Creating a heatmap in Power BI using a matrix visual​


Using a heatmap as a visualization in Power BI can be a great way to get insights in (peak) times. In the screenshot, you can see, for example, the busiest hours of a business and the less busy hours. Knowing this information, you could, for instance, schedule additional employees for peak hours or ensure additional stock is available.
Want to see the visual in a dashboard? I created a Restaurant Sales Dashboard in Power BI.

An easy way to create a heatmap in Power BI is using the matrix visual in combination with conditional formatting. The matrix visual is a standard visual provided by Power BI, which means you do not need to download a custom visual!
 I will show you how to create a visual like this in a few steps.

How to create a Power BI heatmap?​

Let’s start with the basics. You will need the following:

  • 1 row (in this example: month)
  • 1 column (in this example: time of day)
  • 1 value (in this example: pizzas ordered, but obviously, it could be any quantity!)

Power BI heatmap - Conditional formatting​

Putting the values in the matrix visual without any conditional formatting will look like the example in the screenshot.
This already looks nice, but you can use conditional formatting and create a heatmap to make it more readable. That way, the values that are most interesting to you will pop out easily.
Just right-click on the value in the formatting pane (the quantity in this example) and click on conditional formatting. I did conditional formatting for the background color (and chose a gradient) and the font (because otherwise, it is tough to read a value when you use a gradient as the background color).

Screenshot of the conditional formatting configuration from the example

How to use a heatmap in a dashboard?

I use the heatmap to visualize data such as busy times at a restaurant/office/store, progress of team members/employees, and stock of a product.

You can find an example here.

More information?

Feel free to contact me!