Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Whenever you write a formula in Excel or PowerPivot, IntelliSense, a special help feature,
shows all the possible function names and references you can use in a formula. When you
write a formula in the PowerPivot window, the table name is not displayed by IntelliSense
when the database contains only one table. In this case, to get the list of columns using
IntelliSense, you must type in the opening square bracket, which calls up the display of all
the columns of the current table, as shown in Figure 3-4.
FIguRE 3-4 IntelliSense shows all the fields of the current table when you type the opening
square bracket in the PowerPivot window.
understanding Calculated Columns and Measures
Now that you know the basics of DAX syntax, you need to learn one of the most important
concepts in DAX: the difference between calculated columns and measures. Even though
they might appear similar at first sight because you can make some calculations both ways,
you will see that you need to use measures to implement the most flexible calculations, and
this is a key to becoming a powerful PowerPivot user.
Calculated Columns
You saw in Chapter 2, “PowerPivot at Work,” how to define a calculated column. You can do it
by using the Add Column button on the Column column tab of the ribbon, or you can simply
move to the last column, which is named Add Column, and start writing the formula. The
DAX expression has to be inserted into the formula bar and IntelliSense helps you during
the writing of the expression.
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