Introduction: Power BI Gantt Chart with milestones

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Powerful insight into your planning and milestone performance

The Gantt chart is an excellent tool to visualize your program and project schedules and task dependencies. In the basis, it is a bar chart with tasks or activities on the vertical axis. The horizontal bars show for each task/activity the period between the start and end date (or time). Another important feature of the Gantt chart is that icons can be used to represent milestones: important moments within your project timeline.

The Power Gantt Chart for Power BI allows you to review both tasks/activities and milestones right in your Power BI reports. The Power Gantt Chart supports unlimited number of task/activities, hierarchy levels and milestones.

Key features of the Power Gantt Chart are:

  • Excellent visualization of your program and project schedules: Get a high level overview at first, but dive into details using the collapse/expand buttons. Zoom and scroll into specific periods using the zoom slider;
  • Progress bars: To indicate the progress and status of individual tasks;
  • Unlimited number of tasks, hierarchy levels and milestones: Add as many items as you like to your chart, so you’ll never have to omit any details to your chart;
  • Highly customisable: Add or remove columns, change colors of bars based on your own criteria, or change the date granularity;
  • Formatting options: In line with the options you know from the Power BI Line Chart, so no need to learn a new interface. And of course, theme colors and settings are supported;
  • Improved Tooltip support: Create independent tooltips for tasks and for milestones to show exactly the data you want.

How to use: Build visual

The large number of fields allows you to customize the Power Gantt Chart to exactly suit your needs. However, you don’t need to include them all to get started using the chart. At minimum, you need to specify four of the first five fields: Item, Item Name, Start date and End date. All other fields are optional. The following table shows example values of these fields and the resulting Power Gantt Chart.  

  • Item: each of the rows (projects/phases/tasks/etc.) you want to include requires a unique identifier. The field added here contains the unique identifier.
  • Parent: to create a hierarchy of the items you need to add a field here that refers to the unique identifier of the corresponding parent. A row that has no value (NULL) will be displayed as a top-level element.
  • Item name: add a field here with the descriptive name of each row.
  • Start date: the field you add here will determine where the bar will start. Make sure this field is a Date or Date/Time field.
  • End date: the field you add here will determine where the bar will end. Make sure this field is a Date or Date/Time field.
  • Progress: each row in the Power Gantt can display the progress expressed as a fraction (value between 0 and 1) or as a percentage. Include the field containing the progress here to show the progress bar. Please note, make sure to set the summarization of this column to “Don’t summarize”. This prevents items being dropped in case no progress is entered.
  • Additional columns: if needed you can show additional columns on the Power Gantt. These additional columns will be placed between the Item name and the bars. For example, add the owner or the duration of a task to your overview here.
  • Legend: items can be grouped into categories. If you add a field containing these categories here each of the bars will be colored accordingly. At the top of the Power Gantt a legend will map each of the categories to a color.
  • Label: add a field here to show labels in your task/ project bars.
  • Tooltips: the fields added here will show in the tooltip when the user hovers over a specific bar.
  • Milestone date: the field added here determines the position of the Milestone marker on the Power Gantt.
  • Milestone: add a field here containing a descriptive label of the milestone. This label is visible in the Milestone tooltip
  • Milestone Legend: milestones can be grouped into categories. If you add a field containing these categories here each of the Milestone markers will be colored accordingly. At the top of the Power Gantt a legend will map each of the milestone categories to a color.
  • Milestone tooltips: the fields added here will show in the tooltip when the user hovers over a specific milestone marker.
  • Custom scale date and Custom scale groups: if these fields are left empty, the Year-Month date scale will show up by default.  Use the custom scale date and scale groups fields to add a custom date scale with custom groups. The aggregated hierarchy levels will show the custom hierarchy: anything that groups dates into a grouping, like the weeks of the year, ISO week numbers, Fiscal period, etc. Make sure to set to “Don’t summarize” and “Show items with no data”. If you have categories in the Custom scale groups field but no category in the Custom scale date, it will default to a standard Year-Month date scale.

How to use: Format visual

The Visual specific settings contain formatting properties that allow you to change the default behavior of the visual:

  • License: here you can enter your license information to disable any license reminders.
  • Grid: these settings allow you to change the formatting of the grid content (excluding the column headers). This includes adding/removing the grid lines, grid thickness, setting the padding between the rows, changing the row height, outline color and weight and changing the font color and size.
  • Column headers: headers can be customised individually in their respective column settings beneath. Here you can set their general settings like, font & background color, add an outline, set all to a specific font and text size or enable text wrap.
  • Date scale: within this section you can change the type of date scale (Year, Year-Quarter, Year-Month, Year-Week). You can also enable the overflow text, show/hide the today-line, set the minimum and maximum dates and change the text size and font family. If you have categories in the Custom scale date and Custom scale groups, the option to Show only groups in custom scale will be available.
  • Legend:  here you can toggle the Title option on and add a Legend Name Title, or change the Color and Text Size and Font family.
  • Items: change the color of the bars if have included a Legend field it will allow the user to set the color to each category specified in the Legend field. If you have multiple items or tasks that overlap in a single row, enable the Show multiple items option, opacity will be set to enable the end user to distinguish whether there are multiple items overlapping.
  • Labels: add labels to your task/project bars and change here Position, Text size, Font color and Font family.
  • Milestones: change the Milestone color and shape; if you have included a Milestone Legend field you can set the color and shape to each category specified in the Milestone Legend field.
  • Progress bar: if you have a category in the Progress field, you can toggle the Progress bar option off/on, change the height and color.
  • Zoomslider: here you can show/hide the zoom slider at the bottom of the visual; you can also change the text size, font color and family.

The General settings contain options that affect the visual container and are consistent across all visual types. Here you can also customize the general Title and Tooltips.

Try it yourself! Experience the Power Gantt Chart by trying it out for free. Click the button below to download the visual.

For any questions or remarks about this Visual, please contact us by e-mail at Nova Silva Support or visit the Community forums.

How to use: Examples

In this section you’ll find a couple of examples to get you started.

1: Only items

2: Items & milestones

3: Items with hierarchy

For any questions or remarks about this Visual, please contact us by email at Nova Silva Support, or visit the Community forums. Or just simply experience the Power Gantt Chart by trying it out for free!

Next Tutorial: how to use the Power Gantt Chart for Power BI
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