Power BI Blog: Field Parameters – Part 1
8 September 2022
Welcome back to this week’s edition of the Power BI blog series. This week, we take a look at Field Parameters, a new feature recently added to Power BI. We start by creating a new Field Parameter.
Until recently, allowing users to dynamically change the dimensions and scales on charts in Power BI reports required some serious DAX knowledge. However, since the arrival of Field Parameters, there is a function specifically designed for this purpose. Users may dynamically adjust the measures or columns being analysed in a report by using Field Parameters. Even better, Field Parameters are easy to set up. We just choose the measures or columns the readers would want to change, and this feature can assist report readers to explore and personalise the report output.
First things first: before we can use this powerful yet simple feature, we need to check we have enabled it. To make sure we have access to this functionality, we must ensure that the Power BI Desktop app is up to date. If the app was installed from the Microsoft Store, it will be updated automatically. If the app has been installed from www.powerbi.com, then it’s necessary to check that any updates have been applied.
To use the preview features on Power BI Desktop, we navigate to File -> Options & settings -> Options > Preview features. The box next to ‘Field parameters’ should be checked to enable this feature.
If we are enabling Field Parameters, we check it, then click OK and restart Power BI Desktop as prompted. Now we have enabled the functionality, we can create our first Field Parameter. In the Modelling tab, we select New parameter > Fields.
In our example, our variable will adjust measures, so we select ‘Fields’ from the dropdown. A dialog appears:
At this point we can ‘Learn more’ from the Microsoft help pages if we wish. We also have access to the previous dropdown, where we can change from ‘Fields’ to ‘Numeric range’. We are going to use Fields, and we name the parameter ‘Choices’. The next step is to choose the fields we need to build the parameter. In our example, we've chosen ‘Total Amount’, ‘Total Sales’, and ‘% Var’.
To select the fields, we click on a measure or column in the Fields section. The fields appear in the ‘Add and reorder fields’ section in the order selected. The display name of any of the fields in the ‘Add and reorder fields’ section can be changed by double-clicking on the field:
It is also possible to reorder the fields by clicking and dragging them in the ‘Add and reorder fields’ section. To delete a field from this section, we can use the ‘X’ icon next to the field name, or uncheck the field in the Fields section.
If the ‘Add slicer to this page’ option is selected, we will create a slicer on the page as soon as we click on the Create button.
We have created our first slicer using a Field Parameter! Next time, we will look at how to edit existing Field Parameters.
Check back next week for more Power BI tips and tricks!