When we're Training on Power BI a frequent question we get is "I need to make changes to my data for reporting, where is the best place to do that, in the Data Model with DAX, or in Power Query?" The answer is, as ever "It depends". To answer the question properly, we need to understand where we can make data changes in Power BI, then I can introduce a maxim that explains the best place to make those changes.… Read More
THE BURNINGSUIT BLOG
Power BI Composite models – what’s the big deal ?
In December 2020, Microsoft launched a preview feature in Power BI they called "DirectQuery for Power BI datasets and Analysis Services". Most of the Power BI community had heard of this as "composite models" and were looking forward to getting it. Marco Russo, co-author of "The Definitive Guide to DAX" called it "The holy grail of business intelligence for 20 years. The ultimate feature of semantic models." Over at Power BI tips they were equally effusive saying "Microsoft has done… Read More
DAX “Filter Context” Explained
Do your DAX measures return interesting values but not the numbers you want? If the answer is yes, and it happens to all of us, then the problem probably lies with the filter context in which the measures have been calculated and the fact that you haven't correctly identified them. When a DAX measure is calculated in the "Values" bucket of a Power BI visual, whether it's a column chart, pie chart, table , matrix or indeed any other visual,… Read More
Power BI Licences, what is Premium Per User ?
My blog post "Power BI Free vs Pro and Premium", detailing the differences between the Power BI licences is extremely popular. It seems many people want to know how the licensing works. In truth it's fairly simple, Free gives you most facilities, but not sharing, Pro allows sharing with other Pro users and gives the main facilities most users need, and Premium is for large organisations with Big Data and a large number of users who can then user Free… Read More
Join our mailing list to get “The Concise Guide to DAX” pdf
"Why does the world need another DAX book ?" was my first question to Alison when she told me she'd written guide to the DAX language in Power BI. "Well, I've written the guide that I wish had been around when I was first learning DAX, aimed at Excel users of varying levels of ability". Was her reply. "You see many Excel users would struggle to construct an "IF" formula, let alone know what VLOOKUP stands for. These are often… Read More
“Strictly Come Dancing” Telling the Story Behind the Numbers with Power BI
Back in March this year, I did think I'd be relieved of my duty of updating the Strictly Come Dancing Power BI Report to reflect another series. To be quite honest, I was hoping this would be the case. I first created the Report for Series 16, updated it for Series 17 but felt that perhaps the Report had now served its time. But who would've thought that "Strictly" would survive the Pandemic! So of course, I had no option… Read More
How DAX Treats Nulls & Zeros
In DAX there is a special way to identify null or empty values and that's by using a value called "blank". In order to return blank values, we can use the BLANK() function e.g. 10 Percent = IF ( Winesales[CASES SOLD] > 100, Winesales[CASES SOLD] * 0.1, BLANK () ) When constructing DAX expressions using IF, if you want to return BLANK() on the "Value if false" argument, you can just close off on the bracket because BLANK() is the… Read More
The 8th Secret of the Matrix Visual: Controlling Calculations and Labels on Subtotals
Since I wrote my blog on The 7 Secrets of the Matrix Visual in April 2019, the world has changed (in so many ways) and things have moved on with the Matrix Visual. With this in mind, I thought it was time for an update to that article. I've been wanting to do this for some time because I know from the popularity of my blog that lots of you are particularly excited by the Matrix (the visual that is,… Read More
7 Secrets of the Pie Chart
I suppose I shouldn't really be writing this blog because the question has to be asked, why are you using a pie chart? But if you really must, at the very least make your pie charts unambiguous and preferably, interesting. Let's not have anything anymore that looks like this:- An example of a really bad pie chart! So I'm hoping that by revealing my seven secrets below, you'll either never use a pie chart again or at least you'll produce… Read More
Sentiment Analysis in Power BI, analyse text reviews and a Premium tip.
Power BI is great at analysing numeric data. Numbers like values, costs, stock holdings and averages can all be worked up into informative charts and visualisations. But what if your data isn't like that? What if your data is more textual, like product reviews, staff evaluations or survey results? How can you visualise that data with Power BI ? This post explains how you can work with that sort of data in Power BI using the AI Insights in Power… Read More