Summarise Key Insights with Microsoft Power BI Smart Narratives

Power BI Smart Narratives

Microsoft Power BI helps organisations to make data driven decisions, through visual reporting that connects all their data, but also by making it easier to pull out the key insights so that no opportunity is missed! This is why Microsoft were named a Leader in the 2021 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Analytics and Business Intelligence platform; for its ability to provide a completeness of vision and ability to execute.

An exciting feature that is currently available to preview for Power BI Desktop and Power BI Service users, is Smart Narrative. This is a very useful feature for providing lexical clues to those reading a report, to help identify key insights.

The Smart Narrative feature summarises all the visuals on a dashboard, articulates key takeaways and highlights trends, by creating a narrative using natural language and dynamic values from the visuals. It is also possible to produce a narrative on individual visuals too.

Power BI Smart Narrative

Smart Narrative comes with relevant out-of-the-box insights that contextualise the factors/variables measured in your reports. However, these insights can be customised for presentation purposes like the font, text colour, alignment, and the dynamic value used can be formatted to appear as currency, a percentage or decimal number.

Being able to edit the natural language allows you to better communicate with your audience; use technical or non-technical terms as needed, get to key points quicker and explain the data to others in a way that works for them.

Users can also create new insights by typing out the contextual natural language of the insight and then inserting a dynamic value where needed. For example "The total number of returns reached (insert dynamic value) during the last 3 months". These dynamic values are inserted by clicking "add value" and searching for the appropriate value. When searching Power BI will return suggestions to make it easier to find the relevant value, and if the value you would like cannot be determined then the text will be underlined in red and the save button won't be available.

Power BI Smart Narrative Selecting Value


Smart Narrative also allows users to focus their attention on particular insights by cross-filtering all the visuals on the page. Simply click on the data points you want to highlight, for example product type, time period or traffic source, and all the information in the visuals and the Smart Narrative summary will only reflect those data points.

Power BI Smart Narrative Cross Filtering

The Smart Narrative feature can also be used in PowerPoint. Instead of adding screenshots from your Power BI reports, you can add narratives to your PowerPoint slides that update with every time you refresh. This not only saves you time and looks better for important meetings, it also means that data will be up-to-date right to the last second.

Find out more about Power BI Smart Narrative prior to its expected release in June 2021.

If you have Power BI and would like to preview this feature, contact us today and we can help get you started!

If you aren't currently using Power BI, why not explore our main Power BI page to see what else it can do for you.

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