Archive - Blog Posts on Power BI Desktop

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
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
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
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:  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
Happy Second Birthday Power BI - The 24th of July, 2017 is the second birthday for Power BI.  I thought I would take the occasion of its second birthday to reflect on all the great work that the crack Power BI team at Microsoft has done over the last year.   I think it would be a tough job working in […] 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
Secret Insider Update on New Power BI Features From MDIS - Today I sat through the Keynote session at the Microsoft Data Insights Summit.  As expected, James Phillips confirmed that MS has been holding back a few killer features to announce at the Summit.  Here is the list of new things that are coming that I wanted to share with you – I am truly excited. […] Read More
My MDIS Data Analytics Challenge Entry - I was reading a blog by David Eldersveld last week where he was talking about his entry in the Microsoft Data Insights Summit Data Analytics Challenge.  I originally was too busy to enter however I was inspired by his article and thought I should prepare an entry albeit with only a few days to go.  […] 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
Which to Use – Power BI or Excel? - Level: Beginners One of my regular blog readers (and graduate of my live training course) Phil Cross asked me last week if I knew of anywhere to find a comprehensive guide for Self Service BI users of when to use Excel vs Power BI to author new data models. I thought this would make a […] 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
Power BI Desktop – Memory Usage - Some time ago I developed a tool that allows you to automatically connect a local Excel Pivot Table to a local running instance of Power BI Desktop.   You can read that original article here if you like.  It works kind of like Analyze in Excel but using Power BI Desktop running on your local PC […] Read More
Uses for DAX as a Query Language - Level: Intermediate 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 […] 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
Download Report from Power BI Service to Desktop - I love to celebrate successes with the Microsoft Power BI team, but I am also not shy in shouting out when I am disappointed.  Back on 25th Nov 2016 I blogged about the then new “Save PBIX from Power BI Service”.  At the time I was disappointed in the way it worked because it didn’t […] Read More
Use Power Query to Compare Database Records - Level: Intermediate 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 […] 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