Archive - Blog Posts on How to

Items NOT Selected in a Slicer? - I recently attend 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!  Anyway 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
DMV to Extract Measures from Power Pivot - I have written articles before about how you can extract measures from a data model using DAX Studio and also using Power Pivot Utilities.  These are both excellent tools in their own right and I encourage you to read up on those previous articles to learn more about these tools. Today however I am going […] Read More
The ALL() Function in DAX - Level: Intermediate In this article I am going to write about the ALL() function, show how it works and explain a common use case.  I will also cover the unexpected behaviour that occurs when using the ALL() function in Power BI Desktop – more on that later. For this article I will use my simplified copy […] Read More
Understanding Power Query Combine - Level: Intermediate Sometime late in 2016 Microsoft deployed a new “Combine” feature in both Power Query for Excel (Get and Transform) and also in Power BI Desktop (Get Data).  The new capability makes it easier to combine multiple copies of similar workbooks into a single table without hand coding M Functions, but unfortunately it is now […] Read More
Power Pivot Crashes–Another Update from Seattle - When I was at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit last week I took the opportunity to catch up with Howie Dickerman to get an update on how the bug fixing with Power Pivot for Excel is coming along.  I talked about this in my original blog here and then my previous update here.   And the […] Read More
How and Where to Get Help for Power BI - Level: Beginners/Intermediate Regardless of what stage you are at in your Power BI/Power Pivot/Power Query journey, at some stage you are going to need some help.  Believe me I am no different to you – we are all learning and we all need help sometime or another.  There are basically 3 options that I want […] Read More