How to build a challenge dashboard: The history and evolution of LEGO sets

Tools used in this project
How to build a challenge dashboard: The history and evolution of LEGO sets

Power BI LEGO dashboard

About this project


I built this challenge dashboard just for fun. As you can see, I got my first LEGO set in 1972 at the age of 4, While analyzing the data, I was delighted to discover this particular set.

Because I did not have that much time to build the dashboard, I hardly made any changes in Power Query due to time constraints. and I didn't build a star schema. The measures in DAX are super simple and I didn't search for any remarkable insight.

What I did do was try to build an eye-catching, exploratory 1 pager, with the possibility of "exploring the history and evolution of LEGO sets from the past 5 decades" as asked for.

I focussed on a clear layout.

The data

Here is the link to the data provided by Maven: Link


The analysis

It is a very simple dataset. You can walk through the embedded version above, to have a look at the process of building the dashboard. I kept the first tabs visible.

I always start with a few simple DAX measures and a few simple visuals, bars, and lines, to see if I can find some insights to dive in and which dimensions are interesting to show.

In the end, these are the only measures I used. So you don't have to be an advanced Modeller and DX expert to build a challenge dashboard!!!

Sets (#) = COUNT(lego_sets[set_id])

Pieces (#) = SUM(lego_sets[pieces])

Mini figs (#) = SUM(lego_sets[minifigs])

Av Pieces per set (#) = 
DIVIDE([Pieces (#)] ; [Sets (#)])

For this challenge, I walked through the entries in this Maven post Link

I was especially looking for what measures were used, what insights were found, and what design I liked most. I found a few who inspired me and helped me to find my direction.


The first and the fourth inspired me a lot with the divide of the page into two parts. I also took over the idea of placing a LEGO set in the bottom right corner. I've chosen my first LEGO set, the Swiss Chalet.

In Jeroen's entry, I liked the price per brick, you can see me playing around with that measure on the first and third tab of my embedded dashboard, above. But I needed a second axis in the line chart and there were only limited sets with data on the prices, so I skipped that one.

I liked the simple line and bar charts in Paul's entry, and as you see, they ended up in mine too.

The visuals

Practice what you preach!

The visuals needed to be as clean as possible.

In my opinion, the only visuals you need for most cases are Power BI Core card-, bar- and line charts.

I used the new card visual because of its possibility to use an accent bar. I used the accent bar to create harmony in the call-out value, the bar chart, and the line chart. 1 color per measure.


So the card visual contains all 3 measures, each with another color, and I stretched them out to the bottom to make place for the bar charts which I placed on top.

The one thing I couldn't find is creating some extra space between the accent bar and the call-out value.

I wanted to try out the new slicer too, but in the end, I couldn't find consistent icons or pictures to the themes so I kept them empty, only text.

For the line chart, I used the same colors as for the bars and a stroke width of 3, to match with the bar chart.

The key Insights

I didn't take the time to find some key insights this time. I wanted to create a nice-looking dashboard in which you can choose one of the 6 biggest themes or for a year to click on the line chart.

The design

For the design, I used Microsoft Whiteboard. A useful tool for putting all your inspirations together.


I gathered color themes, the picture of my first LEGO set, nice dashboards from "others" logos, and more.

It is very easy to put something on the whiteboard AND get it back from there.

I began creating my dashboard with a preliminary sketch on paper. And then directly in Power BI, I'm usually not sketching a lot on paper 😅.



I took the idea of splitting the canvas in red and white, with slicers top right, and visuals in a red box, 3 cards, 3 bars, and a line chart.

The Swiss house was already there but bordered with the same red line as the visuals.

From there I started to fill in the visuals, added text, and tried out different layouts.

I've chosen the orange, lime, and green from the LEGO theme because they make me smile, they give me the DUPLO feeling. I've played a lot with my boys, building high DUPLO towers and zoos with walls and lots of animals.



For me, it's all about consistency and focus. This dashboard isn't perfect, for sure, but I tried to follow my own rules as well as possible.

  • Work clean, no titles, axes, and gridlines where they are not needed
  • Use colors with a reason and keep them consistent
  • Use letter types, sizes, and colors consistent
  • Make the dashboard as simple and user-friendly as possible

I wanted to practice with the new card and slicer visuals. It didn't work out the way I thought it would be. However, I learned to use the accent bar for color consistency and guidance.

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