Skinny Experiences, Actual-world Challenges – BI Perception

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Power BI Thin Reports, Real-world Challenges

I beforehand defined in a weblog submit what skinny reviews are and why we must always care about them. I additionally defined Report Stage Measures in one other weblog submit. On this submit, I attempt to elevate some real-world challenges we face when growing skinny reviews. I additionally present an answer to these challenges.

Report Stage Measure Associated Challenges

Creating and utilizing Report Stage Measures is comparatively straightforward, however there are some challenges that we face on occasion, similar to:

  • Distinguishing Report Stage Measures from Dataset Stage Measures
  • Report Stage Measure dependencies

Figuring out Report Stage Measures from Dataset Stage Measures

One of many challenges that Energy BI Builders face is creating many report stage measures. Sadly, Energy BI Desktop presently makes use of the identical iconography for each varieties of measures, making it onerous to tell apart the precise measures created throughout the dataset from the report stage measures. It will get much more difficult if we have to write technical documentation for an current skinny report. We’ve to open the PBIX file of the skinny report within the Energy BI Desktop and click on each single measure. If the expression bar seems, the chosen measure is a report stage measure; in any other case, it’s a dataset stage measure.

So except we use third-party instruments, which I clarify on this submit, we should undergo the handbook course of.

Report Stage Measure dependencies

One other ache level associated to the earlier problem is discovering the dependencies between the report stage measures. It’s essential to concentrate on the interdependencies when doing affect evaluation. We have to perceive how a change in a report stage measure impacts different report stage measures. Once more, Energy BI Desktop doesn’t presently have any choices supporting that, so we’ve to click on each measure and skim by way of the DAX expressions to establish the dependencies or use the third-party instruments to save lots of growth time.

Dataset and Skinny Experiences Dependency Challenges

The opposite challenges are much more tough to beat relate to interdependencies between datasets and skinny reviews. Energy BI Service offers a lineage view that reveals the dependencies between a dataset and its related skinny reviews. However the challenges can get extra complicated to beat manually. The next are some real-world examples of extra complicated conditions:

  • What if we have to analyse the affect of adjustments in a dataset measure on all report stage measures of the related skinny reviews?
  • How can we analyse the affect of adjustments on a dataset measure on all related skinny reviews, together with the visuals, filters, and many others…?
  • What if we have to tune the efficiency and we wish to discover a checklist of all unused tables or unused fields?

As you’ll be able to see, the state of affairs can get fairly complicated, so handbook operations are just about not possible.

However there’s a third get together instrument we are able to use which offers heaps of capabilities with a few clicks.

Introducing A Third Social gathering Software That Can Assist

Thankfully, there’s a third get together instrument that may assist to resolve all of the above challenges. The Information Vizioner staff, myself included, labored onerous to implement an add-on for Energy BI Documenter that helps skinny reviews. Let’s get to it and see the way it works.

Getting a Record of Report Stage Measures and Their DAX Expressions utilizing Energy BI Documenter

We are able to presently use the out-of-box characteristic to get all report stage measures and their DAX expressions within the Energy BI Documenter with out activating any add-ons. All you could do is create an account should you haven’t already achieved so. As you might know, Energy BI Documenter presently accepts Energy BI Template recordsdata (PBIT); so you could open the skinny report in Energy BI Desktop and export it to PBIT, then observe these steps:

  1. Login to Energy BI Documenter
Logging into Power BI Documenter
Logging into Energy BI Documenter
  1. Click on the Add PBIT button
  2. Click on Browse and choose the PBIT file to add
Uploading PBIT files to Power BI Documenter
Importing PBIT recordsdata to Energy BI Documenter
  1. The Documenter detects the report kind is a skinny report
Power BI Documenter Detects the uploaded file is a Thin Report
Energy BI Documenter Detects the uploaded file is a Skinny Report
  1. Click on the skinny report and navigate to the Mannequin tab
  2. Increase the Report Stage Measures part
  3. Click on the Obtain as CSV file button
Getting a list of Report Level Measures and related DAX expressions
Getting an inventory of Report Stage Measures and associated DAX expressions

As proven within the previous picture, you’ll be able to see the report stage measures, their DAX expressions, and the visuals utilizing them.

However wait, what in regards to the different challenges we simply mentioned, the dataset to all skinny reviews dependencies, used and unused fields, and many others?

Allow us to see how Energy BI Documenter can assist with these.

Skinny Report Add-on for Energy BI Documenter

As talked about, we labored onerous at Information Vizioner to organize an add-on for Energy BI Documenter. After activating the add-on in your Energy BI Documenter account, a brand new Analyse button seems on the highest proper of the Recordsdata web page.

Allow us to add a number of skinny reviews and their associated dataset recordsdata (PBIT) within the Documenter and see how straightforward it’s to get all of the dependencies in a few clicks:

  1. Click on the Add PBIT file button
  2. Click on Browse
  3. Choose all required PBIT recordsdata, together with the PBIT containing the dataset and all associated skinny reviews
  4. Click on Open
Uploading multiple PBIT files to Power BI Documenter
Importing a number of PBIT recordsdata to Energy BI Documenter

After the recordsdata are uploaded into the documented, the documented robotically detects the file kind as beneath:

Now, allow us to choose the dataset and all associated skinny reviews:

  1. Click on the ellipsis button on the specified file
  2. Click on the Choose associated reviews from the context menu
Selecting the dataset and all related thin reports in one go
Deciding on the dataset and all associated skinny reviews in a single go
  1. Now that every one associated reviews and their dataset are chosen, click on the Analyse button
  2. Choose the specified possibility from the menu, the Documenter presently helps the next 4 choices:
    • Unused tables: downloads a CSV file containing an inventory of the tables from the dataset that none of their fields is used wherever throughout the dataset itself and all chosen skinny reviews
    • Unused fields: downloads a CSV file containing an inventory of all unused fields together with columns, calculated columns, measures, and report stage measures
    • Used tables: downloads a CSV file containing an inventory of the tables that not less than one in all their fields is used someplace throughout the dataset itself or any of the chosen skinny reviews
    • Used fields: downloads a CSV file containing an inventory of the fields which might be used someplace both throughout the dataset or any of the chosen skinny reviews or their report stage measures
Analysing the dataset and all selected thin reports
Analysing the dataset and all chosen skinny reviews

There you go! You’ve got it. Within the subsequent part, we clarify what the CSV recordsdata give us.

The Definition of Used and Unused

Because the previous picture reveals, we analyse the information into the next 4 classes:

  • Unused tables
  • Unused fields
  • Used tables
  • Used fields

To know these classes we’ve to have a definition for used objects the place the objects are Tabular mannequin objects. We presently do not issue the Energy Question objects and their interdependencies within the evaluation. So, whereas we’ve confidence within the output, it is crucial for the customers to know that they should sense examine earlier than deleting the unused objects from their mannequin.

The Definition of Used Fields’ definition will change as we add further capabilities, so at all times examine for the newest definition.

The Definition of Used Fields

A subject, from a Tabular object mannequin perspective, contains columns, calculated columns, and measures. A used subject is a subject that seems in any of the next throughout the dataset and all skinny reviews chosen by the consumer:

  • Dataset stage dependencies
    • Relationships
    • Tabular object dependencies in DAX
      • Calculated column expressions
      • Measure expressions
      • Calculated desk expressions
    • Calculation teams
    • Safety
      • Row Stage Safety (RLS)
      • Object Stage Safety (OLS)
    • Kind by column
  • Report stage dependencies
    • Filters
      • Report filters
      • Web page filters
      • Visible filters
    • Anyplace on Visuals together with however not restricted to
      • Axis or values
      • Conditional formatting
      • Dynamic conditional formatting
      • Tooltips
    • Report stage measures
    • Report stage measure’s dependencies
      • Dependency on different report stage measures
      • Dependency on dataset fields

The Definition of Unused Fields

By having the definition of the used fields readily available, the unused ones are these fields that don’t seem within the checklist of used fields.

The Definition of Used and Unused Tables

A used desk is a desk with not less than one subject showing within the checklist of used fields. Conversely, an unused desk is a desk with no fields showing within the used fields’ checklist.

Understanding the CSV Output

As you’ll have already famous, figuring out the dependencies between dataset objects and all related skinny reviews is a posh course of. So the scale of generated CSV file varies relying on the dataset dimension, its complexity, the variety of related skinny reviews, and their complexity. We’re additionally conscious that CSV is just not the simplest format to know and interpret the knowledge, so we goal to organize a user-friendly UI sooner or later. However for now, let’s choose one possibility and see what we get within the CSV file and the way to interpret the information.

In my pattern, I chosen a dataset and 11 skinny reviews. The next picture reveals the ends in the downloaded CSV file for Used Fields appears to be like just like the beneath when opened in Excel:

Unused fields CSV output from Thin Report Add-on in Power BI Documenter
Unused fields CSV output from Skinny Report add-on in Energy BI Documenter

We are able to filter the title to reply many questions similar to the next:

What report stage measures do we’ve in all skinny reviews?

To reply this query we simply have to filter the CSV when the Sort column is REPORT_MEASURE. The next picture reveals the outcomes:

Report level measures across all thin reports using Thin Reports add-on in Power BI Documenter
Report stage measures throughout all skinny reviews

The place the Date column from the Date desk is used throughout the dataset and skinny reviews?

To reply this query we have to filter the CSV when each the Desk and Sort columns’ worth is Date. The next picture reveals the outcomes:

All dependencies on the Date column from the Date table using the Thin Report add-on in Power BI Documenter
All dependencies on the Date column from the Date desk utilizing the Skinny Report add-on in Energy BI Documenter

What’s the affect of adjusting the Transport Value, a dataset measure, on report stage measures?

To reply this query we simply have to filter the CSV as follows:

  • Filter the Subject Title column to Transport Value
  • Filter the Sort column to Measure
  • Filter the Dependent Report column and exclude Blanks
  • Filter the Dependent Subject Expression column and exclude Blanks

The next picture reveals the outcomes:

Dataset measure to report level measures dependencies using This Reports Add-on in Power BI Documenter
Dataset measure to report stage measures dependencies utilizing Skinny Experiences add-on in Energy BI Documenter

These are just a few examples of questions we are able to reply utilizing the CSV output of the Skinny Report add-on within the Energy BI Documenter as you’ll be able to think about. For extra details about how the Skinny Report add-on works watch the next quick video:

Do you want what you see? In case your reply is sure, proceed studying.

Enabling Skinny Report Add-on in Energy BI Documenter

Because the title of this characteristic implies it’s an add-on that you may allow in your Energy BI Documenter account. We presently allow this add-on solely through request. I hear you ask Why? As talked about earlier, the method of figuring out all interdependencies between the dataset objects and all skinny report objects is fairly resource-intensive that may price us some huge cash. So we can’t allow it for hundreds of customers. You don’t wish to see us bankrupted, do you? So I encourage you to precise your curiosity by filling out the next kind and we get again to you as quickly as we course of your request:

As at all times, I’d love to listen to your ideas. So please depart your message within the feedback part beneath.

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