Around 90% of the information transmitted to our brain is visual and they are processed 60,000x faster than text. A visual interface can provide more clarity in less time. With data preparation being the most time-consuming task in analytics and BI, it has become increasingly important to provide a visual interface to prepare data.
The ‘Diagram View’ in Power Query reimagines self-service data prep and provides an interface to easily prepare and transform your data and visualize the data preparation process. This simplifies the experience for citizen data analysts to quickly create queries and understand the flow of data – both the ‘big picture view’ of how the queries are related and the ‘detailed view’ around specific data preparation steps within a query. We are very excited to share with you the public preview of the Visual data prep (Diagram View) within Power Query Online (e.g. within Power BI dataflows).
Enabling ‘Diagram View’
This feature can be enabled by selecting ‘Diagram View’ within the ‘View’ tab in the ribbon.
Once the Diagram View is enabled, you will start to notice the ‘Diagram View’ panel with the Ribbon on top and Data Preview at the bottom. The Steps pane and Queries pane will be collapsed.
Using Diagram View
Diagram View provides you a visual interface to create, view, or modify your queries. Within Diagram View, customers can connect to many different types of data sources as always, using the ‘Get Data’ experience. There are now three ways by which you can shape and combine data:
- Using the “+” button in the Diagram View
- Using the “Ribbon” (existing method)
- Using the “Data Preview” (existing method)
Using the “+” button
Customers can add a new step within their query, after the currently selected step, by just clicking the “+” button. You can choose a transform from the list or search for it from the menu. These are the same transforms that you will find within the ribbon.
By searching and selecting the transform from the list, the step gets added to the query as shown below.
You can also continue to add new data preparation steps, using the ribbon or the Data Preview.
To expand/collapse a query, just double click the query. This can also be achieved by clicking the ‘Expand/Collapse’ button on the top right corner of the query.
Alternatively, you can right click within the query and select ‘Expand/Collapse’ from the query’s context menu.
To view all the related queries for a given query, click the ‘Highlight related queries’ button on the top right corner of the query. For instance, you can see below that by clicking the button within the ‘Top US Customers’ query, ‘Customers’ and ‘Orders’ are highlighted.
Alternatively, you can click or hover on the dongle on the left of a given query to see the direct and indirect referenced queries.
Similarly, you can click or hover on the right dongle to view direct and indirect dependent queries.
Step level actions
By right clicking a step, customers can perform step level actions such as edit step level settings, rename a step, delete a step and more.
Alternatively, customers can also perform step level actions by hovering over the step and clicking the ellipsis (three vertical dots).
There are four layout options available within the Diagram View:
Zoom out/in: This option allows you to adjust the zoom level and zoom out/zoom in to view all the queries within the Diagram View.
Full screen: This option allows you to view all the queries and their relationships through the ‘Full screen’ mode. The ‘Diagram View’ expands to full screen and the Data Preview, Queries pane and steps pane remain collapsed.
Fit to view: This option adjusts the zoom level so that all the queries and their relationships are fully viewed within the Diagram View.
Reset: This option allows you to reset the zoom level back to 100% and resets the pan to the top-left corner.
Currently, Diagram View is in Preview and as a result, provides limited capabilities compared to other Generally Available features (support for Accessibility features such as keyboarding, screen reader, high contrast mode etc. is limited or not yet available). Providing an accessible feature set along with addressing customer feedback from Preview is our key priority for GA.
We are extremely excited and eager to learn how you use these new capabilities. Head over to Power BI dataflows and enable this feature using the ‘View’ tab and share your feedback through Ideas.