DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (2023)

Do you know why DAX plays an important role in data analysis in Power BI? How does creating custom measures affect your decision making?

Well, maybe you've imported some data into Power BI desktop files and even created reports that provide valuable insights. But what if you need to analyze the growth (%) of product listings over different time periods or your company's annual growth compared to the competition? This is where Power BI DAX comes into play.

In this blog, we discuss the most useful DAX functions in Power BI, how to create metrics with Power BI desktop, and more.

DAX sin Power BI

In this basic Power BI DAX article, we'll cover the following topics

What is DAX?

Meaning of DAX in Power BI

DAX in Power BI: How does it work?

  • Syntax
  • context
  • functions

  • calculated columns
  • calculated measurements

Calculated Columns x Metrics

Power BI DAX basics: types of functions in DAX

  • added functions
  • count functions
  • Date and time functions
  • mathematical functions
  • logical functions
  • information functions
  • text functions

Create a metric with Power BI DAX

Power BI DAX Tutorial | DAX basics in Power BI | DAX functions in Power BI

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (1)

First, let's start with the definition of DAX, which I'll talk about in the next section.

DAX basics in Power BI: What is DAX?

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a syntax language that includes formulas and expressions used in data manipulation. Functions, constants, and operators are used in the DAX to create expressions. In simpler terms, DAX is the enhanced version of MS Excel with advanced data manipulation and management features. It was developed by Microsoft to interface with their business intelligence and data modeling tools like PowerPivot, Power BI. Power BI is a robust analytics tool from Microsoft that offers various features and functions using DAX as the language.

Some of the main benefits of Power BI are:

  • Visualization of data in real time
  • Creating graphs and reports on voice commands with Cortana
  • Large storage space and easy memory data recovery
  • Increased security at the row level
  • BI has intuitive user experience features and saves the most used trends

All of these functions are essentially performed using predefined tools and commands in the system. However, there are many times when you want to perform a certain type of function, say a certain type of data analysis, but you can't because the command doesn't exist in the system. What to do in such a case? This is where DAX comes into play.

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Meaning of DAX in Power BI

DAX is quite an important syntax, as working in DAX enhances the user experience by providing features like data visualization, data import, and data manipulation. Basic knowledge of the dashboard is sufficient for normal reporting, but DAX is required to create sophisticated and detailed reports. With multiple commands and actions that can be used under the DAX syntax, the generated reports are extremely intuitive and sophisticated.

DAX in Power BI: How does it work?

DAX works on a combination of three basic concepts:

  1. Syntax
  2. context
  3. functions

These inputs are key to building a specific command that will get the desired results.

1. Syntax

The syntax refers to the components of the formula you are creating. Is it the language used in the formula, such as command, character, operators, target column, row or table, etc.? For example, name, parentheses, sum, table name, etc.

2. Context

The context refers to the target row included in the calculation or data retrieval formula. Context comes in two types: row context and filter context.

3. Features

Functions refer to predefined or existing commands in the system. For example Add, Add, True, False, etc.

Also read:Power BI architecture tutorial

DAX in Power BI: Calculated columns and measures

In this article, we'll focus on Power BI DAX formulas used in calculations, measures, and calculated columns.

#1. calculated column

Like other regular columns, calculated columns are those that arise as a result of calculations on two columns from different data sets. They are ideal for line-by-line calculations;

#2. calculated measure

Calculated columns are ideal for dynamic calculations because they take up no physical space. They are used when grouping data into rows for calculations.

Calculated Columns x Metrics

Calculated columns and calculated measures use DAX expressions for data manipulation. The difference is in the context of the underlying formula. With the calculated column type, the calculation is done at the row level in a given table. The calculated measure type is calculated at the cell level throughout the entire report or query.

Power BI DAX basics: types of functions in DAX

#1. added functions


Gets the minimum value in a specified column.




=MIN( [Seller Margin] )


Gets the minimum value along with the logical values ​​of the aggregate functions and the text representation of the numbers, if applicable


(Video) 📊 How to use Power BI DAX - Tutorial

HAND( <Layer> )


=MINA( Internet Sales[Shipping] )


Gets the minimum value after evaluating each row expression in a specified table.


MINX(<table>, <expression>)


=MINX( FILTER(InternetSales ) , [Sales Territory Code ] = 2 , [Load] )

other functions

  • maximum
  • ERA
  • MAXX
  • SUMX

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#two. count functions


Gets the count of distinct numbers, avoiding any replication.






Gets the total number of items even if there are repetitions.




=COUNT([Shipped Date])


Gets the number of elements in a non-empty column.




= COUNTA( 'ProductSalesperson'[Phone] )


Gets the number of rows in a specified table.


ACCOUNTS( < table > )



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#3. Date and time functions


Retrieves the desired date in datetime format.


DATE(<year>, <month>, <day>)


= DATE (27.02.2020)


Recovers hours not AM PM format.


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TIME (<datetime>)


=TIME('Orders' [transaction time])


Gets the current date.





other functions

  • NOW

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#4. mathematical functions


Gets the absolute value.


ABS( <Number> )


=ABS( [LabelPrice] - [SalePrice] )


Gets the value of the exponent.


EXP( <Number> )


=EXP( [Performance] )


Gets the factorial of a given number.





other functions

  • LN
  • Pi
  • SIGN
  • square

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#5. logical functions


Performs a logical conjunction on two specified expressions.


AND( <logical1> , <logical2> )


=IF( AND(1<2 , 2<3) , "All true", "One or false" )


Performs logical disjunction on two specified expressions.


O( <logical1 > , <logical2 > )


=( IF(OR(1<2, 2<3) , "All true", "One or more false")


Performs the logical negation on the specified expression.

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NOT (<logical>)


=NO([product prices])

other functions

  • SE

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#6. information functions


Declares whether the value is empty or not true or false.


EMPTY (<Value>)


=SE( EM BLANK ('CalculatedActions'[Last Year Total Sales]), BLANK() , (CalculatedActions'[Last Year Total Sales]/'CalculatedActions'[Last Year Total Sales])


Indicates whether the value is a number or not.




=IF(ISNUMBER(2), "Is number", "Is not number" )


Declare if the value is not text.


ISNOTEXT( <Value> )


=IF( NOT TEXT(“ ”), “It is not text”, “It is text”)

other functions


#7. text functions


Make the union of two ropes.


THE TOOL( <text1> , <text2> )


= CONCATENATE( „Hello“ , „Student“ )


Rounds the number to a specified decimal place.


FIXED( <number>, <decimal places>, <no_commas>)


=FIXED([LabelPreis], 3,1)


Replaces part of a string with the specified characters.


REPLACE( <old_text> , <start_num>, <num_chars> , <new_text> )


=REPLACE('New services'[service ID],2,3, "AB" )

Other features:


Also read:Power BI services and benefits

(Video) 👉Beginning Power BI DAX Functions Tutorial [Full Course]

Create a metric with Power BI DAX

The following steps will help you create a metric with Power BI DAX.

1. First go toPower BI desktop app.

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2. Right-click or hover over the Sales tableMore options(...) ofcampoCampo.

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3. When the menu appears, selectnew measure. This activity saves the new measurement inofferTable. You can also create a new metric in the Power BI desktop ribbon as follows.

GonnaHeimguide >calculationsgroup >New measure.

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4. Then above the report area is the formula bar where you can edit your name and write an Xpression data analysis formula.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (5)

Before creating the formula, let's discuss the concept. This makes it easier to continue

Selection of variables and creation of formulas:

  • The net quantity of products or services requires a few variables. I then listed the necessary variables: net worth, quantity of products or services, price of each quantity, and other expenses (full cost price).
  • Net Value = (Total Amount of Sales) * (Per/Product or Service) - Expense (Cost Price).

5. The metric is named by default in the formula bar, but we need to make the metric more prominent, highlight the metric in the formula bar and change it to "Net Worth".

6. When creating your formula, type Sum after the equals sign. The suggestion dropdown menu will now appear as soon as you type the beginning of the letter. If necessary, select from the list and pressForbidden.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (6)

7. Press Enter after entering the TOTAL. You can now see an open bracket along with a dropdown list of suggestions for existing columns. It can be passed to the SUM function.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (7)

8. The expression is always between the opening and closing parentheses. In this case, your expression includes an argument to pass to the SUM function: the SalesQuantity column. start writingamount of salesBisSales[SalesAmount]is the only value that appears in the list.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (8)

The table name preceded by the column name gets the full name of the column. This makes your formula easier to understand.

9. Choosesales [sales amount]in the list and type the closing parenthesis.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (9)

Multiply the value by the first expression and subtract the other column from the final value:

  • After you finish the first expression, multiply 15,000 by this expression to get the total.

Sales[Sales quantity]* 15000.

  • After the desired value, type a space, a space, a minus (-) operator, and another space.
  • Write another SUM function and start writing TotalCost which you can chooseSales [Total Cost]and then type the closing parenthesis.

10. To exit and validate the formula, we must enterForbiddeno Select the check mark icon (commit).

the validatednet worthThe measure is now ready to use in the sales table infield area.

DAX to Power BI | A complete guide to learning Power BI DAX (10)


DAX is one of the most widely used expression syntax today with a wide scope. Learning opens up various opportunities in the marketplace, especially in SQL-enabled companies. With DAX in Power BI, you can create any type of formula or logical expression as needed.

Let us know in the comments if you want to learn and excel in DAX.

Do you have questions? Leave a comment below and we'll get in touch with you.


What is the best way to learn DAX for Power BI? ›

The best way to learn DAX is to create some basic formulas, use it with some actual data, and see the results for yourself. The examples and tasks here use the Contoso Sample DAX Formulas.

How difficult is learn DAX for Power BI? ›

DAX is a really easy language to write but a bit hard to grasp in the beginning. Once you learn DAX underlying theory then it is easy to write any formula and you can play with multiple nested contexts. With every topic, first, we will discuss hidden concepts and then we will do its implementation.

Should I learn DAX for Power BI? ›

Data analysts who require higher flexibility in their data analysis should learn DAX. DAX allows a user to create custom columns and calculations that can provide deeper insight into a business problem. However, in general, all users who intend to utilize the full functionalities of Power BI well should learn DAX.

Should I learn DAX or M? ›

M is the language used in Power Query (you don't have to use M directly, but it makes your life easier in the long run). DAX is the language used once your data is in Power BI to create calculated columns and measures.

What are the three fundamental concepts of DAX? ›

We'll frame our understanding of DAX around three fundamental concepts: Syntax, Functions, and Context.

Is DAX like Excel? ›

DAX formulas are very similar to Excel formulas. To create one, you type an equal sign, followed by a function name or expression, and any required values or arguments.

Is SQL harder than DAX? ›

This makes DAX very abstract regarding both the underlying data structure, the query context, and exactly what it's doing under the hood. If SQL is 90% concrete and 10% abstract, DAX is 5% concrete and 95% abstract. Its abstract nature makes learning DAX much more challenging.

Why is DAX not easy? ›

Reason #1: DAX is a functional language

Functional languages are extremely elegant, from a mathematical point of view. Yet, they are also very counter-intuitive. As humans, when we describe an algorithm, we follow steps. We do not provide a function that computes the result: we provide the steps to reach the result.

Which is faster DAX or Power Query? ›

PQ calculation slows down data load, where as DAX calculated column will slow down visual update on interaction with slicer etc. Most cases, if you do data load during after hours (or early in the morning) once. It's more desirable to have better performance during interaction with report.

Is DAX a coding? ›

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a programming language that is used throughout Microsoft Power BI for creating calculated columns, measures, and custom tables. It is a collection of functions, operators, and constants that can be used in a formula, or expression, to calculate and return one or more values.

Is DAX used in SQL? ›

By using SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS), Power BI Report Builder, and open-source tools like DAX Studio, you can create and run your own DAX queries. DAX queries return results as a table right within the tool, allowing you to quickly create and test the performance of your DAX formulas.

Is DAX similar to Tableau? ›

DAX allows for CALCULATETABLE etc, to return virtual table, that can be filtered. Which Tableau lacks... In short, DAX allows for more complex data manipulation and is more powerful than what Tableau offers. Though it is quite a bit harder to learn.

Is DAX a good skill? ›

It Makes You a Better Data Professional

Even though DAX can only be used in an environment that supports it, the skill of knowing how to use DAX goes well beyond its scope.

Which language is used in DAX? ›

DAX is not a programming language. DAX is primarily a formula language and is also a query language. You can use DAX to define custom calculations for Calculated Columns, Measures, Calculated Tables, Calculation Groups, Custom Format Strings, and filter expressions in role-based security in Tabular models.

How many DAX formulas are there? ›

The DAX function reference provides detailed information including syntax, parameters, return values, and examples for each of the over 250 functions used in Data Analysis Expression (DAX) formulas.

How do you write a DAX query? ›

How to Write a DAX Formula
  1. The name of the measure or calculated column.
  2. The equal-to operator (“=”) indicates the start of the formula.
  3. A DAX function.
  4. Opening (and closing) parentheses (“()”)
  5. Column and/or table references.
  6. Note that each subsequent parameter in a function is separated by a comma (“,”)

Why DAX is better than Excel? ›

Key differences between DAX and Excel functions

There are over 250 DAX functions or “expressions”, some of which mirror those found in Excel and others that aggregate and draw relationships between data in more advanced ways. As well as offering additional functions, DAX supports more data types than Excel.

Can a DAX measure return a table? ›

DAX includes many functions that return a table, rather than a value. The table is not displayed in a reporting client, but is used to provide input to other functions. For example, you can retrieve a table and then count the distinct values in it, or calculate dynamic sums across filtered tables or columns.

Which is faster M or DAX? ›

By this article it seems that M is faster.

Is M language difficult to learn? ›

Once you know the syntax, then everything becomes simple. M is a language that you can learn it's syntax easily.


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