Narratives for Power bi

In these days I found an interesting add-in for bi power that allows us to have in automatic a simple description of our data by relating measurements and dimensio.

This Feature is called Narratives for pwer bi and you can download it from this link .

Install instruction:

Once you have downloaded the Narratives for Power BI extension, you can add it to any report you are working on.

  1. Add the extension by going into Edit report mode and clicking the three dots option from the Visualizations palette.
  2. A dialog box will ask you if you’d like to import the extension. After you agree to the caveat, select the extension file to import.
  3. A green quill icon will appear in the Visualizations palette. Make sure to save your report as failing to do so will require you to import the extension the next time you edit the report.

Create first Visualization

To create a narrative that corresponds to a chart in your report, click the Quill icon in the Visualizations palette. Note that the example (and other examples throughout this site) will show narratives corresponding to visualizations. While in many cases, the narratives can provide context to existing visualizations, the narratives can be requested without a chart.

Add the dimensions and measures that correspond to the chart you want a narrative for. In this example, we’ll create a line chart measuring Total Revenue and Total COGS over time in months. If a narrative does not immediately appear, move your cursor over the Narrative window.

Once you select at least one measure and one dimension, the narrative extension will show a prompt to “describe your data” and will give examples.

Once you select a description of your data, click the “write narrative” button and an appropriate narrative will generate.


Configure it

The Narratives for Power BI extension allows you to control the analytics run when generating your narrative. In addition to enabling or disabling certain analytic packages, you can order those analytics by their importance to you.

This guide will walk through the steps of configuring the analytics in your narrative.

(1) After you’ve generated a narrative, you will notice a settings icon that appears in the upper right corner of the narrative window in your report.

(2) Click the settings icon to bring up the narrative settings menu.

(3) Go to the Analytics tab of the narrative settings menu to see your configurable analytics options.

(4) From this menu, you can control the analytics that are enabled to run in your narrative as well as their order of importance. You can enable/disable analytics by using the toggle on the right side of each analytic in the list.

(5) You can also re-order the analytics by clicking on the re-ordering icon next to the enable/disable toggle.

(6) As you select the analytics you want enabled and the order of importance, a new narrative with these settings applied is generated.

(7) The examples above show configurable analytics for analyzing data over a continuous series. When you are writing stories about entity distribution, the available analytics will be different.

Providing correct context

Language Settings

Using the Narratives for Power BI “Narrative Settings” menu, you can provide more context to your narratives. This menu is currently only available in the Online PowerBI version. It will be available in the next release of Desktop PowerBI.

To get to this menu using Online PowerBI:

After a narrative has been generated in “Edit mode”, click on the “Focus mode” button in the upper right hand corner of the box.

Once in “Focus mode” if you hover over the right corner, you will see a ‘gear’. Click it to bring up your Narrative Settings.

The following guides will show you how to utilize these settings to enhance your narratives.

Customized Dimension Labels

When using the Narratives for Power BI extension, you can customize how your narratives refer to your dimensions.

(1) Once you generate a narrative, you will see that the Narratives for Power BI extension uses default language to reference your dimensions. Using this line chart as an example, the narrative refers to “entities.”

(2) Open up the narrative settings menu and go to the Language tab.

(3)  You will see your ‘Language’ settings by default and you will see your dimensions under the “Dimensions” heading. Click on the dimension you will be making adjustments to. You will see text boxes filled with the default language for referencing the dimension.

(4) Change the singular and plural versions of the dimension label to how you want to reference dimensions. The narrative will update to reflect these changes.

(5) Click the ‘Add Variation’ button and fill in the text boxes if you want the Narratives for Qlik extension to cycle through different references to the dimension. For example,

(6) Once you close the narrative settings by clicking the x in the upper right, you will see your narrative now referencing dimensions in the way you want.


Using the narrative settings menu, you can add more context to your narratives in the ‘characterizations’ tab. This is where you can tell the Narratives for Power BI extension about the types of values you are evaluating so you can get a more impactful narrative. This guide will introduce those options.

Measure Characterizations

After opening the settings menu, click on ‘Characterizations.” Here, you will see the measures listed. You will be able to provide characterizations to each individual measure in your chart.

(1) You can tell the extension whether larger values in your chart are considered good or bad. The story will adjust based on whether an increase in a measure is considered positive or not. Similarly, in a bar chart and other chart types, the narrative will adjust based on if a larger bar is considered a good thing for your purposes.

(2) The narrative will adjust based on the type of aggregation you are performing to create your chart. For example, if you did a “Sum”, the narrative will perform different analytics and include different content than if you did an “Average”.

(3) Choose the formatting of the numbers in the narrative for that measure from the Format dropdown menu. You can set the format as a raw number, money, or a percentage.

Measure Relationships

You can assign relationships between measures in narratives about multi-measure visualizations.

In this example, we have Sum of Travel Expenses and Total COGS both plotted over time in a multi-measure line chart. We will want to inform the extension thatSum of Travel Expenses is actually a ‘component’ of Total COGS.

(1) To get to relationships settings, hover over narrative to reveal the ‘Settings” icon in the upper-right of the narrative window.

(2) Choose the Relationships tab in the settings menu. You will be asked if there are measures that are “components” of other measures.

(3) Move the slider to “Yes” and set which measure is component of the other. In this example, we will say that “Sum of Travel Expenses” is a component of “Total COGS.” The narrative will update once you have set both measures.

(4) You can click the “x” on the right side in order to remove this relationship. If you have additional measures, you will need to set their relationships as well.

Personalizing your Narratives

The Narratives for Power BI extension allows you to customize your narrative with a variety of options. We will explore how to use those customizations in this section.


Dimension Characterizations

Go to the Narrative section in the Format tab. Here you can set whether the values you are evaluating are continuous, discrete, or part of a whole. If you are working with a series of non-discrete values, this setting allows you to tell the extension you do not want a narrative that includes time series analysis. If your values are measured over a period of months, you can use this setting to tell the extension you want time series analysis performed. Finally, if the narrative corresponds to component values, choose the percent of whole option.


You can customize how detailed and lengthy your narrative is (aka Verbosity).  This option can be found in the Narrative section of the Format tab. There is a dropdown menu that lets you set the verbosity as High,




or Low.

Story Format

By default, the narrative will appear in a paragraph, but you can choose the format. This option can be found in the Narrative section of the Format tab. There is a dropdown menu that lets you choose between presenting the narrative as a paragraph or in a bullet list.



When you choose Bullet List, the narrative format will change.

Adjusting Font Size

The Narratives for Power BI extension allows you to change the font size of your narrative, making sure that the content scales to meet your display needs. This option can be found in the Narrative section of the Format tab. The slider lets you set the font size between 8 and 40pt.

Un pensiero su “Narratives for Power bi

  1. Came across your article about Narratives for Power BI! I’m from Narrative Science and the team that developed the extension. Would love to chat more about your thoughts and to share with you some recent updates. Feel free to shoot me an email if interested!

    "Mi piace"


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