This whitepaper is a draft.
The functionalities described are currently in preview and are subject to change.
We will update the whitepaper after these functions become generally available.

In this paper, we analyze the feature in depth. The goal of this paper is not to introduce visual calculations for users. The goal is to explain the details of the implementation of visual calculations for experienced DAX developers, including new concepts such as the visual shape and the visual context. Therefore, in this whitepaper we do not describe each function in detail or show simple examples. We do however analyze in depth the queries generated by Power BI when visual calculations are part of the visual, the new DAX features introduced to solve visual calculations, and their unique functionalities.

This paper goes too far if you just use visual calculations for simple calculations. Visual calculations are straightforward, and most casual users do not need the level of detail we dive into here. However, this is the right paper for the more demanding consultants who really want to know what can and cannot be obtained through visual calculations.

The content is organized into the following modules:

  • Visual calculations in DAX
  • Introducing visual calculations
    • Visual calculations and window functions
  • Understanding the visual shape
    • Visual calculations are new columns in the virtual table
    • Understanding densification
  • Understanding the visual context
    • Navigating the lattice of the virtual table
    • Accessing the virtual table through ROWS and COLUMNS
    • Understanding the unique behaviors of the visual context
    • Understanding ROWS and COLUMNS used together
    • Understanding reset and direction
    • Using CALCULATE in visual calculations
  • Understanding blank handling
  • Understanding visual calculation functions
    • Understanding PREVIOUS, NEXT, FIRST, LAST
    • Understanding RUNNINGSUM
    • Understanding ISATLEVEL
    • Understanding MOVINGAVERAGE
    • Understanding RANGE
  • Visual calculations and calculation groups
  • Visual calculation examples
    • Computing the moving average over the last six months
    • Computing growth over the same period last year
    • Comparing sales over the average of the siblings
    • Computing year-to-date
    • Computing the Pareto / ABC Class
  • Conclusions

Additional content: Sample file used for the demos in the whitepaper.