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Month: May 2021

Turning On and Off Calculations in Power BI Visuals

Phil Seamark has a clever workaround:

Power BI doesn’t yet have a feature that allows end-users to turn on/off the ability to process calculations for visuals on a report page until they are ready. Most of the time, this is perfectly fine – however, in some instances, it can be handy to disable long-running and heavy calculations from running. At the same time filters/slicers are get selected.

The scenario you most likely want to have this control is when your model uses Direct Query mode against large tables in data sources that charge you for query processing. Even if your Direct Query data source does not charge per query, having a user make quick-fire selections over several slicers can potentially saturate a back-end data-source and unnecessarily chew up resources.

Read on to understand how to use calculation groups to do this, as well as the limitations around this solution.

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Measuring DirectQuery Performance

Chris Webb shows how you can use the Performance analyzer in Power BI to measure DirectQuery performance:

If you have a slow DirectQuery report in Power BI one of the first questions you need to ask is how long the SQL queries that Power BI generates take to run. This is a more complicated question to answer than you might think, though, and in this post I’ll explain why.

I happen to have access to some of the famous New York taxi data in a Snowflake database, and in there is a table with trip data that has 173 million rows that I have a built a Power BI dataset from. The data and the database used are not really important here though – what is important is that it’s DirectQuery and a large-ish amount of data.

Read on for more information on how it all works.

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