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Shape Power BI R visuals, without understanding R

Headshot of article author Sharon Laivand

Do you think that Hemingway could have written his famous novels without understanding English? We think he could have, but only with the right tools!

For example, with Power BI you can now shape R visuals without understanding R!

While R visuals add advanced analytics depth and endless flexibility on top of the Power BI visuals, not everyone understand R. Today we're announcing R-powered custom visuals that enable you to create R visuals with just a few mouse clicks. Read on for a step-by-step guide to this process, or see the documentation.


How does it work?

Creation of  R-powered custom visuals is similar to creation of the well known custom visuals. Here are the steps required to create reports with R-powered custom visuals:

1. Download the R-Powered custom visuals (.pbiviz file) and report samples from the gallery at in the R-powered section



2. Load the custom visual to the report, in Power BI Desktop or in the Power BI service (in edit mode)


  • In the service, you don’t need to install an R engine, or even know what is R.
  • In the desktop you have to install one of the following R engines, by a few clicks:

· CRAN 3.3.1

· MRO 3.3.1



In Power BI service, you don’t need to install packages at all. In Power BI Desktop, the required R packages will be automatically installed for you.



3. Load data to the visual and format it

We have prepared a sample report to demonstrate how to make the R-Power custom visual work. Load the data like for any other visual:




4. Publish and share your R-powered report

You have just created an R forecast visual without understanding R:




Contributing to the R-Powered Visual Gallery

Do you need an R-Powered Custom Visual that is not in the gallery? You can create one your self. Learn how.


Licensing and terms of use

Licensing of the R-Powered custom visuals are similar to the regular R visuals in Power BI as described in this blog post.


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