Yummy WAFFLE chart in Power BI


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Waffles = 😋
Power BI = ⚡

Waffle chart in Power BI = 😍

So let’s make some waffle charts in Power BI. They can be a fun way to show single numbers in your dashboards.

waffle chart in power bi - demo

Waffle charts in Power BI - Step by step tutorial

Step 0: Create the necessary measure to visualize

Let’s say you want to visualize a measure [Preferred Value] in the waffle chart.

Step 1: Create a numbers table

To make waffles, we need flour, salt, baking powder and sugar. I am kidding, we won’t be baking any real ones here. We just need a disconnected table to make waffles. 

Our table needs to have numbers 1 to 100, row & column values. You can either type one in Excel and bring it over or create one in Power Query. The final table shall look like this:

numbers table for waffle chart

Numbers table for waffle chart

Index has numbers 1 to 100, Row has 1 ten times, 2 ten times... and Col has numbers 1 to 10 repeated.

You can create this in Excel or Make it in Power Query too.

Step 2: Add measure to harvest the number

Create a simple [number] measure with the formula =SUM(Numbers[Index]). This will simply return Index value when used in a visual with all row & col combinations.

Step 3: Add measure to show Waffle Filled portion

Now that we have both [preferred value] and [number] measures, let’s create the final one. I call it [Waffle Filled]. 

[Waffle Filled]:=IF([Preferred Value]<[Number],BLANK(),1)

This measure simply returns 1 or BLANK() depending on the values. 

Step 4: Let’s make that waffle – Insert a Scatter Chart

show all times on x and y axis with "Don't summarize" option

Ok, we have prepped enough. The iron is hot, let's whip up the waffle. 

  • Insert a scatter chart
  • Add Numbers[Row] to Y axis
  • Add Numbers[Col] to X axis
  • Add [Waffle Filled] to size
  • Click on X axis and choose "Do not summarize" option. Do the same for Y axis too.

hmm, that's not a waffle

Our waffle chart at this stage

Not edible or comparable...

Step 5: Format the waffle chart

Don’t freak out. This is not a radiation infested waffle. It just needs a bit of whacking around the edges. 

  • Fix the axis: Set axis limits from 0.5 to 10.5 for both vertical (Y) and horizontal (X) axis.
setting axis limits in Power BI visuals - example
  • Change the shape: Go to shapes format setting of the scatter chart and change the shape to square. Also set the size to -20 (try a few different values to see which works for you)
  • Remove axis, axis labels, grid lines and anything else you don’t want.

Voila, our waffle is ready to eat. 

change shape - power bi scatter chart
waffle chart - powerbi - after formatting

Watch the recipe for waffle charts in Power BI

If you burn your fingers while cooking these yummy waffles in Power BI, watch below tutorial video. You will learn,

  • How to make the numbers table
  • Creation of measures
  • Waffle chart with scatter plot
  • Waffle Table (2 dimensional waffles) with Matrix visual!!!

Go ahead and watch it below, or on my YouTube Channel.

Download Waffle Chart Power BI Template

Click here to download the Waffle chart Template for Power BI. The file has necessary measures for waffle chart and waffle table. Go ahead and play with it.

Don't go crazy with waffles

Just as too many waffles can lead to diabetes, excessive usage of this visual can make your reports hard to read. Just use one or two to get the conversation going. If you end up making a dozen of them, then you have gone too far. Consider a stacked column chart or something else.

Your thoughts...

I had such fun creating this chart in Power BI. What do you think about Waffle Charts? Are you planning to m(b)ake a few for next report? Share your thoughts in comments below.

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One Response to “Yummy WAFFLE chart in Power BI”

  1. Mark says:

    I had a go at the yummy waffle, but cannot change the shape percentage to a negative 15% like you did. Therefore my waffle does not look like a waffle... Please help. Kind regards, Mark. PS you are awesome.

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