A few months ago I wrote a few tips for Power BI users. Here are 5 more!
Use the “Edit interactions” option
Your visuals interact with each other. If you have a table and a pie chart on your page,
clicking on a piece of the pie acts as a filter on the table. This is the default behaviour,
but you can control which visuals interact with each other, and disable filtering if you want to.This is very useful when you want to display a mixture of static and dynamic data on the same page.
For instance, you want a chart to show performance based on a date slicer, but you also want
to display a few “Last 30 Days” KPIs which should ignore the date chosen.
The “Edit Interactions” option can be found under the “Format” menu.
Use text boxes to explain your calculations
While I usually try and document each report I create so that my users can read how each KPI is calculated, I’m pretty sure they rarely read these documents. Adding a few simple text boxes to your reports can help your users quickly understand what they are seeing without looking for documents or looking for you. This is a simple tip, but helps allot with user engagement.
Save files as template files to save space
Your Power BI desktop files include your model definitions but also the dataset. This becomes an issue when you use source control tools to keep track of your versions. Checking in a 2Gb file every time you make a change is simply not an option. Fortunately, you can save your files as Power BI template files(*.pbit). These files include the logic, but not the data, and typically take no ore than a few kilobytes.
Use the “Quick Measures” feature to learn DAX
The quick measures feature allows you to control how a filed you’ve added to your visual is displayed.
For instance, you can choose to display the “customers” field in a specific category as percent of total customers. To do that, you need to choose a field in your visual, and click on “Quick measures” in the pop-up menu. Then, you’ll be able to choose which measure to use.
Not only that, but Power BI will create a calculated measure for you, and you can check out and even change the DAX code of the measure. It makes for a good resource to learn DAX, using your own dataset.
Use the DAX UNICHAR function to display any symbol you want
A Dimond, an arrow, a star, Roman numbers…ever thought about including them in your reports?
It’s actually quite easy with the UNICHAR DAX function, which gets an integer argument and returns the unicode character represented by that integer. For instance, the capital letter D is UNICHAR(68).
You can use the function in your calculated measures or columns. here are two nice examples that make use of it:
And here’s a complete list of unicodes.
Bonus tip: Subscribe to my updates
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