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January 23, 2018

Makeover Monday: Distance Traveled by Turkey Vultures (Power BI Edition)

My goal was to recreate my Tableau viz from week 4 in Power BI. Here are ten thoughts about the process:

  1. I had to install a custom chart type in order to create the heat map.
  2. The heat map did not allow me to have year across the top and months down the side.
  3. I had no control over the colors in the heat map.
  4. I had to create a separate column for each of the years in the data set so that they were each individual measures that I could then use in the rows. That took way too long!
  5. I could not create a distance per bird calculation like I did in Tableau that could then be used in the heat map; I went with total distance instead.
  6. I could not connect the dots on the map to show the paths for each bird.
  7. I could not make the dots really small on the map nor could I color the dots by the bird name.
  8. I love how PBI automatically resizes to the screen. The viz I created is about 1300x900 in PBI, yet I can embed it as 800x600 and it rescales perfectly. This is fantastic!
  9. I love the pixel perfect layout; it's super easy to get everything just right.
  10. Mapping options are limited and you can't use a custom map (that I could see) so I had to match the dashboard background to the map background as close as I could.

With that, here's my Makeover Monday week 4 2018 created in Power BI.


  1. Wow! Even with all these limitations, the dashboard looks really good and almost matches the Tableau version. Awesome.

  2. Added my comments here -

    Great work - both the Tableau as well as the Power BI one :)

    1. Very useful Jason, thank you! I’m going to rebuild mine to more how I’d like it to look. It really helps to have a final design in mind before you start using PBI in my opinion.