Breaking Down Trend Analysis in Power BI Using DAX

Hey there, data enthusiasts! Isn’t it awesome when you can show off trends and how they evolve over time? It’s a game-changer for your clients and decision-makers. In this post, I’m gonna walk you through how to use conditional formatting in Power BI tables to bring those insights to life. Guess what? To showcase trend analysis in Power BI, we gotta crunch some numbers and calculate growth rates.

This is where the DAX formula language comes into play. I’m gonna show you how to use a mix of formulas, including time intelligence calculations, to get the right results. Cool, right?

Let’s Talk About Quarterly Sales Growth

First off, we’re gonna start with Total Sales and try to find out the growth from one quarter to the next. We’ll create a measure and get the sales per quarter. Now, we gotta dust off our time machine and compare the current quarter with the one before it. For instance, what’s the difference between Q3 2015 and Q2 2015? If you see a bunch of negative numbers, you can spot a downward trend in your sales and do something about it.

To do this, we’ll create a table named Quarterly Sales Growth, divide our Total Sales, use the CALCULATE function, and then add the DATEADD function to jump back a quarter. We add in the alternative result of 0, and then subtract 1 to get the percentage growth.

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Now, Let’s Track Product Growth

What about if we wanna see trends in specific products? Well, first, we get rid of Sales and turn this into a matrix. Next, we find our Products and put it in Rows. Now we can see the growth per product for every single quarter. But how do we make this visually appealing? Enter Conditional Formatting. You just put in a number on the Minimum and Maximum fields and assign a color to them. Once you’re done, you can see how our products are doing quarter after quarter.

And What About Monthly Trends?

Doing this for a monthly basis is a piece of cake too! Just copy and paste the table and measure we were working on, rename it to Monthly Sales Growth, and change what DATEADD is qualifying from Quarter to Month. Add in the Month and Year numbers to our table, change the format to percentage, and apply Conditional Formatting.

Let’s say we’re managing a retail store or a supermarket. We need to spot trends quickly. If there are lots of negative numbers, then we have a problem and need to figure out what’s going on with these particular products. But if the numbers are going up, then we need to figure out what we’re doing right with these products and see if we can apply them to those that are not doing so well.

Wrapping Up

If you’re just starting out with formulas inside of Power BI, check out Mastering DAX Calculations at Enterprise DNA Online. This course covers all the ‘need to knows’ around DAX. Using DAX effectively is super important in Power BI. Any quality analytical insight and trend analysis in Power BI can be achieved by implementing DAX well and having a data model which is built correctly with the right relationships.

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Remember, tables inside Power BI are more than just a static table of information. They’re dynamic, they show your results based on the filters applied to your reports, and they have some good conditional formatting options. Plus, they can also be used as a filter inside your report. So many options to use these effectively to showcase great insights.

Lastly, don’t forget about tables for showing granular levels of detail. You might have your bar or column chart aggregate information up, but then you may also want to see every single sale or transaction and examine the details of that. Tables are perfect for this. All similar techniques can be applied across both from a visualization perspective. Drop a comment below if you have any thoughts or feedback.