Power BI field parameters are a new feature in Power BI Desktop, and it’s one of the best of the past months. In short, Power BI field parameters allow you to easily switch between dimensions attributes or measures in a filter. Previously, you had to do all sorts of DAX wizardry to make this happen, but now it’s just a couple of clicks.
The goal of this blog post is not to tell you exactly how they work, but rather showcase an interesting use case. You can find more info about Power BI field parameters in the official blog post, but also here, here and here. The use case I’m talking about is slowly changing dimensions of Type 2, you know, the one where we insert a record for every change. Often, I also include an extra column for each column of which we’re tracking history: the “current value column”. For example, if we keep history of the department for an employee, I have a column “CurrentDepartment”. If a type 2 change occurs, the values of this columns are updated to the last known value for this dimension member. This allows to answer different types of questions, because sometimes users are interested in the historical values, but sometimes they just want to know the current value.
Read on for the use case as well as how you might combine field parameters with the idea of current values on type-2 slowly changing dimensions.