This is a post about a feature request, that definitely would make my life easier (and I guess others’ too):
Evaluation context and its transition is one of the hardest concepts in DAX and I would find it extremely helpful, if syntax highlighting would assist us here. Let the colour of the table name show whether the expression will be evaluated:
Edit 14-Dec-2017: Now that we can right-align text measures in PowerBI, a SWITCH-measure like here: http://www.thebiccountant.com/2017/04/24/kpis-in-easy-profit-and-loss-for-powerbi/#comment-719 is the best alternative in my eyes. No need to read on 🙂
As shown in my last part of the Easy P&L-series, Power BI unfortunately still lacks some fundamental formatting options like:
- Right aligning text (please vote for it here: Right align text in Power BI – edit 15th Nov: We’re there: Right aligning text is available now: https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/blog/power-bi-desktop-november-2017-feature-summary/)
- Display numbers in different formats within one column (either to be implemented as a “neutral” format for Switch-measures, where the referenced measures carry the formatting attributes already, or as a part of a formula-based conditional formatting) (Thanks Matt for the voting-link: Conditional format SWITCH measure)
So for the moment I choose between the following workaround-options:
- Display %-values in a separate column
- Format numbers as text and fill up with spaces so that all end up right aligned
- See the suggestion from Matt Allington in the comments below (very nice)
Right aligning text or percentage figure in new column
For both options the preparations are the same:
If you use the M-function Number.Mod in Power BI or Power Query and expect the same result like in Excel or DAX, you are probably in good company.
But if the signs of the number and the divisor are not the same, M will differ from Excel and DAX:
Number.Mod in M is different
This is by design, so you can use this this formula instead, if you need matching results:
[Number] – [Divisor] * Number.RoundDown( [Number] / [Divisor] )
Enjoy & stay queryious 🙂
Following up on the BOM-explosion: A comment reminded me that I had missed to present the costing techniques to calculate the total costs of each (sub)-product.
Reversing the aggregation direction
What I had shown is how to “aggregate” from parent down to child-level to retrieve the total quantity of each component within a BOM (“How many of each (sub-) components do we have to order (or build) for that bike?”) (1).
Now we reverse the aggregation direction and aggregate the total (!) quantities back up to the parents (2).
And, as this doesn’t make too much sense in an economical way, the second aggregation will be their prices (3). This will give us the sum of all part-costs (“How much will the order of all the parts cost us?”). This is also very useful for planning purposes or reconciliation of prices for intermediate products with your master data.
And if your model holds sales-data as well, you can calculate the totals costs of your total sales within each period. (4)
VAR 1: Using classical hierarchies
Edit 12-Jan-18: Code and file updated (robustness & speed)
Handling multilevel bill of materials (BOM) without VBA in Excel and PowerBI is now a piece of cake: Just pass 4 parameters into the M-function below and it will return a table that holds everything you need for:
Order list (“total quantities”)
3. Implosion (“where used”): Will be covered in next blogpost
The format of the input-data for this function needs to be like the example used from the Adventure Works 2008-database, where all products on the top of the hierarchy also have an entry in the child-column (the components), leaving the parent column blank:
Welcome to the last part of my Easy Profit & Loss series where I will cover KPIs in rows & columns:
1) KPIs in columns
Show all your figures as a percent of turnover for example: Nice & easy: Divide current figure by the total sum of turnover:
ALL ( IndividualAccountsLayout ),
IndividualAccountsLayout[Description in Report] = “Income”
We need to leave the current row context to retrieve the turnover-value in each row, therefore the ALL.
2) KPIs in rows
Reading Rob Collie’s latest cool blogpost on how to retrieve slicer selections in Power BI, I couldn’t stop thinking of how awesome it would be, if we could use this technique to pass slicer selections as query parameters to the M-queries in the query editor. Not only would we have a very convenient user interface, but – what’s actually more important at the moment – we could pass multiple values as parameters to our queries, as this is not possible at all currently:
But how to fetch them? Rob’s post simply uses cross-filtering to show the values in a separate visual. In Excel we have cubefunctions where we can pass the slicer(-selection) as a parameter. Igor Cotruta, who is describing beautiful PBI-hacks on his blog here, kindly helped me out on this: “Via DMVs. Check $system.discover_sessions for the field sessions_last_command”. This worked perfectly into the following function, in which you just have to pass the name of the measure as a parameter:
Make sure that you have used that measure on one of your visuals, as otherwise the function cannot harvest it. Also you have to first save the file and then push the refresh-button in order to trigger the correct refresh. The above function sort of “reads the current PBI file from outside”, so it will only see the saved version.
When you do the first refresh, a dialogue will pop up, where you just have to accept the default values like this:
The example in the file below fetches temperature data where every selected year will create a unique URL and the results of all those calls is consolidated into one table. But of course, this technique can also be used to pass multiple parameter values to SQL-commands or others.
A final note: The query to extract the slicer parameters from the DAX-statement is not particularly robust and you might have to adjust it, if your slicer-selection-strings contain special characters.
Download for logged-in subscribers:
Edit 25-Sep-2017: Adjusted the code to retrieve PortID.
Also: You have to disable privacy-settings for this code to run!
- If you create a new measure or adjust this file to your settings, you have to use the new measure in report somewhere and save the file. This is necessary to “initialize” the measure to your model so that it can be seen in the query editor.
- From then on, when you use it: Just change the selection in your slicer and click “Refresh”
Enjoy & stay queryious 🙂
In finance & accounting, you very rarely report the figures with the signs of their source systems, but switch (certain) signs according to different needs. Instead of using unary operators for it, I’ll present an easy and dynamic way for it in Power BI and Power Pivot using DAX. It will cover the following 3 main scenarios:
- 1_SwitchAll: All signs are switched (red)
- 2_SwitchExpLiab: Expenses and liabilities are switched back to their original values (green)
- 3_BWT_Indiv: Only the main figure for expenses (or liabilities) carries a minus, all following positions specifying the expenses are (principally) reported as positives (blue)
Switching signs in Power BI and Power Pivot without unary operators
I’m using the sample data from this article but changed the source-data to a double-bookkeeping structure. There signs are used and the transaction entries in your ledger table always add up to zero. This is a method that prevents errors when posting and can also be used to prevent errors in reporting. If you keep the signs in your reporting system, all you have to do is add up the relevant figures and the returned (absolute) figures will always be correct. If you have read my previous articles on Easy P&L, you have seen this method in action: No minus-operation there, just a simple stupid adding of all accounts who fall into several (sub-) total categories via the bridge-table.
The Account-table also contains of (sub-) totals and the column “AccountType” shows if the positions are regarded as Turnover (Revenue) or Expenses:
My values on “1_SwitchAll” corresponds to “FinalValue” in the article above. The revenues come from consultancy and coursed provided. But the revenue for courses don’t just consist of attendee rates, but the costs for catering and paid instructors shall be deducted (highlighted in yellow). So the “good” numbers that contribute to cash in your pocket shall be reported without a sign and the “bad” numbers that result in an outflow of cash shall be reported with a minus. Within the expenses category, the costs carry a minus and the travel refunds (highlighted in orange), which are cash positive, are reported as positives.
Another requirement that is often used for balance-sheet-reporting or reports that only report on cost-situations, require that the costs or liabilities are reported without signs. … Principally, because the reimbursements/cost deductions shall be reported with an opposite sign (to show the adverse effect to the cashflow). This is what “2_SwitchExpLiab” shows (not covered in the article).
Last but not least comes a typical “BossWantsThat”-requirement: Basically some strange stuff that you just have to deliver. Here the main categories “Revenues” and “Expenses” shall be shown with the signs that reflect the cash-direction, but all specifications that follow below shall be reported without signs (again: Principally, because positions with opposite cash-effects than the main category shall carry inverted signs).
Reporting techniques covered with this approach
If you use DAX to flatten Parent-Child hierarchies you will end up with a table that has a static number of columns (like described here). If you need a dynamic solution instead, which creates just as many level-columns as there are needed for the current data, you can use DAX’s helper-tool Power Query (or Get Data in Excel) or the query-editor in PowerBI, which uses the language M.
Another advantage of this solution is that you can script the table creation in one step (only flaw: You still need to manually adjust your hierarchy though): But it saves time in creating the table, especially if you have many levels.
Update 2017-Dec-2: It also handles multiple parents now.
2 simple steps
- copy the following function,
- add a new step to your current table where you call this function, filling in the following parameters:
- table name (which is the name of the previous step in your M-query)
- name of the column with the child-key
- name of the column with the parent-key
- name of the column who’s values shall be shown in the levels (can also be child-key)
And this is the code:
Here comes some long awaited comfort functions for part 2 of my easy P&L series. In the first section I’ve presented the general principle on how to work with a structure using an accounts-group-table. Today I will present 2 alternatives to define the reports without specifying single accounts. So if a new accounts are added to the chart of accounts, you don’t have to adjust your report definitions: Just make sure that to fill in all the fields in your account-group-table and you’re ready to go 🙂
No need to specify single accounts
So you only need to adjust your report definitions if you add new group items. If that’s still too much, take the 2nd solution, which will even eliminate that requirement:
- Individual Account Layout: Just define each subtotal and determine for which subtotals single accounts shall be shown
No more specification of individual accounts
How to use it:
How to use Individual Report Layout
2. Ultrashort Account Layout: Further simplification of just defining the groups (hierarchy) that shall be shown (with option to filter on one of them)
No need to define individual group items
How to use it:
How to use Ultrashort Layout
So these 2 different layouts will both produce the same reports incl. all accounts – just like in the first example. So you can choose which layout-style suits you best – actually, you can use all 3 in parallel. You just have to make sure to grab your pivot-rows from the correct tables and in Excel to grab the matching measures, as they all have their own bridge-tables (which need to be used in the measures):
How it works