Have you ever wondered what makes Power BI so fast and powerful when it comes to performance? Learn on a real-life example about data model optimization and general rules for reducing data model

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Have you ever wondered what makes Power BI so fast and powerful when it comes to performance? So powerful, that it performs complex calculations over millions of rows in a blink of an eye.

In this article, we will dig deep to discover what is “under the hood” of Power BI, how your data is being stored, compressed, queried, and finally, brought back to your report. …


Have you ever tried to dynamically change the axis on your visual? It’s easier than it seems, with little DAX magic

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A few months ago, I wrote a blog post about dynamic filtering in Power BI — and how to display different measures within one visual, depending on the user’s selection — without using bookmarks!

Last week, I’ve got a similar request from my client. In fact, this time the request was the other way around — they want to see the same metric (measure), but from different perspectives — for example, total sales amount per country and brand name, depending on user’s choice.

Again, this could have been done using bookmarks and switching between different page states. However, I’ve wanted…


Special alphabet letters can be tricky to handle in Power BI. Or not? Check this straightforward solution using Synapse Serverless SQL pool!

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If you follow my blog on a regular basis, you are already aware that I prefer describing real-life use cases to writing some pure theoretical stuff…Don’t get me wrong — of course, you should be able to understand core theoretical and conceptual foundations behind specific solutions, before diving into a real fun, but solving real-world problems is something that counts in the end.

Scenario

As I live in a speaking area that has special characters in addition to a “regular” alphabet (for those of you who don’t know, I live in Austria, where the German language is being spoken), I’ve recently…


Check how you can easily extend the library of predefined fonts to satisfy specific customers’ requests!

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I like Power BI, I really do! If you follow my articles carefully, you would have realized that I truly consider Power BI as an awesome tool — because it gives you an infinite number of possibilities to tell your data story. And, I’m not referring only to out-of-the-box solutions, but also custom-made ones.

However, I’ve recently come across an interesting problem (or, to be brutally honest, it didn’t look so interesting why I was trying to solve it). So, what was it all about?

Scenario

I was helping my client to build a Power BI report, and one of the…


Put a smile on your face and provide your DBA with all the necessary info about SQL queries generated by Power BI

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Once upon a time, your old scary DBA walked into your office with a red-colored face and asked you furiously: “What the hell you’ve done with your Power BI report?! It killed all of our workloads!!!”

You knew why he was angry, even before he started screaming at you. It’s because of “that” report which uses DirectQuery because your users wanted “near real-time” data…

I’ve already written why you should reconsider using DirectQuery, and in which scenarios (maybe) it makes sense to go that path.

However, it appeared that your DBA is not that “bad” as you might think. He…


Learn how to handle one of the most common business requests in multiple different ways!

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Image Source

What are my best-selling products? Which customers spend the most money on my services? Which stores sold the most units of our luxury brand? Answering these, and many more similar questions are one of the most common requests when creating Power BI reports.

In order to enable proper business decisions based on answers to the questions specified above, we need to identify the respective values and sort them accordingly.

DAX offers two different functions for dealing with sorting — RANKX and TOPN. As you can intuitively conclude, the TOPN function can help you identify, let’s say, the top 5 most…


Check how the latest improvements to Synapse Serverless SQL pool can help you create one of the most popular Power BI transformations in a more optimal way!

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Despite my planning not to write any “serious” blog posts till the end of the year (I just wanted to create some entertaining stuff), a recent announcement from Microsoft that Serverless SQL Pool within Synapse now supports a whole new set of T-SQL functions forced me to change my initial plans and play around with the latest stuff.

Honestly, I was curious to test how PIVOT works in the synergy between Power BI and Synapse, as this is one of the most used transformations in Power BI.

Before you proceed reading, maybe you would like to check the article where…


Quick intro to the latest Microsoft data governance solution, and how it integrates with Power BI

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If you’ve carefully followed the latest data news, you should have noticed that Microsoft made two important announcements a few weeks ago: the first, Azure Synapse Analytics became GA, while the other also caused a lot of interest: by introducing Azure Purview as the evolution of Azure Data Catalog, Microsoft proclaimed that this new solution will serve as a unified data governance and data management platform.

At the moment of writing, Purview is still in preview, so we can expect that specific features will evolve over time, and that some new features will find their place under the Purview umbrella.


Check out this handy trick to apply a background image automatically to all your report pages!

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Image by author

Images are one of the most powerful tools to enhance your Power BI reports and present the data story in a more meaningful and “colorful” way (please don’t take this “colorful” meaning literally). And, when it comes to working with images, Power BI offers you a whole range of capabilities — some of them I’ve examined in this article.

Upload background image

Adding an image as a background for your report page is fairly simple. I’ve downloaded this photo from Unsplash and, in literally a few clicks, I would set this photo as my report page background:


There are multiple ways to keep your costs under control in the Serverless SQL pool. You can even use good old SSMS to measure the query metrics

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If you follow my blog series on different levels of integration between Power BI and Azure Synapse Analytics, you should have already understood the key components and concepts behind Synapse Analytics. You could have also noticed that Synapse brings a whole bunch of possibilities to handle various analytic workloads in one single place.

However, it’s not the current state of the product that I admire, but its general direction and rapid development in multiple different areas.

One of the features that were “shady”, to say at least, was the cost management in Synapse Analytics Serverless pool. Up until recently, it…

Nikola Ilic

Data Mozart — Don’t let data make noise, create music from it | data-mozart.com | https://www.linkedin.com/in/nikola-ilic-data-mozart/

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