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Providing Context to Your Narratives - Updated for N4PBI v1.2

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Language Settings

Using the Narratives for Power BI "Narrative Settings" menu, you can provide more context to your narratives. 

To get to this menu:

After a narrative has been generated, click the 'gear' icon to bring up your narrative settings.

The following guides will show you have to utilize these settings to enhance your narratives.

Customized Dimension Labels

When using the Narratives for Power BI extension, you can customize how your narratives refer to your dimensions.

(1) Once you generate a narrative, you will see that the Narratives for Power BI extension uses default language to reference your dimensions. Using this line chart as an example, the narrative refers to “periods.”

(2) Open up the narrative settings menu and go to the Language tab.

(3)  You will see your ‘Language’ settings by default and you will see your dimensions under the “Dimensions” heading. Click on the dimension you will be making adjustments to. You will see text boxes filled with the default language for referencing the dimension.

(4) Change the singular and plural versions of the dimension label to how you want to reference dimensions. The narrative will update to reflect these changes.

(5) Click the ‘Add Variation’ button and fill in the text boxes if you want the Narratives for PowerBI extension to cycle through different references to the dimension. For example,

(6) As you make these updates, you will see your narrative now referencing dimensions in the way you want.

Characterizations

Using the narrative settings menu, you can add more context to your narratives in the 'characterizations' tab. This is where you can tell the Narratives for Power BI extension about the types of values you are evaluating so you can get a more impactful narrative. This guide will introduce those options. 

Measure Characterizations

After opening the settings menu, click on 'Characterizations." Here, you will see the measures listed. You will be able to provide characterizations to each individual measure in your chart.

(1) You can tell the extension whether larger values in your chart are considered good or bad. The story will adjust based on whether an increase in a measure is considered positive or not. Similarly, in a bar chart and other chart types, the narrative will adjust based on if a larger bar is considered a good thing for your purposes.

(2) You can tell the extension whether values should be added together. adding values together or not. For example, if you were examining the movement of a stock price over a year's worth of days, you would not want the narrative to add up the stock price on each day into a grand total when examining the series. However, monthly revenue may be appropriate to sum to a grand yearly total.

(3) Choose the formatting of the numbers in the narrative for that measure from the Format selection You can set the format as a raw number, money, or a percentage.

Measure Relationships

You can assign relationships between measures in narratives about multi-measure visualizations.

Portion Relationship

In this example, we have Sum of Travel Expenses and Total Expenses both plotted over time in a multi-measure line chart. We will want to inform the extension that the Sum of Travel Expenses is actually a 'portion' of Total Expenses.

(1) Choose the Relationships tab in the settings menu. Click on "Relationships". You will see the list of possible relationships you can apply between measures. Click "Portion" to identify the related measures.

(2) Use the drop downs to specify that one measure is a portion of another. Once the relationship has been applied, it will look like the below.

(3) After you've selected the parent measure (in this case, 'Total Expenses), your relationship will be saved and a new narrative generated. You can click the "x" on the right side in order to remove this relationship. Or, if you had more measures, you could add more relationships by clicking "Add Relationships".

Continuous Narrative Benchmark Relationship

In this example, we will have a line chart measuring sales over time against a sales target. Applying a 'Comparison to Benchmark' relationship will result in a story without unnecessary content and a focus on what's most important when comparing a metric to its associated benchmark.

(1) Open up the narrative settings by clicking the gearbox icon. After clicking 'Relationships', you will see the available relationship types you can apply. Click 'Actual vs. Benchmark' to identify the related measures.

(2) Use the drop downs to select which measure is the metric and which is the benchmark that the metric will be compared to. After inputting the measures, it will look like the below:

(3) You can click the "x" on the right side in order to remove this relationship.

Discrete Narrative Benchmark Relationship

(1) Open up the narrative settings by clicking the gearbox icon. After clicking 'Relationships', you will see the available relationship types you can apply. Click 'Actual vs. Benchmark' to identify the related measures.

(2) Use the drop downs to select which measure is the metric and which is the benchmark that the metric will be compared to. After inputting the measures, it will look like the below:

(3) You can click the "x" on the right side in order to remove this relationship.

Discrete Narrative Comparison of Current to Previous Time Period

In this example, we have a bar chart that is measuring the same metric, but across two different time periods. While the bar chart is across a discrete x-axis of product groups, the goal of the chart is compare the performance of those products over the two time periods. We want to answer questions such as: Which product's revenue grew the most? Which product's revenue fell the most? Using this relationship type results in a narrative containing this analysis and insight.

(1) Open up the narrative settings by clicking the gearbox icon. After clicking 'Relationships', you will see the available relationship types you can apply. Click 'Current/Most Recent vs. Previous Period' to identify the related measures and supply other information about the relationship.

(2) Use the drop downs to select which measure reflects the current/most recent period and which reflects some period in the past. After inputting the measures, you can input how many 'periods' in the past the previous measure is and how those periods should be referenced. The completed relationship will look like the below:

(3) You can click the "x" on the right side in order to remove this relationship.

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