Top 16 features of Zebra BI visuals for Power BI

#1 Chart slider

The Zebra BI PowerCharts visual features a "chart slider". To use it, simply hover over the visual and you'll see two arrows (< and >) 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 PowerTables 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 PowerCharts Zebra BI 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 works also in small multiples!

#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:

These hierarchical tables are ideal for visualizing Profit & Loss reports (income statements):

In hierarchical tables you can expand/collapse rows by simply clicking on the row arrows.

You can add an unlimited number of levels and show exactly the ones you want:

#8 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.

#9 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:

#10 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.

Here's a classic example of drilling down form the full year to quarters and then months:

zebra-bi-drill-down

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:

drill-down-category-field

#11 Adding custom columns to Power Tables

Zebra BI PowerTables supports adding custom-calculated measures or data fields to the existing columns and charts in the table. This takes the flexibility of Zebra BI PowerTables to the next level and enables users to create even more useful, informative and insightful reports. 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 PowerTable).

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:

#12 Waterfall charts with subtotals

Zebra BI PowerChart visual, starting from version 3.3.2 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 above picture) and a category data field (called 'Account' in the example above). 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 above) 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 PowerCharts visual:

#13 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:

#14 Re-order columns with drag&drop

A new user interface makes it much easier to sort, rename and reorder columns. You can now rename any column directly on 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).

#15 ZOOM in focus mode (World’s first in Power BI custom visuals!)

A really nice feature was added to automatically enlarge/zoom the font size in Focus mode to improve the readability of visuals in Power BI focus mode.

By default, the zoom factor is 150%, but you can customize the zoom factor for each visual in the settings (under Interaction > Zoom in focus mode (%)). While in focus mode, press CTRL+mouse wheel to increase/decrease the zoom while you're presenting: