Power BI Tooltips for Context Specific Intelligent Reporting

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Reports and charts are a visual medium used for insight at a broader and in-depth level. We can also create drill-down reports to get a deeper understanding of the data, but this is not always what is needed.  One feature of Power BI is the ability to create dynamic tooltips that provide additional insight from the primary report and charts without the need for drill-down reports.


Power BI has a feature called "Reporting Tooltip". Basically, this feature dynamically shows textual as well as graphical information based on the context. To further explain, let me give you an example.

I have a financial sheet where the product information is stored by segment and country. It also has units sold and sales as shown below.

This is a sample financial excel data which has product information stored according to Segment and Country.

I created a "Treemap" report in Power BI which shows the gross number of units sold in each segment. I grouped it with the "Segment" field and used "Units Sold" as the value field as shown below.

This a tree map report which shown different segments and their total units sold for each segment.

Now the report user wants to see sales done in each continent for each segment. The challenge is to have just have an overview and not the drill down information for each continent.  In this situation, a feature like a "Reporting Tooltip" comes in very handy. To put it simply, this is a lightweight feature which has the capability to dynamically map an entire report with various information and tag it to a data field. In our case, we will be tagging it with the "Segment" field.

Creating a Power BI Reporting Tooltip

To configure the above report, "Financial Segment", we will perform the below steps to show the graphical tooltip:

  1. Create and configure the tooltip page "Sales Tooltip"
  2. Add a tooltip "Filled Map" report and configure fields
  3. Configure the "Financial Segment" report to show "Sales Tooltip"

So, let's get started.

Create and configure tooltip page "Sales Tooltip"

To create and configure the page, we will first create a page and we will define the page as a tooltip page.

Let's first add a page. To do so, use the "+" (plus sign) at the bottom of the page where all pages will be shown as tabs. Click on the "+" and add a new page. Name it "Sales Tooltip" as shown in the below image.

This image shows on where and what to create a new page with.

Once the page is created, on the right side of the report there will be a "Visualizations" Pane. Under that, there will be a format icon. Click on that icon as shown below.

This image shows the Format section available under Visualizations Pane

We must configure two sections. First the "Page information". Under this section, we must change the "ToolTip" status from "Off" to "On" as shown in the below image. By doing so, we are declaring this page to be available in tooltip selections under any relative report.

This image shows on what enable ToolTip under Page Information section.

The second configuration on the page is to select a size in the "Page Size" section. We will select "Tooltip" for this demonstration from the "Type" dropdown, to show the report in a compact size.

This section shows on how to select Tooltip in Type dropdown under Page Size Section.

Add tooltip "Filled Map" report and configure fields

We completed the first step and the next target will be to create a tooltip report and configure it to show the relative data.

From the "Visualizations" Pane, select a "Filled Map" as shown in the below image.

This image shows on where to select and add Filled Map report.

Keeping the report selected, we will map the "Location" field to the "Country" as we want to show continent information. Also, we will map the "Tooltips" field to "Segment" as we want the map report to show when we hover over the "Segment" field in the "Financial Segment" report.

This image shows on how to configure Location and Tooltips filed for Filled Map

Next, configure the color saturation to automatically bifurcate from highest sales to lowest sales. To do so, go to the "Format" section just beside the "Fields section" and under "Format" the first section will be "Data colors". Open the section and click on "Advanced controls".

This image shows on how to open Advanced controls window under Data Colors section

Also, in case you want to map different colors for different locations, that could also be achieved. To do so, enable Show all and select different colors for each country choice available.

A pop window will appear, which will allow you to configure data fields, summarization and other formatting options. For our current purpose, we will select "Sales" in the "Based on field" dropdown. Once selected, click "Ok" to apply the changes. This is to show the total number of sales according to each county. Also, one thing to observe at the bottom is the "Minimum" and "Maximum" color scale. This will identify sales in each region.


This image shows on how to configure Based on field and Summarization dropdown to Sales and Sum.

Configure "Financial Segment" report to show "Sales Tooltip"

Now we are at the last configuration step to show the "Sales Tooltip".

Go to "Financial Segment" page > Visualizations Pane > Format. Scroll down until you see the "Tooltip" section. Change the status from "Off" to "On" (if not already done). Also, select "Report Page" in the "Type" dropdown, and "Sales Tooltip" in the "Page" dropdown. This will define that we want to show the tooltip page whenever we hover over the "Financial Segment" page.

This image shows on how to configure Type dropdown to Report Page and Page dropdown to Sales Tooltip.

Once all of the above steps are configured properly, when we hover on "Segment", we will be shown the relative "Filled Map" sales report as the tooltip.

This image shows once configured correctly, how reporting tooltip will appear on hover of each segment.

A few points to observe in the above image:

  1. The data is show in continents rather than country. You can configure the zoom level to zoom in or out.
  2. There is dark blue in "North America" compared to "Europe". This shows it neither has the highest nor the lowest sales. It is more on the side of average sales.
  3. In South America, below North America, the color is close to red which states it has the lowest sales for the "Government" segment.
  4. Power BI uses Bing maps to show the location informed for the "Filled Maps".

So as shown above, we can create powerful, compact and informative reports using a "Reporting Tooltip".

Next Steps
  • Think about using this to create rich reporting tooltips for pie charts and other charts.
  • Also try to embed different reports using the tooltips report page.
  • Check out all of the Power BI tips.

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Rahul Mehta Rahul Mehta is a Project Architect/Lead working at Tata Consultancy Services focusing on ECM.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 9:52:15 AM - Sam Back To Top (79346)


Thank you for the tips, I highly appreciated it.

BTW, how did you get "Py" for Python in Power BI Desktop? Which version are you using?

Also, how do you bring your own picture on the RHS corner of the interface of Power BI Service and the Desktop?

Thank You.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 9:18:26 AM - Ricardo Cardoso Back To Top (79345)

Hi Rahul, can you please share the excel file you used to create tree map? Thanks.

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