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Simplify Data: Easy DAX for Power BI Visual Calculations
Power BI
Mar 21, 2024 12:30 AM

Simplify Data: Easy DAX for Power BI Visual Calculations

by HubSite 365 about Alan Murray (Computergaga)

Data AnalyticsPower BILearning Selection

Transform Power BI with Visual Calculations: DAX Made Simple & Efficient! Unlock Easier Data Insights.

Key insights


  • Visual calculations simplify DAX, making it easier and faster for Power BI users by allowing DAX formulas to be defined directly within visuals.
  • These calculations enhance user experience with ease of use, rapid prototyping, and dynamic calculations tailored to specific visual data, sometimes even improving performance.
  • Common applications include running totals, moving averages, and percentage of totals, which help in presenting and analyzing data more effectively.
  • Users can create visual calculations by selecting a visual, clicking the "New Visual Calculation" button, and defining the formula in an Excel-like interface.
  • The feature is currently a preview feature, meaning it's still under development and might have limitations or changes in the future.

Exploring the Power of Visual Calculations in Power BI

Power BI's introduction of visual calculations represents a seismic shift in how data enthusiasts approach DAX formulas. By allowing users to directly integrate calculations within visuals such as charts and tables, Power BI has significantly lowered the barriers to entry for performing complex analyses. This feature not only makes DAX more accessible to users who might not be deeply familiar with its syntax but also streamlines the process of data analysis and visualization. The ability to quickly prototype and create dynamic, visual-specific calculations without altering the underlying data model fosters a more flexible and efficient approach to data storytelling. 

Visual Calculations have revolutionized how we use Power BI, making DAX more accessible than ever. With this advancement, users can now craft DAX expressions visually, akin to working with Excel formulas. This new method is not only quick and straightforward but also simplifies maintenance by keeping calculations within the visuals.

The introduction of visual calculations allows for the creation of dynamic calculations tailored to the data displayed in a specific visual, enhancing the flexibility and power of Power BI. These calculations offer a clear contrast to traditional DAX measures, emphasizing ease of use and faster prototyping without altering the data model permanently.

Visual calculations shine in various scenarios, from running totals and moving averages to calculating percentages and conditional formatting within a visual context. This feature enables a deeper analysis and visually compelling reports, making complex data more understandable.

To begin using visual calculations, simply select a visual in your report and click the "New Visual Calculation" button found in the 'Calculations' section of the 'Modeling' ribbon. An Excel-like grid appears, where you can define your formula, pulling data from the columns or measures present in the visual.

However, it's important to note that visual calculations are a preview feature and might see further changes. These calculations are exclusive to the visuals they were created for and depend on the visual’s data, recalculating automatically with any data changes due to filters.

If diving into DAX formulas has seemed daunting, visual calculations in Power BI might be the game-changer you’ve been waiting for. They not only simplify the process but also open up new possibilities for data analysis and report creation. Whether you're looking to calculate percentage changes, use the DIVIDE function, or explore more complex DAX expressions like VAR and RETURN, visual calculations offer a user-friendly and powerful tool for your analysis toolkit.




People also ask

What is a visual calculation?

Visual calculations represent an innovative feature introduced within DAX, aimed at streamlining the process of utilizing DAX by enabling users to execute calculations on the visual layer instead of within the data model itself.

Is DAX faster than Power Query?

DAX, which stands for Data Analysis Expressions, and Power Query are pivotal components embedded within Microsoft's Power BI and Excel solutions. However, given they fulfill distinct functionalities, it is not viable to assess their performance on a speed basis in a head-to-head comparison.

What are DAX calculations?

DAX, recognized as a powerful formula language, permits the crafting of custom calculations applicable to both Calculated Columns and Measures (alternatively known as calculated fields). It encompasses several functions familiar within Excel alongside additional functions meticulously designed to cater to relational data and facilitate dynamic aggregational tasks.

How do you write a DAX formula?

Constructing a DAX formula within Power BI entails starting with the formula's christening followed immediately by an equal-to sign (“=”), proceeding to input your formula by employing functions, constants, or strings. This process is conducted via the formula bar positioned just beneath the ribbon in Power BI.



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