Archive - Blog Posts on Power BI

Create a Power BI Slicer Panel - There is nothing worse than having a Power BI report that has 50% of the space taken up with slicers.  When this happens, you only get half the page to visualise the actual data.  But on the flip side, if you don’t have the slicers it can be harder for the report users to filter […] Read More
Visually Appealing Power BI Reports - One thing I often get asked is “How do I create good looking Power BI Reports?”.  This is a very good question and unfortunately the answer is not straight forward.  I like to think of the visual appeal as the “Art” of communicating data insights.  The other major consideration is “what and how” to communicate […] Read More
Using Variables to Write Measures - It’s pretty early in the morning here in Sydney Australia (just after 6 am actually).  I just finished a fun YouTube session with Avi Singh where I demonstrated my approach to using variables in DAX to help write more complex formulas.  Avi streamed the session live on YouTube, and it is also there available to […] Read More
My Presentations at the MS Summit and Portland UG - Evaluation contexts in Power BI DAX I was in Seattle, USA in the last week of July participating in the Microsoft Business Applications Summit. I love attending conferences like this and it was a privilege to present on a few topics over 3 days.  One of the presentations I gave was on the topic “Evaluation contexts […] Read More
Power Pivot Global Interest - Way back in 2014 I decided to check out what Google Trends had to say about Power Pivot and Power Query global Interest. In case you don’t know, Google Trends will show you the relative frequency of people searching for certain words – it is a good indicator of interest in a topic.  I published […] Read More
Keeping Track of Changes on a Website with Power BI - Level: Intermediate A couple of weeks ago I posted a list of my ideas that I have created at ideas.powerbi.com and asked you to vote for them if you agree with the concept (please go back and take a look if you missed it).  I thought it would be interesting to keep track of the […] Read More
Number of Days between 2 Transactions Using DAX - Level: Intermediate I got my haircut today (pretty spiffy one too, even if I do say so myself).  While I was chatting I asked my hair dresser “on average, how often should I get my hair cut”?  She told me (for men) around 4-6 weeks.  Then I got thinking (as I do), I wonder if […] Read More
New Power BI Reports from a Golden Dataset - This is a further (third) update to an article I first wrote on 18th April 2017 and then updated on 30th Jan 2018.  As Power BI becomes more and more pervasive in the business world, I am being increasingly asked “How can I build 1 master dataset, use it as the 1 version of the […] Read More
I’m Presenting at SQL Saturday Melbourne and Sydney - I’m presenting again this year at SQL Saturday Melbourne (30th June 2018) and Sydney (7th July 2018).  My topic this year will be “DAX as a Query Language“. What is SQL Saturday? SQL Saturday is an annual 1 day event that is held in many cities around the world.  It is a day when SQL professionals take a […] Read More
Filtering a Column via a Visual AND CALCULATE - Level: Intermediate. Sometimes, just when you think you are getting the hang of the DAX language, something happens that completely baffles you.  Such events can cause you to doubt your own learning and progress. But let me assure you – this happens to EVERYONE at sometime or another.  In this article I am going to […] 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
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
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
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
Virtual Filters Using TREATAS - Level: Intermediate I have been aware of the TREATAS function for a very long time.  I have tried to understand how it works a few times but could never really work it out. I think part of the problem is the function name TREATAS is not very descriptive.  To contrast this point, the FILTER function […] 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
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