Optimizing Visuals In Power BI

Best Practices for Optimizing visuals in Power BI

Optimizing visuals in Power BI

For organizations developing Power BI reports, there is typically a strong desire to design them in a way that provides the best user experience. This includes not only providing excellent data visualization to meet reporting needs but also designing reports for optimal performance. Too often the burden of performance optimization is placed solely on IT or Power BI administrators when it should be a function of anyone using the tool.

In this blog post, I’m going to walk through some practices that your organization can implement now, right in the Power BI Desktop to optimize report performance no matter what level of development experience your team has. Specifically, this post will discuss tactics in two areas where performance can easily be improved: report and visual design, and data transformation in the Power Query Editor.

Performance optimization may seem daunting, especially to a self-service user or someone new to report development, but there are plenty of actions to improve report performance without needing to be a seasoned professional. 

Optimization guide for Power BI

This article provides guidance that enables developers and administrators to produce and maintain optimized Power BI solutions. You can optimize your solution at different architectural layers. Layers include:

  • The data source(s)
  • The data model
  • Visualizations, including dashboards, Power BI reports, and Power BI paginated reports
  • The environment, including capacities, data gateways, and the network

Optimizing the data model

The data model supports the entire visualization experience. Data models are either external-hosted or internal-hosted, and in Power BI they are referred to as datasets. It’s important to understand your options, and to choose the appropriate dataset type for your solution. There are three dataset modes: Import, DirectQuery, and Composite.

Optimizing visualizations

Power BI visualizations can be dashboards, Power BI reports, or Power BI paginated reports. Each has different architectures, and so each has their own guidance.


It’s important to understand that Power BI maintains a cache for your dashboard tiles—except live report tiles, and streaming tiles. For more information. If your dataset enforces dynamic RLS, be sure to understand performance implications as tiles will cache on a per-user basis. For more details click here

Tools such as Azure Speed Test provide an indication of network latency between the client and the Azure region. In general, to minimize the impact of network latency, strive to keep data sources, gateways, and your Power BI cluster as close as possible. Preferably, they reside within the same region. If network latency is an issue, try locating gateways and data sources closer to your Power BI cluster by placing them inside cloud-hosted virtual machines. But once a model starts to grow and the amount of data keeps increasing, reports can become slow.  So, what can we do about it? How can we find the cause of this decline in performance? And most importantly, how do we solve it?  Let’s take a look …

Optimizing the environment

You can optimize the Power BI environment by configuring capacity settings, sizing data gateways, and reducing network latency.

Capacity settings

When using dedicated capacities—available with Power BI Premium (P SKUs), or Power BI Embedded (A SKUs, A4-A6)—you can manage capacity settings.

Gateway sizing

A gateway is required whenever Power BI must access data that isn’t accessible directly over the Internet. You can install the on-premises data gateway on a server on-premises, or VM-hosted Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Gateway sizing

A gateway is required whenever Power BI must access data that isn’t accessible directly over the Internet. You can install the on-premises data gateway on a server on-premises, or VM-hosted Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

Network latency

Network latency can impact report performance by increasing the time required for requests to reach the Power BI service, and for responses to be delivered. Tenants in Power BI are assigned to a specific region.

Finding the Problem

Before we can fix a problem, we need to figure out what is causing it. For this, we can use standard Power BI tools or other more advanced tools – that are free to use – for a more detailed breakdown.

Power BI Performance analyzer

If certain reports or report pages are loading slowly the best thing to do first is search for the root cause. Is it the way the model is set-up? Are we using too many visuals? Or is one measure taking a long time to calculate? We can start looking for our root cause by using the Power BI Performance analyzer.

Power BI Performance Analyzer

Data visualizations allow you to interact with your data to find business insights. Power BI lets you choose from a list of available visualizations, add a custom visualization that you create yourself, or select from our expanding list of available visualizations in the community gallery.

Performance Analyzer integrated into Power BI is simpler and provides a few insights about the time consumed in other activities, such as the rendering time of any visuals.

Power of BI Interms of Visulisation

Monitoring performance

You can monitor performance to identify bottlenecks. Slow queries—or report visuals—should be a focal point of continued optimization. Monitoring can be done at design time in Power BI Desktop, or on production workloads in Power BI Premium capacities.


In summary, the top eight tips to optimize visual colors in Power BI reports include:

  • Apply contrast within visuals
  • Implement optimal color palettes
  • Highlight important data with color
  • Consider color vision deficiencies
  • Use color with purpose
  • Choose appropriate color scales
  • Use color to differentiate key elements
  • Distinguish color and data

Power BI business analytics tools enable users at all levels of an organization to analyze data and share insights. Through dashboards, Power BI provides a 360-degree view of your most important metrics—in one place, updated in real-time, and available at all of your devices. With one click, explore data using intuitive tools to quickly find answers and uncover new insights. Power BI allows you to dig deep into your data while being productive and creative with what you build. With more than 20 built-in visuals and a gallery of vibrant custom visualizations, Power BI makes it easy to use advanced analytics to effectively communicate your message and address business challenges. As far as performance is concern its depends upon the data novelty and parameters that are used in visualization of the BI model.


Optimizing Visuals

In Power BI

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