In an era where nearly every cell phone contains a camera, image capture is becoming more prominent in day-to-day business operations. For organizations with field teams, real estate, and retail goods, images can help provide a clear view of products and processes that live outside of the office.
Integrating these images into Power BI reports can help businesses analyze and leverage the critical data pictures contain.
This blog article will cover the main use cases for including images in a Power BI report, how to build a report with images, and Numerro’s existing image gallery report templates that are available for download.
There are many reasons to showcase images within a Power BI report. Common use cases include:
In some instances, a recognizable image can draw a user’s eye to a data point more immediately than text. For example, consider a report that displays population by country. Some users may be able to identify a picture of a country’s flag faster than reading a country’s name. In this instance, including a country flag image in the report could help to quickly highlight key facts and figures.
This applies to any instance where an image icon may be more easy to interpret than text.
For organizations in the facilities or real estate industries, it is often essential to verify that a location meets cleanliness standards. Including images of physical locations can help auditors easily assess whether or not a particular site needs attention. A Power BI report that aggregates various images of buildings, facilities, or hotel rooms enables teams to quickly identify and remediate any issues.
A business with a field team that operates outside of the office may have certain procedures that need to be followed. Image capture can help verify that workplace policies are being enacted out in the field. Consolidating these images into a Power BI report allows for quick and easy verification of any outliers or issues.
Many companies with retail products have a set planogram or expectation of how these items should be placed on shelves. Evaluating product placement in a Power BI report can help an analyst identify stores where product displays meet expectations, as well as ones where standards are not being met or products are out of stock.
For businesses with physical assets as products, images can help with asset lifecycle management—allowing users to review images and determine if an asset is near the end of its life or has any damages. Utilizing asset evaluation images in a Power BI report can help organizations with predictive maintenance and product replacements prior to any issues being reported.
Adding images into a Power BI report is simple. The following steps will ensure that your images render correctly:
This setting ensures that the report will render the URLs as actual image icons rather than displaying the URL text.
Typically, images render best in data tables or multi-row cards over other visualization options.
Numerro’s image gallery templates include both a data table template and a multi-row card template.
Both templates include the following formatting best practices:
Power BI image slicers can be used to filter the data by a specific image, or group of images—rendering pictures in a filter the same way text typically displays as a filter option.
Both the Numerro gallery table and multi-row card templates include a preconfigured image slicer that allows users to filter by a particular brand’s logo image. To leverage this functionality, click on the two blue lines in the upper left-hand corner of the templates. This will provide the option to “show slicer panel” and filter the dataset by brand.
Image slicers are a great way to group data and allow for easy filtering. Many image-based reports can contain thousands of pictures. Including all of these images in a filter can make it difficult to select the correct photo and can also impact performance. By grouping photos together by brand and including the logo image in the slicer, filtering is easy and efficient—narrowing down a report to a subset of images within a particular brand category.
Numerro’s gallery table and multi-row card templates are configured for mobile. To preview how either template will look on mobile, navigate to View → Mobile layout in Power BI’s top-level navigation panel.
Given that there is reduced space on a mobile device, the gallery table template defaults to showing three columns: Store, Name, and Score. We recommend reducing your mobile report to the three or four most important columns that you would like to showcase on mobile.
The multi-row card gallery template, on the other hand, showcases all of the columns in the report—including the address fields. Multi-row cards display data in a group format rather than showcasing distinct columns like a table.
If you are looking to fit more than 3-4 columns into a mobile report that showcases images, a multi-row card format is likely a better selection for your report.
Including images in Power BI reports can help organizations better understand various components of their business operations. Numerro has two gallery templates available for download (table and multi-row card) that provide pre-configured reports that showcase images, allowing your data to easily be integrated into pre-existing designs.
Additionally, if you are looking to leverage images in a mobile report, a multi-row card format can offer additional space on mobile compared to a table format, which will often be limited to 3-4 columns depending on the size of device.
If you're looking for more tips, check out our video on how to create Power BI reports with images
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