• Oscar Martinez (Valerock)

Getting started with Deneb in Power BI

Updated: Nov 11

Recently I made a LinkedIn post about Deneb. To my surprise, the post gained a lot of traction, and people started asking me how to get started, so I decided to write a blog post about it.


I have put together a quick guide on how to get started, and although I am far from an expert, I have the advantage of having a fresh memory of my learning path and the resources I used.

The visualization I shared was created by @jakevdp and "shows an interactive view of Seattle's weather, including maximum temperature, amount of precipitation, and type of weather. By clicking and dragging the scatter plot, you can see the number of days in that range with the sun, rain, fog, snow, etc." I've made a walkthrough video about how to replicate the chart.


What is Deneb? Created by Daniel Marsh-Patrick and based on Vega and Vega-Lite language for interactive graphics is a custom visual that allows you to create highly customizable visuals. You can use it to create Power BI visuals that look like (almost) anything you want. The possibilities are endless.

Deneb: Declarative Visualization in Power BI

What are Vega and Vega-Lite? Vega and Vega-Lite are both languages for describing interactive data visualizations. Vega is a more complex language that provides more options for customizing your visualizations. At the same time, Vega-Lite is a higher-level syntax based on Vega and provides a concise way to create and share powerful visualizations.

Vega

How do you get Deneb? To start with Deneb and Power BI, you first need to install the custom visual directly from Power BI.

Import Power BI visuals from AppSource or from a file - Power BI | Microsoft Docs

Where do I learn how to use Deneb? The YouTube Deneb lists by Ben Ferry and Power BI Tips are a great place to start.

Ben Ferry Deneb - YouTube

Season 3 - Deneb Custom Visuals - YouTube

If you are more into structured learning, Enterprise DNA has an excellent training course.

An Introduction to Deneb - New Enterprise DNA Course

Finally, there is the documentation; yes, reading documentation sucks as it is tedious and boring, but it's an essential part of learning how to use a new tool. The documentation provides a comprehensive overview of all the features and functions of the tool, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to use them. Without reading the documentation, you're likely to miss out on some critical features or not know how to use them correctly. So while it may not be the most exciting thing in the world, reading the documentation is an integral part of becoming a Deneb power user.

Overview | Vega-Lite

Declarative Visualization in Power BI | Deneb (Deneb-viz.github.io)

So, if you want to get started with Deneb and Power BI, install the custom visual directly from Power BI, watch some of the excellent YouTube tutorials by Ben Ferry and Power BI Tips, read the comprehensive documentation (it's not as bad as it sounds), and check out Enterprise DNA's training course on Deneb. With a bit of effort, you'll be creating fantastic data visualizations in no time.

I would love to hear what you think about Deneb.



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