Microsoft has today announced a Visio custom visual for Power BI. Currently in public preview, the release brings the company’s diagram tool integrated with Power BI dashboards and reports. In its announcement, the company gives an example of how this support will work within the data visualization platform.

With the Visio custom visual, users will be able to create illustrative diagrams to gather intelligence. This is available for interconnected workflows and real-world layouts. With Power BI, Visio can demonstrate and compare date in a diagram or as a normal Power BI visual.

A leading diagram tool, Visio was first announced in 2015 in its 2016 version. However, the feature has been part of Microsoft’s service line up since 1992 and has been updated regularly since. It allows users to pull data from services like Azure Active Directory, Excel, and others with up-to-date templates.

In Power BI, the visual is available in the desktop and online versions of the platform. Microsoft says Visio on Power BI Mobile will arrive soon.

The custom visual also taps into diagrams hosted on other services, such as SharePoint and OneDrive for Business. Data housed in Power BI is automatically linked to the diagram, making data collection faster across services.

Among the Visio diagrams that can be used in Power BI are:

  • Flow charts for identifying interdependencies
  • Fishbone diagrams for root-cause analysis
  • Organizational charts for assessing the impact of hierarchies on process decisions and people management

Public Preview

As mentioned, the integration is currently in preview. With that in mind it is not finished and does have the following noted limitations:

  • To access the Visio diagram from the Visio custom visual, you will need to sign into the host SharePoint with your organizational ID. The visual will prompt you with a sign-in window.
  • To include a Visio visual in a Publish to Web report, you must use an authenticated Visio diagram. Refer to the documentation for details.
  • The Visio visual public preview is not yet supported for Power BI Mobile apps, Power BI Embedded, exporting to PowerPoint, or email subscriptions.

Tip: If you need some inspiration, you can find great templates for flow charts on various sites out there.