Trending February 2024 # How To Control The Interactions Of Your Visuals In Power Bi # Suggested March 2024 # Top 7 Popular

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As you develop your Power BI reports, you have to make sure that your visuals are showcasing the insights that you need. You may watch the full video of this tutorial at the bottom of this blog.

Controlling the interactions of your visuals in Power BI can play an important role here.

This technique can make your dashboard really pop and keep your consumers happy. It is therefore very valuable for you to learn how to do this.

You have a few options when it comes to your visual interactions.  Let’s go ahead and see how to use these options.

Managing the interactions of your visuals is quite easy.

All you have to do is to first select the visual that you want to interact with the other visualizations and then select Edit interactions in the formatting section located at the top of the screen.

Notice that the Location visual does not have those three icons. This is because it is the visual the we want to interact with the other visualizations.

Let us discuss each option.

So, one of the options you can select for the interactions of your visuals is the filter option or also known as full filter.

If we select Gainesville, for example, the Customer visual will show the total sales for each of the customers in this location.

The same is true if we select Tampa. The other visuals will exhibit a total change depending on the filter in place.

The next option which is the highlight option, highlights or shows the slice which is impacted. This is the reason why it is also called pie slicer.

In these two images below, for example, notice that the States visualization is divided into Georgia and Florida.

What you need to remember here, however, is that there may be times when the changes in the visualizations do not make sense at all.

In the case of this image below, for example, we have selected the pie slicer in the Customer visual and then selected Davie in the location.

But then we cannot draw any insight from the interaction of these two visualizations.

The highlight option then can provide useful insights depending on the data in the visuals that have interactions.

Then of course, you may also choose to turn off the interactions.

For instance, we have grouped the visualizations in this image into three. We want the visuals to have interactions only with those in the same group they belong to.

We can then turn off the interactions so that if we select a visual in the first group, those in the other two will not be affected.

Now, if we select any of the elements in the Location visual, it will not affect the elements in the Customer visual.

Having these options in Power BI allows us to really change the shape of the report. You can actually create mini dashboards within a report page as you turn on or off interactions between certain visuals.

This is a fantastic technique if you want to break down or group your dimensions in certain segments, like regionally or through age groups.

I suggest, however, that if there are many ways that a certain chart can be filtered, then you might want to go for the full filter than the highlight or pie slicer.

The highlight option may not actually add value to the insights that you need, so be mindful of that.

We have just covered the different options that we have when controlling the interactions of the visuals in Power BI. We can opt to use either filter or highlight or even turn off the visual interactions altogether.

So go ahead and try this technique on your reports. Enjoy!

Sam

How To Create Compelling Reports & Dashboards In Power BI

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Finding The Percent Of Total In Power Bi

In this article, we will review how to find the percent of the total calculation in Power BI.

Although you might have already learned this from the other modules, reviewing it would be beneficial for its common usage in various scenarios.

To show you a simple example, we will create a measure for Total Sales.

To create this measure, I will use the SUM function and then put in the Total Revenue column.

Then, I will drag Total Sales into the canvas and make an association with the Product Name dimension.

Then, we need to figure out the percent of sales of all the products under the Product Name column through the total.

To do this, we need to divide every single number in Total Sales by the total. The only way to achieve this is to change the context of the calculation so that the Product Name column would be ignored.

We will create a new measure called Every Sales, reference the Total Sales inside CALCULATE, and then use the ALL function with the Product Name column since it can remove filters from the dimension.

After dragging in the measure, you can see that every single row has the same result.

To get the percent of total, we will create a new measure called % of Total which uses the DIVIDE function to divide Total Sales by Every Sale, and then put in a zero as the optional alternate result.

We can now drag in our new measure and change the format to show percentages.

These two measures would not be necessary so we can remove them.

After removing those two intermediary calculations, this is how the table would finally appear.

To better visualize the percent of total table, we can select the stacked bar chart under Visualizations and then sort the results into a descending order.

Getting the percent of the total was very simple since all we had to do is to put in the correct dimensions then use the ALL function to remove the filters for that calculation.

In this section, we will discuss the context considerations surrounding percent of total in Power BI.

A lot of the results that you get from percent of total calculations heavily depend on the context where you place your formula.

For example, the context in this particular example is Product 7.

All of these percent of total results add up to 100% since we have removed the filters for Product Name inside the formula of Every Sale.

Because of this, we are able to do that intermediary calculation with DIVIDE wherein the sum of the total was used as the denominator.

However, the percent of total formula can return a different result depending on which context you put it into.

For example, I will copy and paste the table and then use Customer Names as the context for the calculation.

As a result, the percent of total in every row displays 100%.

This is because the % of Total measure does not work in this context since we need to remove the filters first.

However, if we put in the other dimensions, the Every Sales measure would not work since only the filter in Product Name is being removed in our formula.

To show you an example, the Every Sales measure here is still returning the values from the Total Sales of the customers.

If we want to get the percent of total per customer, we need to make changes in the Every Sales measure or change the table using a slicer.

By selecting a customer through a slicer, the table of results will now work since the percent of the total is now being filtered by a particular customer.

Instead of selecting one customer at a time, you can also change the slicer settings so that selecting multiple customers would also be possible.

Selecting multiple customers will still yield correct results since the Product Name context is properly used.

Simply changing the context or using slicers would enable you to efficiently retrieve desired results in various situations.

That is how you get the percent of total in Power BI and how using different contexts affect your calculations.

Understanding how context works is very important since you can get drastically different results by changing it as shown in our examples.

All the best,

Sam

Update Your Power Bi Dashboards

This is a quick tutorial about how you can make your Power BI dashboard and app more presentable and business-themed using Power BI Online. Microsoft recently unveiled a series of updates for Power BI and it’s recommended you utilize these updates to maximize your data management. You may watch the full video of this tutorial at the bottom of this blog.

The dashboard is the key for better data insights, which is why it’s important to organize it in an effective manner.

I hope you’re familiar with the potential of apps within your organization and online service. If you want some tips on how to maximize your Power BI Online Service, I suggest you read this tutorial here.

For this tutorial, I’ll focus more on how you can update and customize the look of your Power BI dashboard.

Now, let’s take a look inside my sample app here. On the left side, I can easily navigate to the different reports and dashboards inside the app.

The most important thing that I want to show you is how to create a theme or background in the dashboard. For instance, changing the color of the dashboard to make it more interesting. 

After that, you’ll see the respective workspace as well as the Power BI dashboards, reports, and more.

You can also embed images into the background themes. To do this, you need to create an image first within PowerPoint. It’s better if you use corporate images in your Power BI dashboard just like in my example below. 

I don’t recommend images that are too light in your Power BI dashboard so you need to have a darker background image. In my example, I just overlaid a dark-colored text box on top of my corporate image. Doing this can help your lighter visualizations stand out in your reports – it’s something you can do very quickly.

After that, just group the image and text boxes together, and then save it as an image.

Once you save the image successfully in your OneDrive, you need to open and view it online.

Turn on the Background Image option, and then paste the image address in the Image URL box.

You can also update the background color, tile background color, tile font color, as well as the tile opacity, depending on what you want your Power BI dashboard to look like.

The things I mentioned are pretty simple and easy to do, but it generally adds a big value to your dashboard. It’s all just a matter of getting the right contrast for your image in the background. Moreover, you might need to consider the colors you have inside your tiles and make sure it blends well. This is how you make your Power BI dashboard more business-themed.

Finally, this is how the updated Power BI dashboard will now look like.

This update from Microsoft is really worth trying. It really makes a big difference in the way you present and distribute your information across different teams. This is also one way to keep your consumers engaged and come back for more.

I hope you take time and enjoy finding contrasting colors that fit nicely in your Power BI dashboard.

Don’t stop learning. Until next time!

Sam

How To Use An Iterating Function In Power Bi

This tutorial will teach you about different iterating functions and how to efficiently use them in your calculations.

I often discuss how calculated columns are not required when making some calculations. This is because of iterators.

Iterators or iterating functions can help you do a calculation without physically putting the results in the table.

This technique can help you save up on the memory needed to load your Power BI data model. In the next sections, I’ll show you how to optimize your calculations using iterators.

To get started, create a new measure for Total Costs. Make sure to select the measure group where you want this new measure to land.

Press Shift and Enter to move down a line before you put the first iterating function, which is SUMX.

In the formula bar of Power BI, you can already see exactly what you need to put after the function as suggested by IntelliSense. For SUMX, you need to add a table after it.

The SUMX formula will run the logic at every single row of the given table. This is why iterators are associated with row context. Within the measure, iterators can turn the formula into a row context.

You will need to reference the Sales table after the SUMX function. To calculate the total costs, you have to multiply Order Quantity by Total Unit Cost.

We don’t need to reference the new column that was created at all. The Total Costs is a measure and I can bring it into my table to evaluate our total costs.

Now, drag the measure inside the table to see the results. Make sure that you selected an initial context from the City filter.

The Total Costs works in a similar way in terms of the initial context. The initial context gets applied to the Sales table, but then within each of these individual results, we’re calculating the Order Quantity multiplied by the Total Unit Cost.

Behind the scenes in our data model, we have turned on our filter and we have context coming in from our Regions table and another context coming in from our Date table. These flow down to our Sales table, which is filtered by the iterating function SUMX.

Since the SUMX function evaluates every single row of the Sales table virtually, there’s no need for a physical column for the results.

After the initial context, SUMX gets the product of Order Quantity and Total Unit Cost for every single row. Lastly, it evaluates all the calculated results from all the rows.

If you noticed, the original Costs column was created through a calculated column. As I’ve said, it’s unnecessary since iterators can already do its work. You can delete it because it can take up unnecessary memory in your model.

Iterating formulas run evaluations at every single row, while aggregating formulas do not.

A lot of this information is covered in-depth in the Mastering DAX course, but this is just to show you the the beginnings of iterating functions and how to start using them when it’s appropriate.

If you feel the need to create a calculated column inside your fact table, I can almost guarantee that an iterating function will do the work for you.

Now, I’ll show you another example of how iterators can do wonders on your calculation. This time, let’s work out the average cost.

Just copy the Total Costs formula and paste it into a new measure. You just have to change the name to Average Costs and then use AVERAGEX instead of SUMX.

The new formula runs a similar logic because it evaluates every single row of the Sales table. Additionally, you still need to get the product of Order Quantity and Total Unit Cost. The only difference here is instead of sum, the formula calculates the average.

Now, if you bring the Average Costs measure to the table, you can see how it compares to the Total Costs measure.

It’s amazing how you can run a similar logic just by changing the iterating function.

To optimize your table, you can delete redundant information like the Total Revenue column.

Since you can readily achieve the average costs, you won’t need the Total Revenue column in your table anymore. As long as you have the Unit Price and the Total Unit Cost columns, everything’s fine.

Now, you can create a new measure instead for Total Sales (Iteration) by using the SUMX function. You just have to reference the Sales table then get the product of Order Quantity and Unit Price.

After that, you can compare the results in the Total Sales and Total Sales (Iteration) columns. They both have the same results, right?

In terms of performance, there’s not much of a difference between using calculated columns and iterators. But when it comes to the data model, an iterator function can get rid of an entire column and save you hundreds of rows of data.

Additionally, you can delete redundant columns because iterators can calculate the necessary results virtually. This practice will make your table a lot thinner and your model a lot faster. Make sure you apply this optimization technique in your own calculations.

To sum up, an iterating function evaluates every single row while aggregators don’t.

The letter X on the end of the function makes it easier to identify iterators. Examples include the SUMX, AVERAGEX, MAXX, MINX functions and more.

Using iterating functions won’t create additional physical tables. This can help you save memory in Power BI.

All the best!

Sam

How To Create Dynamic Power Bi Reports

In this tutorial, I show you how you can create totally dynamic Power BI reports, using the measuring branching technique and the power of DAX. You may watch the full video of this tutorial at the bottom of this blog.

When I say dynamic, I mean that you may want to highlight one particular insight across all your visualizations on your report page, but then you might want to be able to select a different metric to highlight all your results on your report page.

You can then slice and dice it using all of the different filters and the visualizations that are available to us in Power BI as well.

The data and dashboard I’m using in this demonstration was from a workshop that I did about visualization techniques as part of the Enterprise DNA Webinar Series.

Let’s dive into it and check out how I made this report dynamic.

In this Power BI report, we have the Shape Map, the graphs, the donut charts, and the bar charts. I have dynamically integrated different metrics into all of these visualizations and the core of what I want to demonstrate in this tutorial.

Power BI makes it possible for us to create extremely efficient dynamic reports like this.

Compare this with the amount of time and work we need to put in when creating a static PowerPoint presentation, wherein we have to create a lot of pages to show everything. With Power BI, we can show all of this data within the same visualizations to highlight different metrics.

It’s a really effective way to consolidate information. Power BI simply takes the dynamic report technique to a new level.

First of all, in measure branching, we need to create our core measures, such as Sales, Costs, and Profits. Then, we branch out into this one master measure, which enables us to select any of those metrics we set. We need to integrate these core measures into the metric selections that we make.

But before we jump into measure branching, we need to create a table with those metrics because we’ll have to create a slicer. This table doesn’t exist in the data, so I created it here.

And then we need to create a formula that picks up whichever metric we choose to showcase in the report. The formula uses the SELECTEDVALUE function, and then the metrics. In this case, it’s Revenue.

We can then branch out into our master measure and other key calculations.

The master measure is this formula I call Selected Metric, which uses the SWITCH TRUE logic. We then feed this master measure into all of the other different branches of calculations.

So if Revenue is selected, it will showcase Total Sales, Total Costs for Costs, and Total Profits for Profits. The SWITCH TRUE logic is great for this calculation and it’s an effective way of structuring this kind of formula. 

Now that we have this master measure, we can branch out into these other other calculations, starting with the Performance – Selected Q. In this formula, we use the CALCULATE function with our master measure.

This is the same pattern when we write a cumulative total formula, but we have incorporated Selected Metric here instead versus our core measures.

We can also branch out to time intelligence, such as in this formula Selected Metric LY (last year) and then feed it to another calculation.

We do the same with our ranking formula,

and the rest of the formulas here.

And that’s how we create an entirely dynamic Power BI report based on metrics that you might select. This is seriously an amazing visualization technique.

This is a really powerful technique that just requires a couple of steps to organize inside your data model and with your DAX measures. It will enable you to create some compelling report pages that will impress those consuming your data.

When we’re running an analysis inside Power BI, we have to think of the end consumer – how they’re going to feel and how they’re going to look at our report page.

This technique is certainly a great one to utilize to get that engagement from your consumers, which is absolutely key to the success of your reporting and development projects inside Power BI.

All the best!

Sam

Sharepoint Benefits In Power Bi Report Development

I want to talk about the three main benefits of SharePoint. We’ll talk about the three overarching benefits and go into detail as to what those benefits mean and how the features of SharePoint enable those benefits to occur. You can watch the full video of this tutorial at the bottom of this blog.

The first of the SharePoint benefits is what I like to call content management and delivery. This area has always been a key problem in workplaces all around the world.

It is estimated that about 30% of your time is spent sending, replying, and organizing emails and data. SharePoint can help your employees and yourself get some of that time back.

By the way, that’s about 2.6 to 3 hours a day that you could potentially get back with SharePoint. People use SharePoint to store documents similar to how they do it for OneDrive. But the benefit with storing your documents with SharePoint is you can attach metadata to each document.

For example, let’s say you have an accounting folder where you have all your files separated by year first and then by the actual account itself.

Now that’s a very complicated system, especially if you want to see all the files for a certain person, right? All the files for a certain person, or all the tax files for every year are located in different folders so it’s hard to do that in a traditional OneDrive or desktop format.

So what SharePoint has done is to create document libraries, where all of your files are in a list and you can attach metadata to your documents.

In our example, we have a metadata called Year, another metadata called Account Type, and another metadata called Person.

If you want to look at all of the files for a specific person, you can just go over to that metadata and filter to that person. You would see all of the files for all of the years. If you want to go back to the original way and just look at all the files for a certain year, then you would go over to that metadata and filter to that year.

Metadata is the next level of organization for your document library.

I’m so surprised that not more companies do this. When they do this, they see improved productivity in finding the documents that they need.

This is also very scalable. For example, you could have a document library for your contracts, another document library for your accounting, and another document library for your HR. They can be held separately so that someone in HR cannot review the documents in accounting.

Another feature that allows for robust content management delivery is through SharePoint lists. In this example, we have a customized database that someone has created to hold the data that is relevant to them.

This is a list of event itineraries. Each record here is a specific event in that event itinerary. We have a Breakfast meet & greet Welcome & Introduction, and so on.

What this person has done is to create columns that are relevant to them. So for each session, they have a code, type, description, speakers, start time, and end time.

What’s powerful about SharePoint lists is that they give you the versatility of a robust database, and they are easy for a worker to actually employ. It’s very easy to create your own list and column types. You can have sophisticated column types like choice columns (eg. Session type) or user-based columns (eg. Speakers).

There are many things you can do once your SharePoint list has been created. It’s also scalable because you can create one for many things. You can create one for expenses instead of doing it in a random Excel file that’s very hard to access. Everyone can access and update it. If there are changes, you can require approvals for those changes and add tiny workflows.

These lists can be modified with attachments as well. For example, this is a list of blog articles where each one is an actual file. So this is a mix of document libraries and SharePoint lists, where someone’s created a document library with metadata and columns from a SharePoint list.

So you can do a lot of mix and match here too. This is much better than your data being in some random warehouse or OneDrive or emails.

SharePoint is an all-in-one place for all your data, whether it’s a document library or a SharePoint list.

The final feature for SharePoint is that it is a team site. It’s an internal team site where all your employees can access the information they need. You can have a team site for your entire organization for things like news, blog posts, calendars, quick links, and external resources that your employees use.

For example, if I want to find my HR policies, I don’t have to email the HR person. I can go to the team site and find the HR section to find all the documents that I need.

It’s also really relevant that when you have SharePoint, your organization’s team site is your homepage. So as soon as someone opens up Chrome or Explorer, they can see the latest company news and activities.

You can have group-specific team sites as well. You can have one team site for the entire organization and another team site that’s private for your team so that only information that’s relevant to the employee is given to them.

You can create your own SharePoint sites and SharePoint lists. It’s very easy for anyone to create it since there’s no coding involved and it’s all drag and drop.

One of the important SharePoint benefits concerns business process workflows. This is an example of a very simple business process workflow for an organization.

A piece of document arrives to an email inbox, which is rerouted to reviewers. It then goes through multiple stages of reviewers. If they approve, it’s accepted; if not, it’s rejected.

This process involves a couple of emails, right? You have an email arriving to the actual inbox. Then an email has to be sent to Anna and Sean to review. Anna and Sean will probably email each other to review it. And then finally another email to indicate approval or disapproval.

Now, if the data that is used is actually within SharePoint, this workflow can be automated. For example, we can create a SharePoint list that has all of these documents. The document arrives and it needs to be reviewed by either Sean or Anna before it’s accepted.

Instead of an email process, the person who wants the approval can upload it into a SharePoint list or a document library, which then automatically sends an email notification to Sean and Anna. This can be done through either Power Automate or SharePoint’s internal workflow system.

We’ve actually done an expense approval system on our YouTube series, where we talked about how to use Power Automate with SharePoint to automate that system.

Here’s a simple expense approval that I did for an organization, which previously used to take about 7 or 8 emails and had way too many pain points. Previously, the employee who submitted the expenses was kept out of the loop, and there was no way to organize everything afterwards.

SharePoint and a workflow system like Power Automate can really fix this. Once you have your data, processes, and SharePoint, it’s very easy for other apps to come in and improve that process.

We’ve talked about how SharePoint and Power Automate can be used to automate business process workflows. But the same thing can be said with SharePoint and Power Apps. Let’s say you don’t want Sean and Anna to access SharePoint at all.

You can create an app for Sean and Anna where they can go on a website that shows them the contracts that they need to review one by one. They don’t get any emails, they just log onto the app. And again, the best thing about Power Apps is that it’s no code.

SharePoint is also very powerful with Power BI. For example, let’s say you have your expense approval system in SharePoint. That also means you’re tracking all the data for that process. You’re tracking who submits expenses, how much they are, and how long it takes to review everything. One of the SharePoint benefits is that you can use the data to create a report and a dashboard on Power BI.

SharePoint enables workflows, but integrating it with other Power Platform apps really takes it to the next level.

The third of the SharePoint benefits is collaboration. This is one of the reasons why most organizations justify purchasing SharePoint to improve their productivity. There are lots of SharePoint benefits and features that enable a collaborative environment. I’ll go through each one very quickly.

Version control allows you to make sure your documents are up to date and if there are any changes made to documents, you can always go back to the previous version.

Approve and review is like what we talked about in the business process workflows. You can have a document library system set up where someone submits a document and someone else needs to approve or reject that document.

All-in-one bank is a philosophy where all your organization’s information should be in one place. So it should not be repeatable and easily findable for anyone who needs to find it.

Extensions can be created within SharePoint and imported to improve your collaboration. Things like task tracker, widgets, and Kanban boards are something that’s heavily used within SharePoint pages to improve collaboration.

Permissions allow you to select certain groups of people to have access to information. Sometimes, companies suffer from information overload. You don’t want everyone to have access to everything, and if you have very sensitive data, you need to make sure that only the people you want to see it actually see it.

Scalability is another great benefit. If you don’t do SharePoint on-premises but you do SharePoint on the cloud, you can scale up from 10 people all the way to a million people in a Microsoft server. It’s very easy to employ and you only have to play a flat rate per person.

Strong integration with Office 365 is also there since it’s made by the same parent company, Microsoft. If you have files in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, you can actually edit them online in SharePoint rather than downloading them and editing them.

In this post, we discussed the three key SharePoint benefits. We talked about how SharePoint is very good at content management, business process workflows, and collaboration.

Henry

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