In Power BI, Excel, and SQL Server Analysis Services, calculated columns and measurements are defined using the mathematical language Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) (SSAS). Working with text, logical values, numbers, and dates is made possible via the DAX language. To undertake data analysis, it may be used to build computed columns, or measures, in a data model. When it comes to working with data in a data model, DAX is comparable to Excel formulae but has some more features and capabilities. For data analysts and business intelligence specialists, DAX is a crucial tool since it can be used to build intricate formulae that carry out complicated computations on data in a data model.
Key differences between DAX and Excel functions
There are more than 250 DAX "expressions," some of which are similar to those in Excel and some of which aggregate and establish links between data in more complex ways. DAX has more functionalities than Excel and supports a wider range of data formats. Integers, decimals, dates and times, currencies, Boolean values, strings (text), binaries (such as files or pictures), and blanks are among the data types supported by DAX. Blanks are especially helpful because they allow users to swap out null values for a more accurate result, such as "0," hence minimizing mistakes. For instance, in Excel you might utilize “= SUM (C1:C100)”, whereas in DAX you would use “= SUM (Table name[column name])”. Since natural language is used rather than having to search for the right cell numbers, this eventually makes DAX more intuitive. Additionally, DAX may autocomplete column and table names as you type, preventing you from inputting any information that won't be used in your calculation. Calculated columns and measures are two distinct ways to write DAX expressions. Calculated columns are pre-calculated and kept in memory similar to Excel formulae. They exist as additional columns in the data tab and have computations returned for each row. On the other hand, measures provide dynamic results. They are kept as formulae, that you can drag onto a report page to run instantly. Slicers can be used to filter measures, which are normally aggregated to provide a single result. They don't take up storage space or result in the sluggish performance that several computed columns frequently bring about.
Why do Power Bi users love Dax
Users of Power BI can better understand and analyze their data with the aid of DAX. You can design calculated columns and measurements with DAX to give your data more context and insights. For instance, you can use DAX to construct a calculated column that displays your sales' year-over-year increase or a metric that determines the typical transaction value for your clients.
A crucial part of the Power BI data model is DAX. You can create connections between tables and specify the criteria by which your data should be computed and aggregated. This is crucial because it enables you to develop more complex data models that support cutting-edge reporting and analysis. Another reason is because of the support system. DAX is simple to use and has a large user base. Online communities where you can ask questions and get assistance from other Power BI users are just a few of the numerous tools accessible to you to learn DAX. These resources include official documentation, tutorials, and online communities. This makes it simple for Power BI customers to learn DAX and seek support as needed. DAX is a versatile language that can be applied in a range of circumstances. However, it can also be utilized to build more complex dashboards and visualizations in Power BI. DAX can be used to generate calculated columns and measurements. This makes it a valuable tool for Power BI users who want to develop dashboards and reports that are more dynamic and captivating.
This Microsoft Power BI Data Modeling with DAX workshop is a complete course about the DAX language. This course teaches participants to build the most optimal data models for their Power BI reports. Want to have a deeper understanding of Dax?
Conquering Dax 2019 course is a thorough training on the DAX programming language. Users of Power BI, Power Pivot for Excel, and Analysis Services developers who wish to understand and master the DAX language are suitable for this course. This DAX training program covers DAX 2019, the most recent version.
You may check out our DAX webinar here:
When Does Learning DAX Not Make Sense?
There are a few situations where you might not need to learn DAX:
1. The steep learning curve
It won't be feasible to truly understand DAX in a day or two. Although you can start creating some basic code without much difficulty, it will definitely take some time to understand how the different filter contexts interact. To determine if the effort is worthwhile, you must determine how much you would utilize it.
2. You can accomplish a lot with DAX in Power BI using alternatives.
In DAX, a lot of data manipulation is available even before the data is placed in one of the widgets. For anything that doesn't need to be dynamically created, there are several options. To begin with, Python makes it just as simple to add fresh, extra columns to your dashboard.
3. For Outsiders, Dashboards may become mysterious
A dashboard becomes more sophisticated when a DAX is included. If you are the only one developing or managing the dashboard, this might not be a problem, but for those working in teams, it might make things more difficult. Other employees or people might not be able to manipulate the dashboards due to DAX language misunderstanding.
Where to start learning Dax?
This blog might have persuaded you to take up Dax as it has multiple advantages. If you are considering learning DAX, it is important to understand that it may require a significant time investment to fully grasp the concepts. However, it is not necessarily a complicated subject, and you do not need a Ph.D. in Computer Science to get started. There are various training offered by GemRain. GemRain's training is all hands-on activity-based training. Participants will take part in each process so that they will be able to tackle real-world problems and not be left behind.
How employees learning Dax can be an advantage for companies?
DAX is a programming language that is used to create custom calculations in Power BI, Excel, and other Microsoft Office applications. Since it enables users to build intricate computations and connections across data sets, which can be helpful for activities like data analysis, reporting, and decision-making, it is a crucial tool for companies. DAX offers a strong and versatile approach to manage and analyze data, making it particularly helpful for businesses that must work with enormous amounts of data and do an extensive analysis of that data.
Who should take a DAX course?
Learning DAX is open to anybody with an interest in working with data in Power BI, Power Pivot for Excel, and Analysis Services. Business intelligence experts, data analysts, data scientists, and other specialists may fall under this category. Excel fundamentals, comprehension of data modelling, and familiarity with relational databases are all advantageous.
When it comes to learning DAX, how long does it take?
Learning DAX will take you about 5 days minimum to a few weeks. The amount of time it takes to learn DAX (Data Analysis Expressions) can vary depending on a number of factors, such as prior experience with programming, data analysis, or similar topics, or how much time you can dedicate to studying and practicing.
For someone with no prior experience with programming or data analysis, it could take several weeks or even a couple of months to learn the basics of DAX and be able to write simple calculations. However, for someone with some experience in these areas, the learning process could be shorter and faster.
In GemRain, our Conquering DAX 2019 course has 18 modules with 12 labs, including a bonus lab. It is a full 5 days course. If you stumbled across the DAX course, which is 1 or 2 days only with more than 10 modules to cover, you'd definitely be learning the very basic DAX training, whereby you may get it online, and it is free.
What Is the Most Effective Method for Learning DAX?
After you've attended our Conquering DAX 2019 training, practice is the most effective technique to learn DAX. Following practice, one online course or book should be used as a reference, followed by a hands-on project. Learning DAX takes time and effort to thoroughly grasp the fundamental concepts and practice.