Tutorial: From Excel workbook to a Power BI report in Microsoft Teams

APPLIES TO: Power BI Desktop Power BI service

Your manager wants to see a report on your latest sales and profit figures by the end of the day. However, the latest data is in files on your laptop. In the past, it's taken hours to create a report, and you’re beginning to feel anxious.

No worries. With Power BI, you can create a stunning report and share it in Microsoft Teams in no time!

Screenshot of the finished Financial Sample report.

In this tutorial, we upload an Excel file, create a new report, and share it with colleagues in Microsoft Teams, all from within Power BI. You'll learn how to:

  • Prepare your data in Excel.
  • Download sample data.
  • Build a report in the Power BI service.
  • Pin the report visuals to a dashboard.
  • Share a link to the dashboard.
  • Share the dashboard in Microsoft Teams


Prepare data in Excel

Let’s take an Excel file as an example.

  1. Before you can load your Excel file into Power BI, you must organize your data in a flat table. In a flat table, each column contains the same data type; for example, text, date, number, or currency. Your table should have a header row but no columns or rows that display totals.

    Screenshot of the data organized in Excel.

  2. Next, format your data as a table. In Excel, on the Home tab, in the Styles group, select Format as Table.

  3. Select a table style to apply to your worksheet.

    Your Excel worksheet is now ready to load into Power BI.

    Screenshot of the data formatted as a table.

Upload your Excel file to the Power BI service

The Power BI service connects to many data sources, including Excel files that live on your computer.

  1. To get started, sign in to the Power BI service. If you haven’t signed up, you can do so for free.

  2. In My workspace, select New > Upload a file.

    Screenshot of My workspace, highlighting the New dropdown menu and the Upload a file option.

  3. Select Excel > Browse this device, and browse to where you saved the Financial Sample Excel file. Then select Open.

    Now you have a Financial Sample semantic model. Power BI also automatically created a blank dashboard. If you don't see the dashboard, refresh your browser.

    Screenshot of My Workspace, highlighting the Financial Sample semantic model.

  4. You want to create a report. While still in My workspace, select New > Report.

    Screenshot of My workspace, highlighting the New dropdown menu and the Report option.

  5. Select Pick a published semantic model. Then in the Data hub dialogue box, choose your Financial Sample semantic model > Auto-create report.

    Screenshot of the Data hub dialog box, highlighting the Financial Sample semantic model.

Build your report

The report opens in Editing view and displays the blank report canvas. On the right are the Visualizations, Filters, and Fields panes. Your Excel workbook table data appears in the Fields pane. At the top is the name of the table, financials. Under that, Power BI lists the column headings as individual fields.

Notice the Sigma symbols in the Fields list? Power BI has detected that those fields are numeric. Power BI also detects geographic fields and displays a globe symbol.

Screenshot of the Fields pane, highlighting Excel entries.

  1. To have more room for the report canvas, select Hide the navigation pane, and minimize the Filters pane.

    Screenshot of the navigation pane, highlighting the Hide the navigation pane icon.

  2. Now you can begin to create visualizations. Let's say your manager wants to see profit over time. In the Fields pane, drag Profit to the report canvas.

    By default, Power BI displays a column chart with one column.

    Screenshot of a column chart with one column.

  3. Drag Date to the report canvas.

    Power BI updates the column chart to show profit by date.

    Screenshot of a column chart in report editor.

    December 2014 was the most profitable month.


    If your chart values don't look as you expect, check your aggregations. For example, in the Values well, select the Profit field you just added and make sure the data is being aggregated the way you want. In this example, we're using Sum.

Create a map

Your manager wants to know which countries/regions are the most profitable. Impress your manager with a map visualization.

  1. Select a blank area on your report canvas.

  2. From the Fields pane, drag the Country field to your report canvas, then drag the Profit field to the map.

    Power BI creates a map visual with bubbles representing the relative profit of each location.

    Screenshot of map visual in report editor.

    You can see that the European regions are outperforming the North American regions.

Create a visual showing sales

What about displaying a visual showing sales by product and market segment? That's easy.

  1. Select the blank canvas.

  2. In the Fields pane, select the Sales, Product, and Segment fields.

    Power BI creates a clustered column chart.

  3. Change the type of chart by choosing one of the icons in the Visualizations menu. For instance, change it to a Stacked column chart.

    Screenshot of a Stacked column chart in the report editor.

  4. To sort the chart, select More options (...) > Sort by.

Spruce up the visuals

Make the following changes on the Format tab in the Visualizations pane.

Screenshot of the Format tab in the Visualizations pane.

  1. Select the Profit by Date column chart. In the Title section, change Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

  2. Select the Sales by Product and Segment stacked column chart. In the Title section, change title Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

  3. Select the Profit by Country map. In the Map styles section, change Theme to Grayscale. In the Title section, change title Text size to 16 pt. Toggle Shadow to On.

Pin to a dashboard

You can pin all of your visuals to the blank dashboard that Power BI created by default.

  1. Hover over a visual and select Pin visual.

    Screenshot of a visual, highlighting the Pin visual icon.

  2. You must save your report before you can pin a visual to the dashboard. Give your report a name and select Save.

  3. Pin each visual to the dashboard that Power BI created, Financial Sample.xlsx.

  4. When you pin the last visual, select Go to dashboard.

  5. Power BI added a placeholder Financial Sample.xlsx tile to the dashboard automatically. Select More options (...) > Delete tile.

    Screenshot of More options for a tile.

  6. Rearrange and resize the tiles any way you want.

The dashboard and report are ready.

Now it's time to share your dashboard with your manager. You can share your dashboard and underlying report with any colleague who has a Power BI account. They can interact with your report, but they can't save changes. If you allow it, they can reshare with others or build a new report based on the underlying semantic model.

  1. To share your report, at the top of the dashboard, select Share.

    Screenshot of My workspace, highlighting the Share icon.

  2. In the Share dashboard screen, enter the email addresses of the recipients in the Enter a name or email addresses field and add an optional message.

  3. Select the option to Send an email notification. Choose any other options you want:

    • Allow recipients to share this dashboard
    • Allow recipients to build content with the data associated with this dashboard

    Screenshot of the Share dashboard pane, with all options selected.

  4. Select Grant access.

Share to Microsoft Teams

You can also share reports and dashboards directly to your colleagues in Microsoft Teams.

  1. To share in Teams, at the top of the dashboard, select Chat in Teams.

    Screenshot of My workspace, highlighting the Chat in Teams option.

  2. Power BI displays the Share to Teams dialog. Enter the name of a person, group, or channel and select Share.

    Screenshot of the Share to Teams dialog box.

  3. The link appears in the Posts for that person, group, or channel.

    Screenshot of an example post in Microsoft Teams.

Next steps

More questions? Try the Power BI Community.