Achieve that perfect alignment ๐ŸŽฏ with Background Images

In the previous blog post, I covered multiple ways of aligning visuals or elements in Power BI using built-in features.

Now this time, I would like to show you my favorite way of aligning visuals. This is a method that I have been using for quite some time now and it proves to be a perfect solution.

Or at least it works perfectly in my situation. However, you can replicate this method or logic to create beautiful, easy-to-use, and easy-to-understand reports.

Background image

With a background image like the one below report, creators can achieve two things.

First, creating that perfect alignment (as you can see with the red dotted lines).

Secondly, by limiting the number of visual elements on the page, the report itself will be much easier to use. And if it is easier to use, report consumers will be able to find those business-critical insights much quicker!

You, as a report creator, must remember, that the reason why we create reports is to guide our users and help them to understand data quicker. With different background images, we have the option to tell different stories.

A different story

Have a look at the below image and compare to the one above.

This background also shows a neatly aligned background and uses the same number of visual elements, however, the story that we can tell with this one is pretty different.

We guide our report consumers to focus on the visual on the left-hand side, just by making it the biggest item on the report page.

Personalize it

The best of these backgrounds is that you can apply your company’s image to them. In other words, use colors that represent the company, add logos, icons that serve as a reminder of the company or products that the report is all about.

Let the report speak for itself rather than allowing users to misinterpret what’s in the report.

Like the ones below that I put together for this exercise.

It has a color pattern that suits BI-Lingual Analytics’ colors, I have added my logo and a Power BI icon. Additionally, that black bar on the top will allow me to place report page titles at the exact same location on all report pages.

It is clear to see how a single background image can drive alignment options.

More examples

Just to show you what’s possible I created three more background images that I could potentially use in any reports. These are just a few examples of what’s possible.

How to create them?

You can use any image editing software to create these images. It could be as simple as MS Paint, or a bit more complex, like MS PowerPoint or something PRO like GIMP a free image editor tool.

In the video down below I explain how to use MS PowerPoint and show you how I created the above examples.

Be sure to check it out!

Materials to check

A huge shout out to Alice Drummond from Discover EI.

She was the one who showed me how to use PowerPoint as an image editor during a Power BI User Group meetup.

She is doing some amazing stuff with maps, so be sure to check out that!

Additionally, she mentioned Chris Hamill’s blog, where people can find some inspiration for backgrounds.


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