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In most organisations, reports in Power BI and on other BI platforms are created by specialists in consultation with the person who requested the report. While these reports meet most expectations, there are situations where users need or want to have their data presented in a different way. They might want to include an additional perspective that wasn’t in the original report, for example.

This need is often temporary and doesn’t require the existing report to be changed.

To accommodate this, Power BI now offers users the option to change the way visuals are displayed. This option is called ‘Personalize Visuals’. The precursor to this option, ‘Decomposition Tree’, was similar in some ways. In this blog post, I’ll shed some light on both options.

Decomposition Tree

This visual has been available for about a year and was the first step towards giving users the ability to freely edit the data view.

With the ‘Decomposition Tree’ visual, you’re analysing a certain value (or ‘measure’) across certain dimensions, such as year, period, customer, supplier, product, or region.

This results in a visualisation similar to the image below: the result to the left is split up based on the dimension fields at the top of the visual.

Next to each dimension field, you’ll notice a little lock icon. If the report creator locks a dimension, this field is effectively barred, and the user won’t be able to edit it later.

If the lock remains open, the user can remove fields and/or tweak the order in which they are displayed. They can use the ‘+’ sign to the right of each result in the last column to add extra dimension fields, or the ‘x’ sign next to each dimension to remove a column.

Personalize Visuals

Shortly after the ‘Decomposition Tree’ was launched, Microsoft announced that they’d go one step further when it comes to customising Power BI reports by letting users edit the visuals in their reports. by letting users edit the visuals in their reports. More specifically, as a user, you can choose to use a different visual as well as add extra fields from the data model to the visual.

Of course, this functionality needs to be specifically enabled by the report creator for each report they create.

To do this, you’ll need to go to the options on the report level in Power BI Desktop. Once there, tick the box next to ‘Personalize Visuals’.

When this feature is enabled, the user will see the icon next to every available visual.

This icon takes you to a configuration panel where you can select another type of visual or add extra fields from the underlying data model.

This makes it possible for the user to edit a report. Do note that these changes will not be saved. When you close the report, all changes will be undone If you do want to save your changes, you’ll need to save them as Personal Bookmarks.

Do you want to learn more about Power BI and the Power Platform?

Our Xylos trainers follow up on every new development closely. On Thursday 21 October 2021, Xylos will organise its Power Day: an interesting day full of tips about all Power applications. Are you interested? Go to for more information and to register for the event (Dutch sessions).

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