up to 4 different scenarios in a single table

You can use up to 4 different scenarios (or base measures) in the same visual.

Here’s a real-life example of sales data where we want to compare Actuals, Previous Year, and Plan. Now we can add the fourth scenario, for example, Forecast:

Of course, you can add even more measures into your Zebra BI Tables and get additional columns. With the latest version, you can add up to 4 basic scenarios and then up to 10 additional measures!

#23 Advanced highlighting

By default, there's always one column color that you specify in Style. However, you are also able to highlight specific columns with a color of your choice. And if you want to highlight an individual row in your tables, simply right click and enable this feature.

The highlight is completely dynamic so if your end users sort tables in a different order, the highlight will stick with its data category.

#24 Customizable variance area and highlights

You can customize the color of your variance area and the opacity. The latter tones down the whole design and makes the difference in variance even more visible.

You can also use Difference highlight option, which allows you to control the line width (if you want to draw attention or prefer a bit more sleek style), as well as use different arrow styles to fit your design purpose.

These features are on display in the Covid-19 stock market live dashboard, shown below.