Power BI: Visiting Ideas 4 – Dynamic Date Slicer
25 October 2018
October is Ideas month for our Power BI blog! If you haven’t been there yet, go check out ideas.powerbi.com. This is essentially the suggestion box for Power BI, where users can submit great ideas that they’d like to see and vote on other ideas that they agree with. The more votes for an idea, the more likely it is for the Power BI team to start implementing it into the product.
This week, we’re looking at a suggestion from sdjensen who has asked for a “Dynamic Date Slicer”. At the moment, there is the ability to use a Date field in a Slicer to select values that relate to “This Month” or “This Year”. The suggestion is effectively setting up the Slicer to automatically pick up the range of dates relating to the year to date, quarter to date, and so on.
This is a practical solution to a common problem. There are many time periods that people will commonly search for – “Today’s sales”, “This week’s sales”, “Year to date sales”. This is only thinking about historical data – if you have forecast data, then you may want to pick up “Next week” and “Next month”, or even “Rest of This Month”.
Of course, there are practical challenges with this too. If you’re measuring year to date, are you counting from 1 January or 1 July? One of the criticisms of the existing relative date slicer is that “This Year” will measure from this specific date (e.g. 25 October 2017 to 25 October 2018) instead of looking at whole months (e.g. 1 October 2017). Perhaps the Power BI team could incorporate settings that could easily be changed and updated to allow for that sort of tweaking and flexibility.
For now, the answer would be to create DAX formulae that answer the questions for us, but a slicer that could make it would automatically would certainly be a welcome addition.
Check back next week for more Power BI tips and tricks!