Page Navigation in Power BI

When building a Power BI report, odds are that all of the information you want to display will not fit on one page. Because of this, it is important to provide an intuitive way for your users to navigate through the different pages of your report. In this blog post I will talk through a few different solutions for page navigation in your Power BI reports. 

Adding an Action to a Page

There are many different ways that you can have your users interact with your Power BI report, including the use of different buttons, shapes, and images. All of these options allow you to incorporate actions into that report element. When I say “action,” I mean the ability to either navigate, drill through, or change the dashboard view with a click. 

In the Insert tab, the three options circled in red all allow you to add Actions to them. Buttons allow you to pick predetermined icons. Shapes has some basic shape options that you can add to your report. Image allows you to bring in a custom image to your report. 

The solutions below will be applicable to any of these Elements due to the ability of adding Actions to them. 

Solution #1: Page Navigation

Now, let’s get to using these click actions to navigate our report. If you want to create an action that takes you from one page to another with no need for having filters stay the same or for a drill through occurring, the Page Navigation action is for you. Let’s add one of these page navigation actions to a report!

Add a button, image, or shape to the page that you want to start on. Then place one on the page that you want to be directed to. Click on the button on your first (landing) page and go down the Action selection. 

Make sure to turn it on then select Page Navigation from the drop down.

Add a button, image, or shape to the page that you want to start on. Then place one on the page that you want to be directed to. Click on the button on your first (landing) page and go down the Action selection. 

In the Destination drop down, select the page you want to navigate to. 

On the destination page, do this same process with the navigation pointing back to your starting page. This type of navigation limits you to only moving back and forth between the tabs without taking the data and other items into consideration. Check out the next couple of methods and you will see what I mean!

Solution #2: Bookmarks

Bookmarks can be used in a variety of ways, including this blog about how to create a sweet instruction guide in your Power BI report using PowerPoint, but in this instance we will be using them to navigate between pages. In order to use the Bookmark feature first go to the View ribbon in your toolbar and select Bookmarks right next to the Filters selection. This will bring up another pane next to your Filters, Visualizations, and Fields panes.

Go to your primary (landing) page and select the Add new bookmark button in the Bookmarks pane. Right-click on your newly added bookmark and you will see some options in the pop-up. These selections give you the option on what you want to “bookmark,” so if you want your data selections to carry over or you want your display to carry over (such as a sort by selection) to be captured, you will need to select those options. 

When you’re done choosing your options, select Update. This will update your bookmark to capture the report page’s current status. 

Repeat this process for the page you are going to. Name these bookmarks appropriately so that you will know which page you are bookmarking. 

Next, similar to the previous method, add a button, image, or shape and add them to both of your pages. Turn on the Action button in your Visualization pane and choose Bookmark for your Type. In the Bookmark drop down, select whichever bookmarked page you are trying to navigate to. Complete the actions for both pages (both to and from). 

Now that you have your bookmarks enabled on both pages, you can use your buttons to navigate between pages! If you choose this method, make sure to go and Update your bookmark if you are making changes to the pages you are navigating between. If you don’t, you may wonder why some of the things you did to your report page look like they didn’t get saved. 

Solution #3: Drill Through

Finally, our last page navigation technique! And boy, did we save the best for last. There are a ton of applications for drill throughs, but in this case we are going to use them to navigate to a different page. First, add your desired button, shape, or image to the dashboard that you want to use as your action button. 

Second, we need to set up the fields that we want to drill into. In our example we are going to have our primary page set up showing a bar chart of revenues by conference. Our secondary page (the one we’re navigating to) will have a bar chart showing the revenues of the teams in the conference we choose on our primary page.

Next, we need to put the field that we are drilling into in the Drill through section of the bar chart on our secondary page. 

See screenshot to the right. The field Conference Abb is shown in there. This is located in the Visualization pane, Fields tab at the very bottom. 

Now, let’s set up the drill through. Add your favorite button, shape or image to the primary and secondary pages. Click on your newly added button and turn the Actions on and select Drill through from the Type drop down. Click down on the Destination drop down and select the page where the available drill through is located.

Finally, we get to put the drill through into action. Click on a conference in the bar chart on your primary page and you should see the button go from grayed out to its normal color. Now click on the button and it should take you to your next page. Your secondary page will have the bar chart you set up earlier, but this time filtered by whatever selection you made in your primary page. (ex. if you select SEC in the primary page and then choose the drill through action you’ll see just the revenues for Alabama, Florida etc.) 

In order to get back to the first page, take the button on your secondary page and make it’s action a Back type action. This will take you back to the page you came from. And there you have it, you’ve now drilled through to the other page and filtered your results while doing it. See all three methods below in this example Power BI report. 

Thanks so much for reading! If you have any comments, suggestions, or feedback make sure to email me at spencer.baucke@tessellationconsulting.com.

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