Using PowerBI Dashboards

As part of the Data Insight Improvement Programme we have committed to enhance our data analytics capabilites. We have created a number of Power BI dashboards providing high-level information regarding many areas of the non-household water market.

The purpose of this guide is to introduce the basic features of our dashboards to consumers who may not have had any prior experience with PowerBI. This guide will also explain some of the commonalities between different dashboards produced by MOSL to make it easier to approach and understand new content.

General Layout

All MOSL PowerBI dashboards share the same general layout with variations as appropriate. They will have a descriptive name in the top left which iterates what information can be extracted from a given page. Underneath the title, you can find boxes that contain various high-level information.




Many dashboards, especially those available on our website, will have buttons that lead to other pages of the report. These will have a blue background with white text and will explain, when hovered over, where they lead.


How up to date is the data?

Most dashboards will also note how recent the data presented is, usually in a box denoted as 'Data as of' or 'Data up to' depending on the format of the dataset. Please remember that some datasets may be refreshed with up-to-date information while others may be appended to with new information each month. For example, Market Performance Standard (MPS) datasets are only appended to with new data while Operational Performance Standards (OPS) datasets may be refreshed following a resubmission from a trading party.


About page

Every MOSL dashboard will have an 'About' page containing administrative details about the dashboard and its contents.

On dashboards that are available on our website, the About page can be reached by pressing the appropriate button on the main page of the dashboard. 

The About page also contains contact information for suggestions and queries, version history including a changelog, and often an information box explaining or expanding on data within the dashboard.


Interacting with visuals

Objects containing data in PowerBI are called 'visuals' or 'visualisations'. They range from bar and line charts to tables, matrices and maps. While their behaviour and the type of information they show can vary, they all share some common elements which allow you to interact with the data presented.

All these interactions are available in the top right corner of a visual, and become available when a visual is selected or hovered over.


Focus Mode 

Focus Mode will maximise the current visual to the entire page, allowing you to examine the information contained in more detail. To exit Focus mode click the 'Back to report' button in the top left of the screen.


Show as a table

To use the 'Show as a table' function, you will first need to click on the 'More Options' button denoted by ellipses and select 'Show as a table' from the dropdown which appears.


'Show as a table' will focus on the current visual, similarly to Focus Mode, but will also produce a table beneath the visual which contains the same information as the visual (including information contained in the tooltips). This can be used to more closely examine data within a visual, particularly of use when deciding whether to export the data within the visual.


Export Data

Similarly to the 'Show as a table' function, to use the Export Data function you will first need to click on 'More Options' and then select 'Export Data'.


A pop-up window will appear showing a choice between 'Summarised Data' and 'Underlying Data' as well as a choice between file formats.

In most dashboards, we have disabled the export of underlying data to prevent issues with data privacy. Summarised data is identical to the output of the 'Show as a table' function.

The choice between file formats is between .xlsx and .csv. A .xlsx extract can be up to 150,000 rows long while a .csv extract can contain up to 30,000 rows.

Note: Please be aware of the size limitation when exporting data - if the dataset you are trying to export is bigger than the row limit, your dataset will be truncated. It is advisable to use the provided filters to select a subset of data that is smaller than the row limit.

When exporting data to .xlsx, the resulting file will contain a line in the first row detailing the filters applied which led to this extract.


We recommend using the .xlsx format when exporting data as it would allow for the extract to contain up to 150,000 rows and will contain a list of applied filters.


Sorting Data

In the same More Options menu it is possible to adjust the sorting used by the visual.


The sorting order can be either ascending or descending, and any data used in the creation of the visual (including fields visible in the tooltips) can be used for sorting.



The Spotlight function, also available in the More Options menu, can be used to dim the rest of the dashboard, allowing you to focus attention on the selected visual.

Spotlight can be turned off by pressing the 'Spotlight' button again.



Filtering Data

Filter visuals

Most of our dashboards will contain filter visuals on the right of each page. While all the interactions explained above are also available for filter visuals, their main purpose is to help users make cuts of the data in other visuals. Often these filter visuals will allow you to specify a specific trading party or trading party type that you are interested in, making it easier to get relevant data.

To adjust a filter, simply tick/untick any values available to reach the filter that you want to use.


Filters have one additional interaction available within the 'More Options' menu. The 'Search' function will show (or hide) a search box at the top of the filter, allowing you to quickly find what you're looking for. This is especially useful in big filters containing many values.


Filtering using other visuals

Aside from the bespoke filter visual, it is possible to filter using any other visual. Simply selecting a value within a visual will apply that value as a filter to other visuals on the same page. The exact behaviour of this filter differs between dashboards as it is defined by the creator, but it will either fully filter another visual (similarly to the filter visual) or it will highlight the selected value's proportion out of the total.


It is possible to apply multiple filters (either from the same visual or from multiple visuals) at the same time by holding down the CTRL key after the first selection.



Check applied filters

It is important to remember what filters are applied to the data you are looking at to prevent misunderstandings.

If you are unsure what filters are applied to a given visual, you can check this by hovering over or clicking the Filter icon in the top right of any visual.



We hope you found this guide useful. If you have any queries about how to use our PowerBI dashboards or would like to suggest improvements to this guide, please contact us.

If you would like an offline version of this page, print this webpage as 'Save as PDF'.

The choice between file formats is between .xlsx and .csv. We recommend using the .xlsx format as it would allow for the extract to contain up to 150,000 rows and will contain a list of applied filters.

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