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New Power BI Custom Visual – PlayAxis




The PlayAxis custom visual works like a dynamic slicer, animating your report and its visuals without any user interaction.


It is perfect to show your reports without having to click every time you want to change the values of a filter, being ideal to use on wall displays. It is also great for when you want to see trends or look for patterns in your data since you can click on "play" and just focus on how data is evolving.



blog post img playaxis.png




How to use


PlayAxis is really easy to use, you just need to download it from the Power BI visuals gallery, import the visual to your report and provide one parameter for the FIELD.


The visual accepts any parameter to be played as it does not have any type restrictions, so your field can be a date or time, to see changes along some period, a list of categories to see how visuals change for each category, or any other variable that you may think is interesting.


It has controls such as play, pause, stop, previous and next and some settings to be customized by the user that include colours, font size and transition options.




General use case


This visual was developed at the Analytics & Data Science Department of São João Hospital Center, a major public hospital in Porto, Portugal.


The idea came up with the need to build a PowerBI prototype that could show how the number of waiting patients evolved hourly for several departments of a hospital, in an automated fashion, without asking the end-user to manually change the hour filter.


With this visual we can click on "play" and stand still watching how the number of waiting patients changes along the day (hour by hour), and also colour map that indicator within the floor map of the those facilities. This dynamic and automated filter functionality increases our pattern recognition senses, because we can now fully focus our attention on how the data evolves, after activating the play button.


By joining this “play” visual functionality with a colour mapped floor plant, we can instantly get a sense of the areas that start to get congested during the peak hours and how that affects other areas that are closed by, that also start to be congested (red colour) soon after.



blog post img.png




Tips and tricks


Try to use this visual to see geographic/spatial changes. It could give you a whole new perspective of how your data is evolving.


PlayAxist is great to use on presentations or to display reports on wall TV’s where you don’t want to click all the time to see changes on your visuals.


To have more flexibility with your caption you can disable it and add for example a card visual with the played parameter.



Watch the video below to find out how you can use PlayAxis. You can also find the project on GitHub.


Can someone provide some insight on how to solve this problem.


I have a group of meters that I want to show when it is on an and when it is off.


For example if I have meter1 which comes ON at 9:30AM and it goes OFF at 9:45AM

I want some indicator that shows the duration that the meter was on

A Play axis that show the Start Time and End Time when the meter was on



Does it also work when the report has been uploaded to the online version? I managed to successfully apply the Play axis to a report but when I view it online my graph is static.


If it is possible can someone explain how to make it work once uploaded?


Thanks in advance.