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Guidance on SUMMARIZE() and ADDCOLUMNS() in DAX

Marco Russo has some advice for us:

Everyone using DAX is probably used to SQL query language. Because of the similarities between Tabular data modeling and relational data modeling, there is the expectation that you can perform the same operations as those allowed in SQL. However, in its current implementation DAX does not permit all the operations that you can perform in SQL. This article describes how to use ADDCOLUMNS and SUMMARIZE, which can be used in any DAX expression, including measures. For DAX queries, you should consider using SUMMARIZECOLUMNS, starting with the Introducing SUMMARIZECOLUMNS article. You can also read the All the secrets of Summarize article for more insights about inner workings of SUMMARIZE.

Read on to see how it all works.