The art of successful storytelling with Power BI

Data is abundant, but making it understandable and conveying its significance to stakeholders can be challenging. That’s where storytelling comes in. In this post, we explore how storytelling in Power BI revolutionizes data-driven decision-making, how you can craft compelling data stories in Power BI, and the power of PowerPoint integration with Power BI.

Whether you’re experienced or just starting, these insights and practical tips will help you master the art of storytelling in Power BI.

Understanding the Power of Storytelling in Power BI

One of the key advantages of storytelling in Power BI is its ability to simplify complex data. By distilling intricate information into digestible narratives, data professionals can communicate insights to a wider audience, including non-technical stakeholders. Moreover, storytelling in Power BI enables data professionals to create an emotional connection with the audience.

It goes beyond presenting facts and figures by tapping into the human element of decision-making. By crafting narratives that evoke emotions, such as empathy, excitement, or urgency, data professionals can inspire stakeholders to take action based on the insights presented.

When data is presented in a raw and unstructured form, it can be overwhelming and difficult to grasp its true meaning. By weaving narratives around data, we can transform it into a compelling story that engages stakeholders and facilitates a deeper understanding of the insights it holds.

Another significant advantage of storytelling in Power BI is its ability to provide context to the data. It allows data professionals to incorporate relevant background information, industry trends, or historical data, adding depth and meaning to the insights. This contextualization helps stakeholders understand the significance of the data and its implications for the decision-making process.

While effective storytelling can greatly enhance data communication, it’s important to be aware of the pitfalls of bad storytelling. Let’s compare a bad dashboard example from the City of London to a good one to illustrate the differences. In a bad dashboard, you might encounter confusing and cluttered visualizations that overwhelm the viewer and make it difficult to interpret the data. The narrative may lack clarity and fail to engage the audience, leaving them disconnected from the insights presented. Furthermore, the absence of meaningful context and relevance can leave stakeholders questioning the significance of the data.

In contrast, a good dashboard like the one provided by my colleague in his blog about his chess prowess features clear and concise visualizations that effectively convey the message (his achievements and wins), engaging the audience (himself) and enabling them to easily understand the data. The narrative seamlessly guides the viewer through the story, evoking emotions and driving action. Additionally, the inclusion of relevant context and background information (totals & averages on the left side) adds depth and meaning to the insights. By being vigilant and striving for excellence, you can ensure that your data stories are engaging, impactful, and drive effective decision-making.

In summary, storytelling in Power BI is a game-changer in data analytics. It simplifies complex data, creates emotional connections, and provides crucial context to drive effective decision-making. In the next section, we will delve into the step-by-step process of crafting compelling data stories in Power BI, equipping you with the tools and techniques to become a proficient data storyteller. Get ready to bring your data to life and captivate your audience with the power of storytelling in Power BI.

How to Craft Compelling Data Stories in Power BI

Crafting compelling data stories in Power BI requires a structured approach and an understanding of the key elements that make a narrative impactful. In this section, we will outline a step-by-step process to help you create engaging and effective data stories using Power BI.

  1. Define the Objective and Target Audience:

Before diving into data visualization, it’s crucial to define the objective of your data story. What message do you want to convey? Who is your target audience? Understanding these aspects will guide your storytelling approach and ensure that your data story aligns with the desired outcome.

  1. Identify Key Insights and Narratives:

Review your data and identify the key insights that you want to highlight. These insights will form the backbone of your data story. Think about the story you want to tell – is it about uncovering trends, identifying challenges, or showcasing successes? Shape your narrative around these key insights to create a cohesive and compelling story.

  1. Choose Appropriate Visualizations:

Select the most suitable visualizations to present your data. Power BI offers a wide range of visualization options, including charts, graphs, maps, and tables. Consider the nature of your data and the story you want to tell. Use visualizations that effectively convey your insights and engage your audience. Keep in mind the importance of clarity, simplicity, and relevance when choosing visualizations.

  1. Incorporate Contextual Information and Annotations:

To enhance understanding and provide additional context, incorporate textual explanations, annotations, and labels in your data story. These annotations can help guide your audience through the data and provide clarity on specific data points or trends. Use concise and meaningful descriptions that support the narrative and highlight the significance of the data.

  1. Structure and Flow:

Ensure that your data story has a logical structure and flow. Arrange your visualizations in a sequence that builds upon each other, leading the audience through a coherent narrative. Consider the beginning, middle, and end of your story, and use transitions to smoothly guide your audience from one visualization to the next.

  1. Engage with Interactive Elements:

Take advantage of Power BI’s interactive features to engage your audience further. Use drill-through functionality, filters, and slicers to allow stakeholders to explore the data on their own terms. This interactivity enhances engagement and empowers users to uncover insights specific to their needs.

By following these steps, you can create compelling data stories in Power BI that captivate your audience and drive impactful decision-making. In the next topic, we will explore the possibilities of PowerPoint integration in Power BI, enabling you to seamlessly transition from Power BI reports to dynamic PowerPoint presentations, amplifying the impact of your data stories.

Powering Data Presentations with Power BI and PowerPoint Integration

How To Add your PowerBI Report to Powerpoint

In this guide, you’ll learn how to add Power BI reports and visuals to your PowerPoint slides using the Power BI add-in. You can choose to add entire report pages or individual visuals to enhance your presentations.

Adding a Whole Report Page:

  1. Get the URL of a Report Page:

To include a live report page, you’ll need its URL. There are three methods to obtain the URL:

  • Share Option: In the Power BI service, open the report page you want to insert, choose “Share,” select the desired permissions, and click “Apply.” Copy the URL provided.
  • Export Option: In the Power BI service, open the report page, choose “Export,” then select “PowerPoint” and “Embed live data.” Copy the URL provided.
  • Browser Address Bar: Open the report page in Power BI, copy the URL directly from the browser’s address bar.
  1. Paste the URL into the Power BI Add-in:

Open PowerPoint, navigate to the slide where you want to add the report page, select the “Insert” ribbon, and click on the Power BI button. Paste the URL into the text box and click “Insert.” The report page will be loaded into the slide. 

Adding an Individual Visual:

  1. Get the URL of a Visual:

To include a live visual, follow these steps:

  1. In the Power BI service, open the report page containing the desired visual.
  2. Right-click on the visual or select “More options” (…).
  3. Choose either “Link to selection” (if adding to an existing presentation) or “Open in PowerPoint” (for a new presentation).
  4. Copy the URL provided.
  1. Paste the URL into the Power BI Add-in:

Open PowerPoint, navigate to the desired slide, select the “Insert” ribbon, and click on the Power BI button. Paste the visual’s URL into the text box and click “Insert.” The visual will be added to the slide.

Note: If the Power BI button is not visible in PowerPoint, go to “Get Add-ins” and search for “Microsoft Power BI” in the Office Add-ins store. Install the add-in if necessary.

That’s it! You have successfully added Power BI reports and visuals to your PowerPoint presentation using the Power BI add-in. The data will be live and interactive, allowing you to present and explore insights seamlessly.


Power BI and PowerPoint integration offers seamless transition from data exploration to impactful presentations. Explore advantages of this integration for enhanced data storytelling capabilities.

  1. Dynamic Presentation Creation:

Easily transform Power BI reports into dynamic presentations. Embed visuals, dashboards, and reports directly into PowerPoint slides for real-time updates and interactive exploration.

  1. Customization and Tailoring:

Customize embedded Power BI visuals within PowerPoint to fit audience needs. Rearrange, resize, and format visuals for visually appealing slides. Emphasize insights, highlight trends, and resonate with your audience.

  1. Offline Accessibility:

Access and present data stories offline. Power BI visuals stored within the presentation file, eliminating the need for internet connection or Power BI service. Present anywhere, anytime with maximum flexibility.

  1. Storyboarding and Narration:

Utilize PowerPoint’s storytelling features to enhance data presentations. Create storyboards, define narrative flow, and add narration for a captivating experience. Combine PowerPoint’s storytelling with Power BI’s analytics for immersive presentations.

  1. Data Export and Distribution:

Easily export Power BI reports as PowerPoint presentations. Distribute data stories to a wider audience without direct access to Power BI. Export retains interactive elements, enabling data exploration and insights without Power BI.

Leverage Power BI and PowerPoint integration to elevate data presentations. Seamlessly transition from data exploration to captivating storytelling, tailoring messages and delivering impactful presentations offline. Communicate data stories with finesse, influence decision-making, and drive meaningful change.


In conclusion, storytelling in Power BI and integration with PowerPoint is a powerful tool that enables data professionals to go beyond numbers and graphs and transform data into meaningful narratives that drive decision-making. By crafting compelling data stories in Power BI and leveraging the possibilities of PowerPoint integration, you can unleash the power of storytelling in Power BI, make your data come alive, and take your data analytics to the next level.

As you embark on your journey of leveraging storytelling in Power BI, remember the key takeaways:

1.               Define your objective and target audience.

2.               Identify key insights.

3.               Choose appropriate visualizations.

4.               Incorporate contextual information.

5.               Structure your data story.

6.               Engage with interactive elements.

7.                Use the added possibilities brought by the integration with PowerPoint, allowing you to take your data presentations to the next level.

Now it’s up to you…

Now it’s your turn to unleash the power of storytelling in Power BI. Use the tips, techniques, and insights shared in this blog post to captivate your audience, inspire action, and drive meaningful change. Whether you’re a data professional, business analyst, or anyone seeking to communicate data effectively, storytelling in Power BI is a skill that will elevate your data analytics game.

Ready to take your data analytics to the next level? Start your journey of storytelling in Power BI today. Explore the seamless integration with PowerPoint, transform your data into compelling narratives, and captivate your audience with impactful data presentations. Whether you’re a data professional, business analyst, or someone passionate about effective data communication, unleash the power of storytelling in Power BI and make your data come alive.

Meet with our experts

Our team is also available for consultations to help you maximize the potential of Power BI and create persuasive data stories. Contact us now to embark on your data storytelling endeavors and unlock the full potential of Power BI.

Jari Evenepoel

Data & analytics consultant @ Lytix