Lab - Time Intelligence and Measures in DAX

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In this lab, you will create measures with DAX expressions involving filter context manipulation.

In this lab, you learn how to:

  • Use the CALCULATE() function to manipulate filter context

  • Use Time Intelligence functions

Exercise 1: Work with Filter Context

In this exercise, you will create measures with DAX expressions involving filter context manipulation.

Open the lab’s starter file, which is found in the D:\DA100\Lab06B\starter folder.

Task 1: Create a matrix visual

In this task, you will create a matrix visual to support testing your new measures.

  1. In Power BI Desktop, in Report view, create a new report page.

    Screenshot that shows how to add a new report page.

  2. On Page 3, add a matrix visual.

    Screenshot that shows how to add a matrix visual.

  3. Resize the matrix visual to fill the entire page.

  4. To configure the matrix visual fields, from the Fields pane, drag the Region | Regions hierarchy, and drop it inside the visual.

  5. Add also the Sales | Sales field.

  6. To expand the entire hierarchy, at the top-right of the matrix visual, click the forked-double arrow icon twice.

    Screenshot of where to click the forked-double arrow.

    Recall that the Regions hierarchy has the levels Group, Country, and Region.

  7. To format the visual, beneath the Visualizations pane, select the Format pane.

    Screenshot that shows how to select the Format pane.

  8. In the Search box, enter Stepped.

  9. Set the Stepped Layout property to Off.

    Screenshot of how to turn the stepped layout off.

  10. Verify that the matrix visual has four column headers.

    Screenshot to verify there are four column headers.

    At Adventure Works, the sales regions are organized into groups, countries, and regions. All countries—except the United States—have just one region, which is named after the country. As the United States is such a large sales territory, it is divided into five regions.

    You’ll create several measures in this exercise, and then test them by adding them to the matrix visual.

Task 2: Manipulate filter context

In this task, you will create several measures with DAX expressions that use the CALCULATE() function to manipulate filter context.

  1. In Report view, on the Modeling ribbon, from inside the Calculations group, click New measure to add a measure “Sales All Region” to the Sales table.

  2. Use the following expression to create the measure:

    For your convenience, all DAX definitions in this lab can be copied from the D:\DA100\Lab06B\Assets\Snippets.txt file.

    Sales All Region =
    CALCULATE(SUM(Sales[Sales]), REMOVEFILTERS(Region))
    

    The CALCULATE() function is a powerful function used to manipulate the filter context. The first argument takes an expression or a measure (a measure is just a named expression). Subsequent arguments allow modifying the filter context.

    The REMOVEFILTERS() function removes active filters. It can take either no arguments, or a table, a column, or multiple columns as its argument.

    In this formula, the measure evaluates the sum of the Sales column in a modified filter context, which removes any filters applied to the Region table.

  3. In the formula bar copy the expression from Snippets.txt file, and press Enter. This create the measure in the Sales table. Review the field list in the Fields pane under the Sales table, and you will see the Sales All Region measure.

  4. Check the Sales All Region measure in the Fields pane to add the measure to the matrix visual.

    Screenshot of the ribbon to format Sales % All Region.

  5. Notice that the Sales All Region measure computes the total of all region sales for each region, country (subtotal) and group (subtotal).

    This measure is yet to deliver a useful result. When the sales for a group, country, or region is divided by this value it produces a useful ratio known as “percent of grand total”.

  6. In the Fields pane, ensure that the Sales All Region measure is selected, and then in the formula bar, replace the measure name and formula with the following formula:

    Tip

    To replace the existing formula, first copy the snippet. Then, click inside the formula bar and press Ctrl+A to select all text. Then, press Ctrl+V to paste the snippet to overwrite the selected text. Then press Enter.

     Sales % All Region =
     DIVIDE(
       SUM(Sales[Sales]),
       CALCULATE(
            SUM(Sales[Sales]),
            REMOVEFILTERS(Region)
       )
     )
    

    The measure has been renamed to accurately reflect the updated formula. The DIVIDE() function divides the Sales measure (not modified by filter context) by the Sales measure in a modified context which removes any filters applied to the Region table.

  7. In the matrix visual, notice that the measure has been renamed and that different values now appear for each group, country, and region.

  8. Format the Sales % All Region measure as a percentage with two decimal places.

    Screenshot that shows how to change measure to percentage.

  9. In the matrix visual, review the Sales % All Region measure values.

    Screenshot to review Sales % All Region values.

  10. Add another measure to the Sales table, based on the following expression, and format as a percentage:

     Sales % Country =
     DIVIDE(
       SUM(Sales[Sales]),
       CALCULATE(
           SUM(Sales[Sales]),
           REMOVEFILTERS(Region[Region])
       )
     )
    
  11. Notice that the Sales % Country measure formula differs slightly from the Sales % All Region measure formula.

    The difference is that the denominator modifies the filter context by removing filters on the Region column of the Region table, not all columns of the Region table. It means that any filters applied to the group or country columns are preserved. It will achieve a result which represents the sales as a percentage of country.

  12. Add the Sales % Country measure to the matrix visual.

  13. Notice that only the United States’ regions produce a value which is not 100%.

    Screenshot verifying that the United States does not equal 100%.

    Recall that only the United States has multiple regions. All other countries have a single region which explains why they are all 100%.

  14. To improve the readability of this measure in visual, overwrite the Sales % Country measure with this improved formula.

     Sales % Country =
     IF(
        ISINSCOPE(Region[Region]),
    	DIVIDE(
        	SUM(Sales[Sales]),
        	CALCULATE(
                SUM(Sales[Sales]),
                REMOVEFILTERS(Region[Region]
            )
        ) 
     )
    

    Embedded within the IF() function, the ISINSCOPE() function is used to test whether the region column is the level in a hierarchy. When true, the DIVIDE() function is evaluated. The absence of a false part means that blank is returned when the region column is not in scope.

  15. Notice that the Sales % Country measure now only returns a value when a region is in scope.

    Screenshot of Sales % Country value returned when region is in scope.

  16. Add another measure to the Sales table, based on the following expression, and format as a percentage:

     Sales % Group =
     DIVIDE(
        SUM(Sales[Sales]),
        CALCULATE(
             SUM(Sales[Sales]),
             REMOVEFILTERS(
                 Region[Region],
                 Region[Country]
             )
        )
     )
    

    To achieve sales as a percentage of group, two filters can be applied to effectively remove the filters on two columns.

  17. Add the Sales % Group measure to the matrix visual.

  18. To improve the readability of this measure in visual, overwrite the Sales % Group measure with this improved formula.

     Sales % Group =
     IF(
        ISINSCOPE(Region[Region])
             || ISINSCOPE(Region[Country]),
        DIVIDE(
            SUM(Sales[Sales]),
            CALCULATE(
                SUM(Sales[Sales]),
                REMOVEFILTERS(
                     Region[Region],
                     Region[Country]
                )
            )
        )
     )
    
  19. Notice that the Sales % Group measure now only returns a value when a region or country is in scope.

  20. In Model view, place the three new measures into a display folder named Ratios.

    Screenshot of the ratios folder.

  21. Save the Power BI Desktop file.

    The measures added to the Sales table have modified filter context to achieve hierarchical navigation. Notice that the pattern to achieve the calculation of a subtotal requires removing some columns from the filter context, and to arrive at a grand total, all columns must be removed.

Exercise 2: Work with Time Intelligence

In this exercise, you will create a sales year-to-date (YTD) measure and sales year-over-year (YoY) growth measure.

Task 1: Create a YTD measure

In this task, you will create a sales YTD measure.

  1. In Report view, on Page 2, notice the matrix visual which displays various measures with years and months grouped on the rows.

  2. Add a measure to the Sales table, based on the following expression, and formatted to zero decimal places:

     Sales YTD =  
     TOTALYTD(SUM(Sales[Sales]), 'Date'[Date], "6-30")
    

    The TOTALYTD() function evaluates an expression—in this case the sum of the Sales column—over a given date column. The date column must belong to a date table marked as a date table. The function can also take a third optional argument representing the last date of a year. The absence of this date means that December 31 is the last date of the year. For Adventure Works, June in the last month of their year, and so “6-30” is used.

  3. Add the Sales field and the Sales YTD measure to the matrix visual.

  4. Notice the accumulation of sales values within the year.

    Screenshot showing the accumulation of sales values.

    The TOTALYTD() function performs filter manipulation, specifically time filter manipulation. For example, to compute YTD sales for September 2017 (the third month of the fiscal year), all filters on the Date table are removed and replaced with a new filter of dates commencing at the beginning of the year (July 1, 2017) and extending through to the last date of the in-context date period (September 30, 2017).

    Note

    Many Time Intelligence functions are available in DAX to support common time filter manipulations.

Task 2: Create a YoY growth measure

In this task, you will create a sales YoY growth measure.

  1. Add an additional measure to the Sales table, based on the following expression:

     Sales YoY Growth =
     VAR SalesPriorYear =
    	CALCULATE(
        	SUM(Sales[Sales]),
        	PARALLELPERIOD(
            	'Date'[Date],
            	-12,
           	 MONTH
       	    )
        )
     RETURN
        SalesPriorYear
    

    The Sales YoY Growth measure formula declares a variable. Variables can be useful for simplifying the formula logic, and more efficient when an expression needs to be evaluated multiple times within the formula (which will be the case for the YoY growth logic). Variables are declared by a unique name, and the measure expression must then be output after the RETURN keyword.

    The SalesPriorYear variable is assigned an expression which calculates the sum of the Sales column in a modified context that uses the PARALLELPERIOD() function to shift 12 months back from each date in filter context.

  2. Add the Sales YoY Growth measure to the matrix visual.

  3. Notice that the new measure returns blank for the first 12 months (there were no sales recorded before fiscal year 2017).

  4. Notice that the Sales YoY Growth measure value for 2017 Jul is the Sales value for 2018 Jul.

    Screenshot that shows Sales YoY Growth for 2017 July and Sales 2016 January.

    Now that the “difficult part” of the formula has been tested, you can overwrite the measure with the final formula which computes the growth result.

  5. To complete the measure, overwrite the Sales YoY Growth measure with this formula, formatting it as a percentage with two decimal places:

     Sales YoY Growth =
     VAR SalesPriorYear =
    	CALCULATE(
        	  SUM(Sales[Sales]),
        	  PARALLELPERIOD(
              'Date'[Date],
              -12,
              MONTH
            )
     )
     RETURN
       DIVIDE(
           (SUM(Sales[Sales]) - SalesPriorYear),
           SalesPriorYear
       )
    
  6. In the formula, in the RETURN clause, notice that the variable is referenced twice.

  7. Verify that the YoY growth for 2018 Jul is 392.83%.

    Screenshot to verify YoY growth.

    This means that July 2018 sales ($2,411,559) represents a nearly 400% (almost 4x) improvement over the sales achieved for the prior year ($489,328).

  8. In Model view, place the two new measures into a display folder named Time Intelligence.

    Screenshot of the display folder for Sales YoY Growth.

  9. Save the Power BI Desktop file.

    DAX includes many Time Intelligence functions to make it easy to implement time filter manipulations for common business scenarios. This exercise completes the data model development.

Exercise 3: Publish the Power BI Desktop File

In this exercise, you will publish the Power BI Desktop file to Power BI.

Note

The following exercise will require you to login to Power BI service, you can use your existing account or create a trial account before starting this part of the lab.

Task 1: Publish the file

In this task, you will publish the Power BI Desktop file to Power BI.

  1. Save the Power BI Desktop file.

  2. To publish the file, on the Home ribbon tab, from inside the Share group, click Publish.

  3. In the Publish to Power BI window, select your Sales Analysis workspace.

    Screenshot of the Sales Analysis workspace to publish to.

  4. Click Select.

  5. When the file has been successfully published, click Got It.

  6. Close Power BI Desktop.

  7. In Edge, in the Power BI service, in the Navigation pane (located at the left), review the contents of your Sales Analysis workspace.

    Screenshot of the Sales Analysis workspace contents in Power BI Service.

    The publication has added a report and a dataset. If you don’t see them, press F5 to reload the browser, and then expand the workspace again.

    The data model has been published to become a dataset. The report—used to test your model calculations—has been added as a report. This report is not required, so you will now delete it.

  8. Hover the cursor over the Sales Analysis report, click the vertical ellipsis (…), and then select Remove.

    Screenshot that shows how to remove Sales Analysis report from the workspace.

  9. When prompted to confirm the deletion, click Delete.