Increase Productivity with Power BI’s new Navigator Tools

In this article we will introduce you to Power BI’s new Navigator tools used to enhance the functionality and appearance of your multi-page reports. If you use the app, this will help you increase productivity with Power BI’s new navigator tools.

The scenario

So, you’ve got your data all ready to be made into visuals in Power BI desktop. What next? Make the visuals from the data first? Maybe. But what about how your report looks once it is published. A bunch of charts, tables and infographics distributed over several pages may make sense to you but what about the person who needs to make decisions based on that data?

What is needed here is a clear structure to help the end user navigate to the relevant report pages, just like web pages within a web site. Less time spent figuring out where to find that all important KPI infographic means more time actually making sense of the data and being more productive and efficient.

Power BI Navigator Tool
Power BI Navigator Tool
Why use Navigator Tools?

So, which tools will give you this structure? In Power BI desktop there is a new feature called Page Navigator buttons. These tools are great because they provide you with all the alignment, formatting and interactivity options to give your reports a functional ‘website’ feel. They will have instant appeal to the end user and also establish a corporate look and feel. These amazing tools allow anyone with minimal design ‘know how’ to build an interactive report in ‘half a minute’. Yes, that’s right – 30 seconds of your time! This compares to 5 minutes using the old navigator tools. So, not only is your end user saving time consuming the report pages but so are you in creating them. This means more time focusing on making those all-important visuals even more business focussed.

The Power BI server does provide the end user with navigation buttons as standard in published reports. So why bother making more buttons that do exactly the same job? Well, the buttons in Power BI server are grey, boring and frankly not worth using. A website must be functional in terms of getting there and back within the report pages. However, it also needs to have visual impact that sends out the right corporate message. Therefore, these Navigator buttons are equipped with all the colour/font formatting features that can bring to life an otherwise bland report.

The Solution – How to use the new tools
  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Power BI desktop
  2. Name your first page as ‘Welcome’ (serves as a Home Page)
  3. On the Ribbon, go to Insert > Buttons > Navigator > Page Navigator
  4. Expand the ‘Welcome’ button to a long or tall rectangle – depending on whether you want your buttons to be horizontal or vertical
  5. Add 4 more pages. Note that each page addition automatically generates its own button
  6. The page buttons now can be used to jump to the relevant page
  7. Any colour/font formatting can be done to the whole button set – no need to apply individually
  8. To finish, just copy and paste the button set to the remaining pages

In conclusion, if you follow the steps above, you will no doubt increase productivity with Power BI’s new navigator tools.