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Category: Power BI

Building a Dual-Axis Line Chart in Power BI

Matt Allington shows how you can build a dual-axis line chart in Power BI:

Unfortunately, Power BI does not support a dual axis line chart as a standard visual at this time. The good news however is there is a custom visual called “Multiple Axes chart by xViz” that can do this in Power BI.  This visual has been around for a while, but there have been some formatting issues (in my view) that prevented it being a solution to this problem – that is now fixed).  I will demonstrate how to set up a dual axis charge using the Adventure Works database and this visual.

Honestly, I’m pretty happy that Power BI does not support a dual-axis line chart. It is the cause of so many instances of spurious correlation that I’d err on the side of not including multiple axes.

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Building Custom Sort Orders in Power BI

Reza Rad shows us how to perform custom sorting in Power BI:

I have previously written about how to sort a column by another column, and I used Month Names as an example. However, still, many are unaware that the same technique with slight modifications can be applied to any other columns. You can have a text column in your slicer (product category for example), and sort it based on a different order than the normal alphabetical order. In this post, I am going to show you how to do a custom sort order for a column in Power BI.

There are a few important considerations, so check out Reza’s post.

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Power BI: Visual has Exceeded the Available Resources

Chris Webb explains why you might see an error in Power BI:

This visual has exceeded the available resources. Try filtering to decrease the amount of data displayed.Please try again later or contact support. If you contact support, please provide these details.More details Resource Governing: The query exceeded the maximum memory allowed for queries executed in the current workload group (Requested 1048580KB, Limit 1048576KB).

The official Power BI documentation has similar advice to what’s shown in this dialog about what to do here, but what’s really going on?

The information in the “More details” section of the section dialog gives you a clue: in this case it’s resource governance. When you run a DAX query in Power BI it will always use a certain amount of memory; inefficient DAX calculations can cause a query to try to grab a lot of memory. In Power BI Desktop these queries may run successfully but be slow, but the Power BI Service can’t just let a query use as many resources as it wants (if it did, it may affect the performance of other queries being run by other users) so there is a resource governor that will kill queries that are too resource hungry. In the case of the visual above the query behind it tried to use more than 1GB of memory and was killed by the resource governor.

Read on to understand where these limits are and how you can modify them.

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Copying Measure Definitions in Power BI

Erik Svensen takes us through an oddity in Power BI’s user interface:

Here is an idea you can vote for if you would find it useful as well –

So we end up copying the formula from text in the formula bar

And click new measure and Paste it into the formula bar

But 8 of 10 times nothing is pasted (at least when I select) – WHY ???

This is a strange user experience. But regardless, I find it odd that you can’t copy a measure definition. If this is odd to you as well, upvote the Power BI suggestion.

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Reporting on Power BI Report Usage

Gilbert Quevauvilliers looks at the outputs of Get-PowerBIActivityEvent and visualizes them for us:

I have been working on implementing changes with the new PowerShell script Get-PowerBIActivityEvent from the Power BI team.

One of the awesome things is that I noticed that there are some additional fields in the data extract. This then allowed me to be able to provide additional reporting insights. For example, which reports, and dashboards are consumed via an App!

If you’re in a Power BI-heavy shop, this could be quite useful information.

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Using ACLs to Secure Azure Data Lake Data

Matthew Roche takes us through access control lists (ACLs) in Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 and how they apply to Power BI:

Earlier this week I received a question from a customer on how to get Power BI to work with data in ADLSg2 that is  secured using ACLs. I didn’t know the answer, but I knew who would know, and I looped in Ben Sack from the dataflows team.Ben answered the customer’s questions and unblocked their efforts, and he said that I could turn them into a blog post. Thank you, Ben!

Read on for the answer.

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Getting Folder Names in Power BI

Reza Rad shows us something new in Power Query:

There are times that you need to get the list of FOLDERS and not just files. Of course folder itself (without considering files in it), doesn’t contain data to be used for a report. However, sometimes, even the folder name might contain some useful information. The Get Data From Folder option in Power BI will just give you a list of files. There is a little trick that can help you to get a list of folders. Let me show you how.

There’s a fair bit to it, so click through and read the whole thing.

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Refreshing Power BI from Your Outlook Calendar

Chris Webb has a nice use for Power Automate and Outlook:

The ideal way to view when multiple events are scheduled is a calendar and we’ve got great calendar functionality in Outlook. What if you could schedule refresh of your datasets from a calendar in Outlook? It turns out to be easier than you might think! Here’s how.

Read the whole thing, including Chris’s warning not to put it into production. You wouldn’t want the person with all of those calendar entries to leave your company and have things suddenly break, after all.

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Why Use Aggregations in Power BI

Kasper de Jonge has five reasons why you should use Power BI aggregations:

A lot has already been written on aggregations and it is one of the most exciting features of Power BI in a while. The guys at SQLBI did a session on it and my colleague Phil Seamark wrote an amazing host of articles with many details and tips and tricks on it. So why another article? Most people think aggregations is only applicable to petabyte scale data sets. That doesn’t have to be the true though, in this blog post I wanted to give my take on it and why it might be applicable to your current, smaller, model.

Read on for those reasons.

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Learning About the Power BI Activity Log

David Eldersveld takes us through the new Power BI activity log:

What is this activity data, and how is it valuable?

The audit/activity log data contains details for every interaction that users in your tenant have with the Power BI service ( Activities such as viewing reports, publishing apps, modifying gateway data sources, changing workspace security, and dozens of others have records broken out by user and timestamp.

Using this data, organizations not only know who does what and at what time. You can move beyond a simple audit trail to measure how well Power BI adoption is progressing at your enterprise. In this case, adoption targets for a group’s collective number of touchpoints can be compared to the actuals obtained from the logs—even down to the individual object level. Using the logs in this manner by combining actuals to targets, BlueGranite often finds underutilized reports or other opportunities to improve adoption.

Read on for more info about what it does, how it differs from the Office 365 audit log, and more.

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