Use Performance Analyzer to examine report element performance

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In Power BI Desktop you can find out how each of your report elements, such as visuals and DAX formulas, are performing. Using the Performance Analyzer, you can see and record logs that measure how each of your report elements performs when users interact with them, and which aspects of their performance are most (or least) resource intensive.

Performance analyzer

Performance Analyzer inspects and displays the duration necessary for updating or refreshing all visuals that user interactions initiate, and presents the information so you can view, drill down, or export the results. Performance Analyzer can help you identify visuals that are impacting the performance of your reports, and identify the reason for the impact.

Displaying the Performance Analyzer pane

In Power BI Desktop select the View ribbon. In the Show area of the View ribbon you can select the checkbox next to Performance Analyzer to display the Performance Analyzer pane.

Select Performance analyzer in the View ribbon

Once selected, the Performance Analyzer is displayed in its own pane, to the right of the report canvas.

Using Performance Analyzer

Performance analyzer measures the processing time (including the time to create or update a visual) required to update report elements initiated as a result of any user interaction that results in running a query. For example, adjusting a slicer requires the slicer visual to be modified, a query to be sent to the data model, and affected visuals that must be updated as a result of the new settings.

To have Performance Analyzer begin recording, simply select Start recording

Start recording

Any actions you take in the report are displayed and logged in the Performance Analyzer pane, in the order that the visual is loaded by Power BI. For example, perhaps you have a report that users have said takes a long time to refresh. Or certain visuals in a report take a long time to display when a slider is adjusted. Performance analyzer can tell you which visual is the culprit, and identifies which aspects of the visual is taking the longest duration to process.

Once you start recording, the Start recording button is grayed out (inactive, since you've already begun recording) and the Stop button is active.

Performance analyzer collects and displays the performance measurement information in real time. So each time you click on a visual, move a slicer, or interact in any other way, Performance Analyzer immediately displays the performance results in its pane.

If the pane has more information than can be displayed, a scroll bar appears to navigate to additional information.

Each interaction has a section identifier in the pane, describing the action that initiated the log entries. In the following image, the interaction was that the users changed a slicer.

Sections based on interaction type

Each visual's log information includes the time spent (duration) to complete the following categories of tasks:

  • DAX query - if a DAX query was required, this is the time between the visual sending the query, and for Analysis Services to return the results.
  • Visual display - time required for the visual to draw on the screen, including time required to retrieve any web images or geocoding.
  • Other - time required by the visual for preparing queries, waiting for other visuals to complete, or performing other background processing.

elements of log information

After you've interacted with elements of the report you want to measure with Performance Analyzer, you can select the Stop button. The performance information remains in the pane after you select Stop for you to analyze.

To clear out the information in the Performance Analyzer pane, select Clear. All information is erased and is not saved when you select Clear. See the next section to learn how to save information in logs.

Refreshing visuals

You can select Refresh visuals in the Performance Analyzer pane to refresh all visuals on the current page of the report, and thereby have Performance Analyzer gather information about all such visuals.

You can also refresh individual visuals. When Performance Analyzer is recording, you can select Refresh this visual found in the top-right corner of each visual, to refresh that visual, and capture its performance information.

refresh an individual visual

Saving performance information

You can save the information that Performance Analyzer creates about a report by selecting the Export button. Selecting Export creates a .json file with information from the Performance Analyzer pane.

Save the log file for performance analyzer

Next steps

For more information about Power BI Desktop, and how to get started, check out the following articles.