We are pleased to announce the Public preview of the Visio custom visual for Power BI.
The Visio custom visual will allow you to visualize data using Microsoft Visio diagrams from within Power BI dashboards and reports. Any Power BI user can add Visio custom visual from the store (get it from the store) to start using this capability right away.
With Visio, you can create illustrative diagrams, such as interconnected workflows and real-world layouts, to pursue operational intelligence. Using Visio and Power BI together, you can illustrate and compare data both as diagrams and as traditional Power BI visuals in one place, driving operational and business intelligence to understand the overall picture.
Note: The Public Preview of Visio custom visual is currently supported in the Power BI service and Power BI Desktop. Support for Power BI Mobile apps will arrive soon.
With this new visual, you can connect to a Visio diagram hosted on SharePoint or OneDrive for Business. The underlying Power BI data is then automatically and intelligently linked to the diagram based on its shape properties, eliminating the need to do this manually. In just a few clicks, Visio diagrams become yet another interactive Power BI visualization that can help you make informed decisions faster.
Try it out now in an embedded report:
Let’s look at this with a fictitious example. Contoso is a large retailer working to improve its inventory management. Using Power BI, the current inventory per store can be represented in a series of visualizations, including a tree-map that shows stock by item (left-side chart in the image below).
The visuals are perfect for an all-up view of inventory at this store. But what if Contoso needs more nuanced details, such as sales and inventory data for specific clothing racks? What if it needs to understand where each rack is located in the store and how they are positioned relative to one another? Using a Visio diagram of the store’s layout, Contoso can overlay the data in Power BI on Visio’s diagram of the clothing racks. The resulting Power BI dashboard provides an accurate, up-to-date representation of the overall store inventory, while also maintaining the ability to drill into specific items.
The treemap was replaced with individual item racks that have been color-coded and labeled based on the inventory levels from Power BI data. For example, when “Tea Dresses” is clicked in the Visio diagram, you quickly see that sales are very strong, which helps explain why inventory is low. Similarly, when “Suit Coats” is clicked in the Power BI bar chart, you see the item is well below its sales target and inventory is still high. You can also see that the suit coat rack is located in a back corner of the store, making it less accessible to customers. Based on this information, the Contoso team might decide to use more rack space for tea dresses and less for suit coats, or reposition the racks for greater accessibility.
There are endless types of Visio diagrams that can offer more detailed insights with Power BI, including:
- Flow charts for identifying interdependencies
- Fishbone diagrams for root-cause analysis
- Organizational charts for assessing the impact of hierarchies on process decisions and people management
Visio flowchart illustrating a sample home loan approval process for a bank. Using the Power BI charts, the bank sees that actual ticket response times for performing property risk assessments are higher than expected. In the Visio diagram, that process step is highlighted in red indicating that, because it’s so early in the process, it could affect other steps in the future if the ticket processing issue isn’t resolved soon.
Fishbone chart showing that poor working conditions — specifically excessive noise and temperature, which are highlighted in red in the Visio diagram — are the root cause of diminished product quality. The diagram relies on the employee ratings of operational categories depicted in the Power BI charts on the right.
Dashboard showing how certain people and departments, illustrated by the Visio hierarchy diagram in the upper left, affect different organizational processes. In this case, the marketing and sales department is over budget on tele sales and tele call efforts, all of which are highlighted in red.
Known limitations of the Public Preview:
- To access the Visio diagram from the Visio custom visual, you will need to sign into the host SharePoint with your organizational ID. The visual will prompt you with a sign-in window.
- To include a Visio visual in a Publish to Web report, you must use an authenticated Visio diagram. Refer to the documentation for details.
The Visio visual public preview is not yet supported for Power BI Mobile apps, Power BI Embedded, exporting to PowerPoint, or email subscriptions.
Visio and Power BI are visual tools—each helps you to dissect data in new, meaningful ways. Together, they can uncover even more insights.
Get the Visio custom visual for Power BI from the Office store, or search for it in the integrated store in your Power BI Desktop or Power BI service.
To know more about Visio Power BI custom visual, please refer step-by-step help articles
Please visit our UserVoice site to submit your suggestions for improving Visio-Power BI connectivity. For questions about this and other features, email us at