Using Query Parameters in Power BI Desktop

With Power Query and Power BI Desktop, you can add Query Parameters to a report and make elements of the report dependent on those parameters. For example, you could use Query Parameters to automatically have a report create a filter, load a data model or a data source reference, generate a measure definition, and many other abilities. Query Parameters let users open a report, and by providing values for its Query Parameters, jump-start creating that report with just a few clicks.

Manage query parameters

You can have one parameter, or multiple parameters for any report. Let's take a look at how to create parameters in Power BI Desktop.

Creating Query Parameters

To create or access Query Parameters in a Power BI Desktop report, go to the Home ribbon and select Edit Queries > Edit Parameters to bring up the Power Query Editor window.

In the Power Query Editor window, from the Home ribbon select Manage Parameters to bring up the Parameters dialog.

Query Parameters dialog

The Parameters dialog has the following elements that let you create new parameters, or specify metadata and setting for each parameter:

  • Name—Provide a name for this parameter that lets you easily recognize and differentiate it from other parameters you might create.

  • Description—The description is displayed next to the parameter name when parameter information is displayed, helping users who are specifying the parameter value to understand its purpose, and its semantics.

  • Required—The checkbox indicates whether subsequent users can specify whether a value for the parameter must be provided.

  • Type—Applies a Data Type restriction to the input value for the parameter. For example, users can define a parameter of type Text, or Date/Time. If you want to provide the greatest flexibility for users, you can specify Any value from the list of available types in the drop-down.

  • Suggested Values—You can further restrict the entries that users can select or provide for a given parameter. For example, you could specify that the Data Type for a parameter is Text, and then restrict the acceptable values for that parameter to a static list of Text values. Users then can pick one of the available values when specifying the parameter value.

  • Default Value—Sets the default value for a parameter.

  • Current Value—Specifies the parameter's value for the current report.

Once you define these values for a parameter and select OK, a new query is defined for each parameter that was created, shown in the Power Query Editor dialog.

Parameter in the Query Editor

Using Query Parameters

Once you've defined Query Parameters, you can specify how they're being referenced or used by other queries. For reports that have parameters, users accessing or using the report are prompted for parameter input with one or more dialog boxes.

Once information about the parameter value has been provided, select Close & Apply in the Power Query Editor ribbon to have the data loaded into the data model. Once the selection or data for parameters have been provided, you can reference the parameters from DAX expressions within the report, or in any other way you might reference a parameter value.

If you want to change the value for a Query Parameter, you can do that within the report by selecting Edit Parameters from the Edit Queries button, found on the Home ribbon of Power BI Desktop.

Parameter in the Query Editor

Selecting Edit Parameters brings up a window that allows you to provide a different value for the parameter. Providing a different value and then selecting OK refreshes the report data, and any visuals, based on the new parameter values.

Change Query Parameter values

Query Parameter values are currently available only in Power BI Desktop.

Next steps

There are all sorts of things you can do with Power Query and Power BI Desktop. For more information, check out the following resources: