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POLITICO Europe bets on Microsoft Power BI to report on the European Union Elections

Headshot of article author Arun Ulagaratchagan

Starting today, POLITICO Europe is using Power BI as the data visualization technology powering its new Elections hub. Thanks to Power BI, readers can interact with the latest information about the expected results of the upcoming European Parliament elections.

We launched Power BI to create new opportunities for organizations to drive a data culture where all employees, regardless of role and skillset, can access the insights and intelligence they need to make smart decisions based on facts. It’s been amazing to watch the technology spread across organizations of all types and emerge as a powerful tool to inform and educate the public with news organizations like POLITICO Europe betting on it for data journalism.

“We are continuing our investment in data visualization and technology with our European Elections hub. Through our collaboration with Microsoft we are once again at the forefront of innovation bringing together invaluable journalism and intelligence, and interactive visualization of aggregated polling data” said Johannes Boege, Chief Product Officer at POLITICO Europe. “The digital visualizations we have built using Microsoft’s Power BI allow users to run Parliament seat projections based on the most recent and reliable polling data. A coalition builder will allow users to simulate and forecast what future majorities could look like.”


With enterprise organizations already betting on Power BI for business intelligence, it’s no surprise that leading news organizations around the world are also benefiting from the technology to engage readers with industry-first data journalism experiences. The ability for people, businesses and the media to see and touch data is creating a dramatic change in the way stories are being told and reported.

More and more media organizations are using Power BI to cover elections, with local broadcast news stations like KING 5 benefitting from the ease of sharing on TV and with viewers at home through a second screen. Power BI has also proven itself as a tool and platform for the Associated Press to share quick real time reports with its members.

We continue to make investments in Power BI to ensure it meets the needs of the journalists, and we’re thrilled to be working with POLITICO Europe to showcase its unique capabilities to deliver critical information about the European elections. By using publish to web, news organizations and other communicators can share data with an unlimited number of readers at no additional cost. In this case, it leads to more informed and engaged voters.

When we opened up our visualization framework in 2015, we were excited to see what visualizations the community would dream up. The ability for customers and partners to easily extend and build custom visuals continues to differentiate Power BI, and there is a growing gallery with hundreds of unique designs available for our users. The horseshoe visual being used by POLITICO Europe, built in close collaboration with Enlighten Designs, is a stunning example of how creativity can be unlocked and integrate natively with our enterprise-grade business analytics platform. The animation is not only eye-catching, but a useful communications technique that helps users see how each of the 705 individuals come together from across the union to form the Parliament.



Bookmarks are a popular feature for many Power BI reports that are designed to tell a story or report on the news. This report’s use of bookmarks enables the ‘reset all’ option to navigate to a state where none of the filters are selected, and to link to a Data Methodology page. The latter is a great way of meeting the industry standard for sharing methodology and data source information about the news graphic.

Keeping data updated is an important consideration for live reporting moments. POLITICO Europe collects the source data from the European Parliament and other sources and tabulates it into Microsoft Excel files stored on SharePoint. The reports are in Import mode and data is updated automatically every night via Scheduled Refresh.

The Power BI reports on the Elections hub are the first of several engaging technology projects POLITICO and Microsoft are developing together. Next month, POLITICO Europe will launch country-level pages in the hub to share vital information about each of the 27 EU-member countries participating in the election. Microsoft and POLITICO Europe will also launch new content formats that bring discussion about the future of the EU to new and existing readers.