Create a Q&A visual in a dashboard in Power BI

APPLIES TO: Power BI Desktop Power BI service

Sometimes the fastest way to get an answer from your data is to ask a question using natural language. In this article, we look at two different ways of creating the same visualization: first, asking a question with Q&A in a dashboard, and second, building it in a report. We use the Power BI service to build the visual in the report, but the process is almost identical using Power BI Desktop.

Screenshot showing a sample filled-area chart.


  • You just need a Power BI free license to edit dashboards in My Workspace in the Power BI service.
  • You need a Power BI Pro license to edit dashboards in other workspaces in the Power BI service. Read about Power BI Pro licenses. You also need at least a Contributor role in that workspace. Read about roles in workspaces.
  • To follow along, you must use a report that you can edit, so we'll use one of the samples available with Power BI.

Create a Q&A visual in a dashboard

How would we go about creating this line chart using Q&A?

  1. Get the Retail Analysis Sample in the Power BI service.

  2. Open the Retail Analysis Sample dashboard and place your cursor in the Q&A box, Ask a question about your data.

    Screenshot highlighting the Power BI Q&A box.

  3. In the Q&A box, type something like this question:

    this year sales and last year sales by month as area chart

    As you type your question, Q&A picks the best visualization to display your answer. The visualization changes dynamically as you modify the question. Also, Q&A helps you format your question with suggestions, autocomplete, and spelling corrections. Q&A recommends a small wording change: "this year sales and last year sales by time month as area chart".

    Screenshot showing the Q&A box with corrected wording.

  4. Select the sentence to accept the suggestion.

    When you finish typing your question, the result is the same chart that you see in the dashboard.

    Screenshot showing the filled-area chart resulting from the Q&A entry.

  5. To pin the chart to your dashboard, select Pin visual.

Create the same visual in the report editor

  1. Download the Retail Analysis Sample .pbix file, and open it in Power BI Desktop.

  2. Select the Report icon to open the Reports view.

    Screenshot showing the Report icon to open the Reports view.

  3. At the bottom of the page, select District Monthly Sales.

    Screenshot showing the chart tile for Last Year Sales and This Year Sales in Reports view.

  1. Select the area chart and review the settings in the Fields pane. The report creator built this chart by selecting these three values (Last Year Sales and This Year Sales > Value from the Sales table, and FiscalMonth from the Time table) and organizing them in the Axis and Values wells of the Visualizations pane.

    Screenshot showing the Visualization pane.

You see they ended up with the same visual. Creating it this way wasn't too complicated, but creating it with Q&A was easier!

Next steps

More questions? Ask the Power BI Community