Long form reports in Power BI are a powerful way to tell a story with data. By adjusting the canvas size in Power BI, you can create a scrollable report whether the user can either scroll vertically or horizontally to see more visuals. It eliminates the need to switch tabs and some users may prefer it to visualize a large amount of data at a single time.
With the advent of wide screen monitors, wide format reports are also becoming more popular.
We’ll show you how to setup either one to meet your reporting needs and explain a few other key considerations.
Let’s take a look!
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Who Should Use Scrollable Reports in Power BI?
Power BI scrollable reports give users a way to visualize more data at one time, without forcing them to switch between different pages of the same report. The presentation method allows you to view data than would normally fit on a single screen. They can be created with one single large visual or a collection of elements that are scrolled through in a specific order.
Some common use cases for scrollable reports include:
- Financial Reports – By placing an income statement, balance sheet, and KPI’s on a single page users can get a better idea of overall financial performance. An extra wide-layout also enables users to view more time series data at a time for flux analysis.
- Time-Series Analysis – A primary use case for extra wide reports are large graphs that would otherwise have to be truncated or summarized to a point where much of the valuable detail is lost.
- Comparative Analysis – Large format reports let you view data dense visualizations side by side with ease.
- Large Format Presentation Mediums – Not all dashboards are consumed on a computer screen. Power BI reports can be published to high resolution televisions and monitors for real time data displays in an office or consumer enviorment.
The use cases are almost endless, and while many people will never adjust the aspect ratios of their Power BI reports, we highly recommend experimenting with it.
How to Create a Scrollable Report in Power BI
To create a scroll down report in Power BI, adjust the Canvas Height under Visualizations, Canvas Settings, Change the aspect ratio to Custom, and set a custom canvas width or height. Set the width or height to a higher number of pixels to display at one time, and Power BI will adjust the canvas to let you build across or down a scrollable report.
Make sure to publish the report to the Power BI service and test it across multiple possible resolutions and display formats to ensure that excessive scrolling isn’t needed by report viewers with older monitors.
How to Adjust Page Size in Power BI
Total page size can be adjusted in Power BI by clicking anywhere on the white space of a report. Once no visual is selected, you can click on Format Page on the Visualizations Pane. Navigate to Canvas Settings, and Choose Custom. Then set a custom Height and Width for the report. By making the reporting canvas larger, you can fit more visuals on a page.
Whether a report user sees scroll bars on an enlarged canvas will ultimately depend on their screen resolution. Wide screen, high resolution monitors will display more information at a time. Users of older low-resolution monitors may find that more scrolling is needed to view information.
Use Bookmarks in Power BI to Improve Scrollable Reports
The major drawback to scrollable reports in Power BI is that not everybody wants to scroll each time there is specific data that they want. This is especially true for reports made up of multiple visuals that are presented on a page.
To improve the end user experience, we recommend using Power BI Bookmarks and providing buttons at the top of a vertical page, or on the landing page of a horizontal report.
Power BI developers can provide bookmarks that will provide different views of a scrollable report.
While bookmarks do not allow you to link to page contents like you would be able to with HTML links, you can create separate hidden tabs within a report that have different views.
After establishing a primary report view, you can duplicate tabs, hide them and create bookmarks pointed towards them.
Scrollable reports in Power BI enable end users to view more data on a page, or it forces them to view multiple visuals in a sequential order. To make a report canvas extra wide or extra long, adjust the canvas settings to set the length or width.
Because not all users will appreciate having to scroll to see all of the information available in a report, we recommend using bookmarks to let users quickly jump to the portion of the report that they are most interested in.
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