You are probably used to think to FIRSTNONBLANK and LASTNONBLANK as DAX functions related to time-intelligence calculations (usually for semi-additive measures). However, these functions have a syntax and a behavior that can be useful in other scenarios.

For example: you might be aware that MIN and MAX cannot be used with text columns. However, you can use FIRSTNONBLANK and LASTNONBLANK instead of MIN and MAX, respectively. In fact, this is the corresponding syntax:

`MIN` `(` `<column> ``)` `= ``FIRSTNONBLANK` `(` `<column>, 1 ``)` `MAX` `(` `<column> ``)` `= ``LASTNONBLANK` `(` `<column>, 1 ``)`

In my new article Alternative use of FIRSTNONBLANK and LASTNONBLANK, you can find a broader explanation of FIRSTNONBLANK and LASTNONBLANK behavior, with other scenarios where these functions can be useful.

FIRSTNONBLANK
Context transition

Returns the first value in the column for which the expression has a non blank value.

`FIRSTNONBLANK ( <ColumnName>, <Expression> )`

LASTNONBLANK
Context transition

Returns the last value in the column for which the expression has a non blank value.

`LASTNONBLANK ( <ColumnName>, <Expression> )`

MIN

Returns the smallest value in a column, or the smaller value between two scalar expressions. Ignores logical values. Strings are compared according to alphabetical order.

`MIN ( <ColumnNameOrScalar1> [, <Scalar2>] )`

MAX

Returns the largest value in a column, or the larger value between two scalar expressions. Ignores logical values. Strings are compared according to alphabetical order.

`MAX ( <ColumnNameOrScalar1> [, <Scalar2>] )`