Monthly Archives: March 2018

Using Power BI tooltip pages for glossary information

We have been considering many options when it comes to how we can incorporate glossary information into our Power BI reports. We have started the work of creating master data around our glossary and are considering how best to get it into our cubes.

When Microsoft announced the tooltip pages for Power BI I saw that this could be the way we display the glossary in our reports. So, while we solve the problem of getting the glossary into the cubes I decided to try to add the glossary manually to a tooltip page to see how it looks.

Traditionally we have been showing support measures in the tooltip. An example of this is when Net Sales Growth is in a graph the tooltip would show Net Sales and Net Sales Growth %. I really like how you can for most visuals put in multiple tooltip measures, but my problem has been that everything in the visual is displaying in the tooltip. For an example we sometimes include a measure only meant to colour the graph. This can be a Net Sales vs. EBTIDA measure or something like that. This measure is not meant for displaying in the graph but because you don‘t have any control over the tooltip it is displayed.

With the tooltip page you have full control over what you display and what you don‘t and you get more space to work with. In the images below, you see that when looking at Gross Profit Growth in a graph we were displaying the Gross Profit and Gross Profit Growth and are using Gross Profit Growth % vs Net Sales Growth % to colour the graph. This is nice enough but the extra colouring measure is annoying and you are, in my mind, missing the definition of Gross Profit.

Below you see an image of how we are now doing using the new tooltip pages. Here we are showing prior year Gross Profit, current period Gross Profit, the Gross Profit Growth % and the definition of Gross Profit. Now many of you might feel the definition is not important but when you work in a multinational company the definitions often become important. While the definition of Gross Profit is simple the definition of measures such as Cost of goods sold (COGS) can be complicated and so it‘s is important that everybody knows exactly what definition is used.

This is of course just the start and I see plenty of opportunity to relay more messages to the users via the tooltip page. This can be definitions of calculations where appropriate or dimension definitions.