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R With PowerBI: A Step-by-Step Guide

An in-depth guide to integrating your R scripts with Microsoft's PowerBI software to create eye-popping visualizations for your data.

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There's been a lot of interest everywhere on how to integrate R scripts with Microsoft PowerBI dashboards. Here is a step by step guide to this.

Lets assume that you have some readymade R code available, for example, with the ggplot2 library. Lets use the following scripts to perform analytics using CHOL data.

  1. Open R studio or R Package (CRAN) & install ggplot2 library first.

  2. Paste the following R script and execute it:
  3. install.packages(‘ggplot2’)
    chol <- read.table(url(“http://assets.datacamp.com/blog_assets/chol.txt&#8221;"), header = TRUE)
    #Take the column “AGE” from the “chol” dataset and make a histogram it
    qplot(chol$AGE , geom = “histogram”)
    ggplot(data-chol, aes(chol$AGE)) + geom_histogram()

    You should be able to see the visual output like this.


  4. Next, execute the following pieces of R code to find out the binwidth argument using the ‘qplot()‘ function:
  5. qplot(chol$AGE,
    geom = “histogram”,
    binwidth = 0.5)


  6. Lets get some help from the hist() function in R:
  7. #Lets take help from hist() function
    binwidth = 0.5,
    main = “Histogram for Age”,
    xlab = “Age”,


  8. Now, add an I() function for nested colors:
  9. #Add col argument, I() function where nested color.
    binwidth = 0.5,
    main = “Histogram for Age”,
    xlab = “Age”,

    I func.JPG

  10. Next, adjust ggplot2 a little by using the following code:
  11. #Adjusting ggplot
    ggplot(data=chol, aes(chol$AGE)) +
    geom_histogram(breaks=seq(20, 50, by = 2),
    alpha = .2) +
    labs(title=”Histogram for Age”) +
    labs(x=”Age”, y=”Count”) +
    xlim(c(18,52)) +


  12. Plot a bar graph with the following code:
  13. #Plotting Bar Graph
    binwidth = 0.5,
    main = “Bar Graph for Mort”,
    xlab = “Mort”,


  14. Next, open the PowerBI desktop tool. You can download it for free from this link. Now, click on the Get Data tab to start exploring and connect with an R dataset. Rscript.JPG
  15. If you already have R installed on the same system as PowerBI, you just need to paste the R scripts in the code pen. Otherwise you need to install R in the system where you are using the PowerBI desktop like this:


  16. Next, you can also choose the ‘custom R visual’ in PowerBI desktop visualizations and provide the required R scripts to build visuals and finally click ‘Run’.
  17. RPBI.JPG

  18. Build all the R function visuals by following the same steps and save the dashboard.
  19. Dashboard

  20. You can refresh an R script in Power BI Desktop. When you refresh an R script, Power BI Desktop runs the R script again in the Power BI Desktop environment.

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r ,powerbi ,analytics ,big data ,data visualization

Published at DZone with permission of Anindita Basak, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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