Archive - Blog Posts on How to

New Functions – GENERATESERIES, SELECTEDVALUE - Level: Beginner/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:  Unfortunately after I released the latest version of my workbook in this article, something changed with Excel to stop the file working as designed.  At this stage I do not know what the issue is, but it seems to only affect the current channel versions of Excel.  I have just reinstalled the deferred channel […] 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 - 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 of […] Read More
Understanding Power Query Combine - 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 a […] 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 - 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 to talk […] Read More
How to Find Overlapping Pivot Tables - A client contacted me recently and asked me to solve a problem for them.  They have a large Power Pivot Excel workbook with lots of Pivot Tables.  All was good except sometimes when they refreshed the data, the newly loaded data changed the shape of some of the pivot tables causing at least one of […] Read More
New Power BI Reports from a Golden Dataset - Last week I wrote an article at PowerPivotPro.com explaining how to create a new report on PowerBI.com that connects to an existing dataset already loaded on PowerBI.com.  I then discovered (thanks to reader feedback) that Microsoft has already delivered a preview of a new feature called “Power BI Service Live Connection”. This new feature allows […] Read More
Quick Measures and Query by Example - 2 fabulous new updates again in the April update of Power BI Desktop.  Here is my quick review so you can see how great these things are. Quick Measures Quick measures are designed to help you get started with DAX, without knowing any DAX!  OMG I will be out of a job!! Once again this […] Read More
Uses for DAX as a Query Language - This is the final article in my series about DAX as a Query Language.  In my first article I introduced DAX as a Query Language and then in my second article I went in deeper to the specifics on how to use some of the more useful DAX query functions.  In this final article today […] Read More
DAX as a Query Language Part 2 - In my last article I introduced DAX as a Query Language and explained why learning to query your data model can be useful.  I covered the basics about using a tool like DAX Studio to query a database and return a table of data as a result.  In this article I am going to go […] Read More
An Introduction to DAX as a Query Language - Level: Intermediate I have written quite a few articles that contain embedded references to DAX Queries and DAX Table functions in the past.  Today I am writing an article that introduces the DAX query language from the beginning so you can learn how to use it and how it will help you to become a […] Read More
Relationships in Power BI and Power Pivot - Level: Beginners Power Pivot is a database that has been designed from the ground up to be optimised for reporting and analysis in Power BI, Power Pivot for Excel and SSAS Tabular.  The technology is essentially the same across all of these products so I will generically refer to Power Pivot in this article. Power […] Read More
SQL Saturday Melbourne Feb 2017 Materials - I am currently in Melbourne for PASS SQL Saturday 2017.  SQL Saturday is an annual one day conference event that occurs in many major cities around the world.  It is focussed on helping SQL Server professionals learn more about their profession and also network with other like minded people.  I have a lot of people […] Read More
Use Power Query to Compare Database Records - I was helping a user on http://community.powerbi.com this week. The user had a list of service desk tickets for multiple customers and the requirement was to identify when a customer opened a second new ticket within 7 days of closing a previous ticket.  This is not an uncommon scenario so I thought it would make […] Read More
Power BI On Premise – Not in the Cloud! - Microsoft has recently released a technical preview of Power BI that can be installed on premise inside a company firewall and the Power BI reports can be securely published over the Intranet (not Internet) via SSRS.  Today I am sharing my experiences setting up the technical preview for the first time.  I installed the software […] Read More
Best Practices for Power Pivot, Power Query and Power BI - Level: Beginners There are many best practices for Power BI, Power Pivot and Power Query.  I know these things so intuitively now that it is very easy to forget how I incrementally learnt these things along the journey.  Most of these things are not “right” vs “wrong” – they are more often simply “better”.  I thought there […] Read More
DAX Time Intelligence Explained - Level: Beginners I help a lot of people on forums who ask questions about time intelligence for DAX.  If you are just starting out then the chances are that you may not even be clear what time intelligence is and hence sometimes you don’t even know what to ask.  Often the question is something like […] Read More
Extract Tabular Data From Power BI Service to Excel - Someone asked me a question yesterday about exporting data from the Power BI Service into Excel.  There are a few options to do this however they all have their problems (these problems are not covered in great detail in this post). Power BI has an inbuilt export data feature (there is an export limit of […] Read More