Archive - Blog Posts on How to

Build a Reusable Calendar Table with Power Query - I wrote a blog on this topic a few years ago over at PowerPivotPro.com.  I have learnt a lot about Power Query since that time, plus Power Query has come along in leaps and bounds, and it now has a lot more capability than it had previously.  Today I am going to write a new […] Read More
Compound Growth using DAX - There are some things that are very easy to do in Excel that don’t seem to have an immediately obvious and simple solution in DAX.  One such problem is when you want to apply compound growth on an investment.  Let me make up an example so it is clear what I am talking about. Simple […] Read More
Publish to Web is not Secure - Today I want to issue a warning to anyone considering using Publish to Web to share corporate data internally within an organisation. Publish to Web is a standard feature on all Power BI accounts (free and Pro) – I first wrote about it two years ago here.  This is a great feature that is designed […] Read More
Text Filtering in Power BI - There are lots of different ways you can filter data in Power BI including: Slicers (with various configurations) Cross filtering from any visual object The filters pane on the right hand side of your report Custom visuals designed specifically for filtering Most of these standard filters require you to select on a specific value from […] Read More
Open the Queries and Connections Pane Wider - Power Query for Excel has developed at a striking pace over the last few years making it hard to keep up with the changes.  Over several iterations, the Queries and Connections pane has been called various names, and the behaviour has changed a few times too.  Depending on the version of Excel and Power Query, […] Read More
Items NOT Selected in a Slicer? - I recently attended a school reunion (class of 1981 for what it’s worth – wow, I’m old!).  We all had a great time catching up, looking at old photos, taking new photos etc – how things have changed!  Anyways that got me thinking that it would be great to do something cool with Power BI […] Read More
New Power BI Reports from a Golden Dataset - This is an update to an article I first wrote on 18th April 2017.  At that time, connecting Power BI Desktop directly to the Power BI Service was just a preview feature. This feature is now generally available and hence it seems like a good time to update this post and talk about why you […] Read More
Changing Defaults in Power BI - Changing Defaults In March 2017, the Power BI team delivered a new feature that allowed you to change the colour defaults in a Power BI report using a custom colour theme.   I wrote a blog post over at PowerPivotPro.com at the time.   The drawback of this feature, as it was back in March, was that you needed to […] Read More
Conditional Formatting in Power BI - Level: Beginners I blogged on conditional formatting in Power BI Table visual here when it was released in the May 2016 Power BI Desktop update. At the time of first release, the conditional formatting was pretty basic with only 1 formatting option available. Over time, Microsoft has improved this feature, and now, it is available in both Table and […] Read More
Sales of Same Products to Other Customers - Level: Intermediate I was helping someone on a forum recently and I thought the question and solution would make an interesting blog article. I have adapted the scenario to work with Adventure Works customer purchases, but this concept would work equally well across other entities, such as sales territories, calendar years etc. Problem Definition The […] Read More
Q&A in Power BI Desktop - Regular readers of my blog probably get sick of hearing me rave about the latest new thing in Power BI.  This month there is an absolute cracker – Q&A in Power BI Desktop.  In case you don’t know, Q&A is a natural language query tool that allows you to ask a question about your data […] Read More
Line Chart Conditional Formatting - I’m really pleased and excited to introduce you to Daniil Maslyuk (Twitter: @DMaslyuk).  I first met Daniil about a year ago (originally via email) as he was preparing to move to Australia.  Daniil made the plunge shortly there after and migrated to Australia (from Russia) – he now works as a Power BI consultant for Agile BI here in […] Read More
Pass an Excel Parameter to Power Query - Where has Matt been? Regular readers of my blog may have noticed I have been missing in action over the last month.  I have been super busy with the PUG World Tour, delivering a lot of training, finalising my new book Supercharge Power BI, and also taking a couple of weeks vacation. Side Story: Power […] Read More
Killer Tips to Write Harder Measures - Level: Intermediate Background I was reading the questions at http://community.powerbi.com today and saw an interesting question.  In short the OP wanted to know if there was a way to identify (via a measure) if the row in a table had a colour =”Blue”, but also to check that there were no other rows with the […] Read More
DAX UNICHAR Function in Power BI - I first learnt about the new DAX UNICHAR function in Power BI by reading Chris Webb’s blog (which was also the inspiration for this article today).  One of the uses of the UNICHAR function is to be able to include non text characters inside visuals.  When you combine a logical set of these codes (icon sets) you […] Read More
Using Variables in DAX - Level: Intermediate The variable feature in DAX has been around for more than a year and I have simply never got around to writing an article about it – I am changing that today.  Let me start off with some version information and syntax and then I will show you are real life example where I […] Read More
Power BI Accounting Format of Dollars - Level: Beginners As I often say, sometimes it is the little things that can make a big different for some people – in this case Accountants. I was teaching a Power BI class a few weeks ago and I was discussing how the number formatting options work in Power BI.  One of my students (Sheldon) […] Read More
How To Solve a Complex DAX Problem - Level: Advanced I was helping someone on Power Pivot Forum last week with a tricky calculated column question.  As an aside, you may know that I always advise beginners to keep away from calculated columns.  You mostly don’t need calculated columns because in most circumstances a measure is a better option to use (read more […] Read More
New Functions – GENERATESERIES, SELECTEDVALUE - Level: Beginners/Intermediate In the August 2017 update of Power BI Desktop Microsoft released the new What If feature (first demonstrated at MDIS in July).  This new What If capability uses two new DAX functions to complete a task that you have always been able to do manually.  You still can of course still do it […] Read More
Measure Dependencies in Power BI - Update 21 Feb 2018: There are 2 versions of this localhost workbook. One works with the downloadable version of Power BI Desktop and the other works with the Microsoft App Store version.  There were some technical issues in late 2017, but as at Feb 2018 everything seems to be working fine again. I was chatting […] Read More