Create measures


In Power BI, measures are defined calculations on your data that are performed at the time of your query. Measures are calculated as you interact with your reports and aren't stored in your database.

Tasks in this unit include: Conceptual graphic of the tasks in this module.


To follow along with the examples on this page, download the sample Access database here and import into Power BI Desktop (Get Data > Database > Access database). If you have any issues loading the Access database, please read this article.

Create a measure

To create a measure, in Report view, select New Measure from the Modeling tab.

Screenshot of the New Measure button.

From the Formula bar, you can enter the DAX expression that defines your measure. As you enter your calculation, Power BI suggests relevant DAX functions and data fields. You'll also receive a tooltip that explains some of the syntax and function parameters.

Screenshot of a typed DAX function.

If your calculation is long, you can add extra line breaks in the Expression Editor by typing ALT-Enter.

DAX formula with extra line breaks from typing ALT-Enter.

Apply a measure

After you've created a new measure, it will appear in one of the tables on the Fields pane, which is found on the right side of the screen. Power BI inserts the new measure into whichever table you have currently selected. While it doesn't matter, exactly, where the measure is located in your data, you can easily move it by selecting the measure and using the Home Table drop-down menu on the Measure tools tab.

The new YTD Revenue field in the Field pane.

You can use a measure like any other table column: just drag and drop it onto the report canvas or visualization fields. Measures also integrate seamlessly with slicers, segmenting your data on the fly, which means that you can define a measure once and then use it in many different visualizations.

For more information, see Tutorial: Create your own measures in Power BI Desktop.