Make a Power BI measure table by creating a blank table. It’s a quick and easy way to keep measures organized in your reporting dashboard. Add folders and naming conventions to keep measures or columns grouped together to speed up dashboard development.
We’ll also look at some external Power BI tools for pro level development work which make it easy for you to create lots of measures and provide a better environment for programming complex DAX formulas than what is natively available in Power BI.
To create a measure table, Click “Enter Data” from the Home tab of the Power BI ribbon. A new blank table will be created. Name it “Measure Table”. Select the new table on the data panel prior to creating a New Measure to place it there. Measures can later be moved by changing their “Home Table”.
Creating a measure table only takes a few moments, and combining it with the use of folders will help keep developers organized.
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Let’s take a look at why you should care about Measure Tables!
Why You Should Use Power BI Measure Table
Measure tables enable Power BI dashboards to have a cleaner working space, keep table columns separate from calculated values, and help keep developers organized when combined with folders, and standardized naming conventions.
Grouping measures in one place also makes it easier for you to identify a similar measure that can be copied to create a new one. This reduces the amount of time spent writing DAX and helps you publish a report faster than otherwise would be possible.
Organization is also key for long term dashboard maintenance and enabling others within your organization to modify it in the future.
Once setup, a measure table will look similar to the screenshot below
This example utilizes a folder and naming convention to keep measures organized. While our example is simple, it becomes much more impressive when creating complex dashboards with many different measures and groups of measures.
The first step in creasing a measure table is to generate a new blank table.
How to Create a Blank Table in Power BI
To create a blank table, click on Enter Data from the Home section of the Power BI Ribbon.
You will be prompted to enter data in, this is completely optional.
The Enter Data tool is typically meant as a fast way to type data in for index tables, or to copy and paste from an Excel file directly into Power BI. Once a table is created, it becomes part of the .pbix file.
Name the new table and click on Load
Once the table is generated, you will see it in the Data Panel of Power BI.
After the measure table is created, delete the extra column to keep things clean.
You can create new measures in the Measure Table by selecting it and clicking on New Measure.
Note: Don’t forget to click on the Measure Table when creating a New Measure or else you will have to move it!
It happens all the time, and luckily is an easy fix.
How to Move Measures Between Tables in Power BI
New measures are created in the table that you have selected at the time that you click on the New Measure button. This can either be convenient or frustrating if you often forget to click on the measure table prior to generating the new measure.
You can move measures between tables by selecting the measure from the data panel, and selecting the measure.
This will automatically take you to the Measure Tools section of the Power BI Ribbon.
On the left side, update the Home Table to the table that you want to move the measure to.
Measures can be moved between tables by using the drop-down menu.
While you can’t move measures between folders this way, folders are a great way to keep measures even more organized after they’ve been assigned to the correct table.
Placing Power BI Measures in Folders
The best way to create folders to group measures is to create a Display Folder under the Relationship Screen.
Note: This technique is not limited to measures, you can also group fields or columns together to make them easier to find while developing your Power BI report.
From the relationships tab
Click on the measures you want to group into a folder.
Hold down Shift or CTRL to multi-select field names at the same time.
In the properties panel, assign them to a Display Folder
After you press Enter, the Display folder is created in the Measure Table that is shown in the relationship tab. There are some additional options
Embrace Naming Conventions for Custom Measures
If you’re working with a large number of measures, have them on their own measure table, grouped into folders the next thing is to make sure that you have a standard naming convention in use.
Here are some common naming conventions that are used in both programming and DAX development.
It’s up to you on which one you should use. If it’s a simple data model, we would lean towards using Common Names with Spaces for easy readability.
However, we would lean more towards PascalCase if we were writing lots of DAX formulas. It’s easy to read, and requires less thought of whether to include a space in a table name or typing an underscore.
|PascalCase||Each word is capitalized, no underscores between words. Often used for naming functions, tables, and measures.|
|camelCase||First word is lower-case, each following word is capitalized. Often used for local variables.|
|Descriptive Names||Names clearly describe what the measure, table, or function represents.|
|Prefix/Suffix Usage||Prefixes/suffixes help clarify the type of object or its use case.|
|Common Name with Spaces||Uses common language and includes spaces for easy readability. Mostly used in field names that appear in visuals.|
How to Create Lots of Power BI Measures Efficiently
These tools include many powerful features that extend the useful of Power BI.
One of the more interesting ones is setting up calculation groups. It allows you to setup one set of measures, add it to a visual and feed the other field values into it so you can use one set of measures many times without hard coding field values directly into it.
The Guy in a Cube guys do a great job of explaining it in action.
DAX Studio and Tabular Editor also have many other features to help optimize Power BI files, troubleshoot DAX, a more fully featured DAX editor than what comes standard in Power BI along with tons of other great features.
Create a date table in Power BI by creating a new blank table. The table is available for you to create or move measures onto it. Assign measures to folders with Display Folders in the Relationship Builder. Go a step further by implementing naming conventions to make it easier and faster to identify measures.
If you find yourself writing a massive amount of DAX measures and want to speed up the process, take a look at third party tools that are designed for power users and DAX programmers.