Power View – no more PowerPoint for presentations!

Earlier we saw how to create a Power View based dashboard.

How to show this in PowerPoint?

A better question is – WHY show it using PowerPoint?

power view by Dr. Nitin Paranjape

Estimated reading time 7 min

PowerPoint may not be the best way to present data

Yes. PowerPoint is commonly used for presenting information originating in Excel. But that is more because of habit rather than true merit.

Here are the problems – most of which you are already suffering from – associated with using PowerPoint for presenting Excel reports (Pivots, Summary data, Charts, etc).

  1. Data pasted into PowerPoint is usually static
  2. Paste Link is rarely used. Even if it is used, the linked files may not be accessible to all
  3. The presentations are used more like a document
  4. There is no interactivity available while a report / chart / pivot is shown
  5. Original Excel file may not be available during the presentation
  6. Even if the file is available, new questions arising during the discussion are rarely addressed by opening the the file and performing new analysis
  7. Even if new analysis is attempted, it may take a long time. This usually prompts a typical response which is “We will get back to you with the revised / newly requested information soon”. This delays the decision making process.
  8. The original file is available only with one person. Even if the file is available to all,  typically only ONE person performs ad-hoc analysis.

The solution

  1. Store the Excel file on SharePoint (OneDrive for Business or a document library).
  2. Show only the Power View sheet.
  3. View and interact with the dashboard using any browser (which supports Silverlight).

Here are three detailed articles which explain how to publish Excel reports to SharePoint:

New, Improved way of delivering Excel reports: Part 1
New, Improved way of delivering Excel reports: Part 2
New, Improved way of delivering Excel reports: Part 3

How to show only the Power View dashboard sheets


The sheets are typically named like Power View2, Power View7, etc. You should change the name of the sheet to something more specific.

Now, open File menu –  Info – Browser View Options.

Choose Sheets from the dropdown.


Now choose the dashboard sheet (s)


Save the file to SharePoint.

Send the link to everyone

Now the report is available for interactive viewing on any browser which supports Silverlight. HTML 5 compliant version is also available now.

Send the URL to all the people whom you were earlier sending the physical Excel file.

Next month onwards, you don’t even have to send this URL because the file location remains the same.

Benefits of this approach

Although the benefits are obvious, let me list them. You can use this list to convince your colleagues, superiors, bosses and top management to move to this method of data analysis and report dissemination.

  1. There is a single, predictable place for every report
  2. There is always a SINGLE copy available for each report
  3. Depending upon your role, some people can edit and some can only view the report
  4. Previous versions of the report (back-dated reports) are automatically maintained by SharePoint
  5. Using Notifications people are automatically informed by SharePoint about changes to the report files
  6. Inbox space is saved as only the link is sent
  7. File size of the Excel file is no longer the constraint for delivering reports.
  8. The processing is done on the server. SharePoint opens the Excel file, converts it to a browser page and opens it as an HTML page. Therefore, the response time is very fast even if the file size is large
  9. Parallel analytics – explained in the next section

Parallel analysis during meetings

This is where the real empowerment happens.

In a typical review meeting, all participants will have the dashboard page (Power View sheet) open in front of them. As this is an interactive page, each one of them can do different analysis as per their needs. In the same room, each person is discovering a different set of insights.

This is an instant amplification of what people would otherwise do with a static report.

As the interactive analysis is very easy to perform, more scenarios will be looked at, evaluated, discussed and a more comprehensive action plan will evolve.

This is how it an contribute significantly to business growth.

What if I have Pivot tables and Power View

If you see the Browser View Options dialog, you can choose entire workbook, sheets or named items.

Unfortunately, Power View needs to be shared as a Sheet whereas Pivot table can be shared using the name of the Pivot table.

In such cases, use the Sheets option and choose the Pivot sheet as well as the Power View sheet.

Power View CAN be embedded into PowerPoint

If you have an on-premise implementation of SharePoint Enterprise Edition, the Power View published on the browser does give you an option to insert itself into PowerPoint. This adds a new slide into PowerPoint. This slide can be presented like a regular PowerPoint slide but it retains an interactive link to the original Power View on the SharePoint site. It requires an internet connection during the presentation.

This approach is not available if you use SharePoint from Office 365.

Try it NOW

Introduce this method of Power View based review in your next meeting. Let me know the results.


One Response

  1. Hello Doc,
    I read so many articles from your blogs on Saturday as we have a Self Development day on every Saturday. They will be very useful to me and then to my colleagues at workplace. Thank you for the same. You’re doing a great job by teaching people what they already think they doing well but in fact they’re not.

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