Archive - Blog Posts on Power BI

Rename Blank in a Slicer in Power BI - A common problem I see some people struggle with in Power BI is when a slicer contains a (Blank) record for some reason.  The cause of the problem is not obvious and hence it is not clear how to fix it.   This article describes what causes this to occur and also how to fix it […] Read More
Importing XLSB into Power BI - I had a question from one of my online Power BI Training students just this week who was struggling to import data from a large *.xlsb Excel file.  I suggested she save the file as an XLSX file and try again – and that worked a treat.  But the question is why?  I had an […] Read More
Moving Queries from Power BI Desktop to Dataflows - A few weeks ago I wrote an article introducing dataflows in Power BI and discussed why you should care about them.  There are a few questions that have been spinning around in my head since then, significantly: What implication is there to the Power BI Golden Dataset as a result of the new dataflows? Should I […] Read More
Create a Planning View of Your Outlook Diary in Power BI - I was chatting to my wife the other day discussing all the things we want to do next year. It has long been a pain in the butt to get a high level (big picture) view of your Outlook diary to see what is happening (think forest, not trees).  In the past I have used […] Read More
Power BI Dataflows, and Why You Should Care - Microsoft recently released a new feature in Power BI called “Dataflows”.  You may have seen it pop up in a recent release of Power BI Desktop under Home\Get Data\Power BI Dataflows (beta) as shown below. It is also visible when you log into PowerBI.com and go to an App Workspace as shown in 1 below.  […] Read More
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/edit to an article I first wrote on 18th April 2017 and then updated on 30th Jan 2018.  When I update my articles I simply change the original post with the latest data – that way only the current/latest version is available preventing people stumbling on old advice. As Power […] 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