BI is a very popular business intelligence platform, and the reasons for this are not far-fetched. The most important feature of this business analysis platform is that it can offer a bevy of helpful insights into your business. You can have a good idea about competition in the market, customer behavior, price sensitivity of sales, and more. Also, it can connect with multiple data sources and possesses AI capabilities.
Notwithstanding the benefits of Power BI, comprehensive knowledge of DAX functionality is essential to reap the benefits of this platform. DAX functions offer a range of functionalities that help in deriving deep insights. One of the most important features of Power BI is that it offers the ability to frame a variety of statements that, can bring out hidden patterns in multiple forms of data.
Power BI is pretty, effective when it comes to,culling basic insightful information. However, organizations nowadays need more.In other words, they need analyzing information hinged on various categories; calculating percentage growth, annual growth,in comparison to peers and/or last year, and the like.
This brings in the need for a further level of competence that mayprovide detailed charts and visualization.Also, provide repliesfor real-life business queries.This is made possible, with Data Analysis Expressions (DAX).They are an array of functions, constants, and operators which would be used as formulas,for doing calculations of different values, based on available data.
Why Should You Learn DAX?
The Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) language offers a chance for power BI developers to generate visualizations using aggregations &complex logic. Simply said, without learning DAX you can lose the potential to create, out of the box visualizations and reports;to enable providing for deeper insight barring the typical drag and drop reports.
DAX cannot be considered a programming language though. It is mainly a formula language and at the same time is, a query language. DAX can be applied to define custom calculations, for Calculated Columns and for Calculated Fields (also referred to as measures).
DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) allow for generating new information from existing information or data. The existing information could be at detail level.By implementing DAX,a user can generate information for instance aggregated, summarized and so on.
DAX has some inherent benefits like:
- Fast processing and representation of data
- Makesdashboard intelligent and fast
- Reaches beyond Power BI to other Microsoft products
- Balances out coding skills and offers advanced calculations
- DAX formulas provide for effective query making
- Offers superlative user experience
Functions In DAX
You can make a range of queries in the database, and some functions make this possible. “IF” is a very popular statement in Power BI. A power bi if statement can help you arrive at new columns involving multiple conditions.
Having said that, you need to be very adept in framing IF Statements if you need to add new columns with different parameters. This kind of a statement can be extremely useful in Power Query conditional column.
Other Powerful Functions
Notwithstanding the power of the IF statement, it is not the only versatile function in DAX. There are more. In Power BI you can make queries in two ways - in terms of the DAX function and the Power Query tool. Both of these helps to add new columns based on conditions.
This helps users to easily perform common, but powerful calculations. It runs a set of DAX commands behind the scenes and presents the results in the form of a report. You don't need to write the DAX commands; it is there for you based on the inputs you have provided in the dialog box. You can find different categories of calculations.
Moreover, you can modify each calculation depending on your needs. Also, you can see the function executed by the quick measure command and enhance your DAX knowledge.
This function allows the user to compare different periods. You may require performing, such calculations in different data models such as while comparing Year-to-date, comparing different periods, the same period last year, etc. You can also compare two custom periods by choosing the periods with the slicer in Power BI.
This is possible both in terms of duration and start. So, if you want to compare sales in a particular month this year with the whole of the previous year you can take the help of times comparison facility. Since the periods have different durations, you need to normalize the values of 2008 using a factor. This would help in making the numbers comparable to each other.
Mathematical and Trigonometric Functions
These functions are just the same as the mathematical and trigonometric functions of Microsoft Excel. They maybe applied to carry out all kinds of calculations in Power BI. Following are the common mathematical and trigonometry functions:
DAX ABS function: The function returns absolute value of a respective number;in other words,it will purge the sign from the number.
DAX SQRT function:SQRT function will return the square root of a provided number.
Why DAX Is Important in Power BI?
It’s important to use the DAX functions in Power BI since they will allow the power bi developers, implement the functionalities such as data transformation and visualization. With a little understanding of the Power BI interface, you will be able to produce effective reports and share the same online. Nevertheless, for calculation and dimensional analysis, you have to be familiar about, how Power BI DAX functions are carried out.
For instance, you may calculate the growth percentage and visualize the growth percentage in diverse regions of a country;for comparing the data over the years. DAX in Power BI allow the developers in producing new measures.That in turn allowsa business to spot the problems and find relevant solutions.
Power BI in DAX comprises a library of 200+ components,providing enhanced flexibility to create measures that can helpobtain the desired results.
MDX Vs DAX
MDX is applied to query data from a cube.On the other hand,DAX is an expression language and so won’t be used that way. MDX can be used to query against SSAS multidimensional models.Opposingly, DAX is used for SSAS tabular models. DAX offer support for direct queries but MDX won’t.
If you want deeper insight into your business performance and wondering, as to which business intelligence function will help you, you can go for power bi. However, there is a lot to learn in power bi. It offers a host of functionalities that can help you compare your present sales with different periods in the past. You can also draw insights using IF statements. Also, you can use quick measure command to run a set of powerful calculations behind the scenes, and also get to know the calculations it is doing. Different categories of calculations are possible. Also, you can modify the calculations depending on your requirement. Just make sure you have a solid grip over the functions in DAX.Overall, DAX in Power BI works as a catalyst in providing an augmented experience to Power BI users. That is not to say that developers cannot use Power BI without DAX.However, if DAX functions are implemented, it causes, a big boom, to the outcomes that are obtainedwith applying the various kinds of different functions. To conclude, Power BI is benefited significantly with DAX, and it has a great use for the POWER BI user.