How To Set Up Power BI Drillthrough in Reports: 4 Comprehensive Aspects

Last Modified: September 1st, 2023

Power BI DrillThrough Reports_FI

Power BI is one of the most popular Business Intelligence Tools in the market today. With a variety of reports, dashboards, and visualizations Power BI leverages Power BI Drillthrough to cater to all your reporting needs.

You can use Power BI Drillthrough to help create a page in the Power BI Reports, with a specific entity as the main focus. This entity can be the customer, supplier, or manufacturer. This is a method that lets you delve deeper into the details of a particular component, and gather actionable insights.   

In this article, you will look at the steps involved in the Power BI Drillthrough setup for your Power BI Reports. The setup consists of 4 components namely Destination Page, Back Button, Filters, and Measures to make the process easier.   

Table of Contents

What is Power BI?

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Power BI is a business analytics service that was developed by Microsoft as a part of a comprehensive suite. Power BI provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with a very simple user interface.

Simply said, Power BI allows businesses to take data from many sources, display it, and share insights. To visualize the data and develop interactive dashboards, you can use numerous graphs and charts.

It is beneficial to any organization because it allows for streamlined publication, distribution capabilities, and support for numerous Microsoft products and services.

Another aspect that makes it a good pick is that it offers real-time stream analytics, which means you can gather data from many sources and get real-time analytics to help you make better business decisions.

Overall, Power BI is a superb business tool that provides secure access to cloud or on-premises data sources, enables hybrid configurations, and assists in the creation of intelligent reports.

It also lets users create their own dashboards and reports in no time flat. Power BI has made great strides in increasing efficiency through actionable insights that steer business growth. Here are the different components of Power BI:

  • Power Pivot
  • Power Query
  • Power View
  • Power Map
  • Power Q&A
  • Power BI Desktop
  • Power BI Mobile Apps

Key Features of Power BI

Because of its exceptional services and capabilities, Power BI is one of the most popular Business Intelligence tools now in use by many businesses.

Here are a few of Power BI’s important features that make it a top contender in the industry.

  • Streamlined Analytics: Power BI includes stream analytics capabilities that help businesses make better decisions faster. The report developers can use stream analytics to do real-time analytics on several streams of data received from sensors, devices, social media sources, and other applications.
  • Supports Multiple Data Sources: Another important characteristic of Power BI tools is that they can generate graphs and charts from a variety of data sources, such as CSV, SQL Server, Web files, Excel, PDF, XML, MySQL database, and so on.
  • Deep Insights: Power BI’s visualization, analytics, and reporting capabilities enable businesses to track the data regardless of its size/type and interpret it. It supports various custom Q&A buttons, graphs, and charts that further help in generating interactive and insightful reports for quick decisions.
  • Easy Implementation Process: The process to implement Power BI tools across enterprises is a quick process. You hardly require any engineering abilities or technical knowledge to install the software for performing analysis and generating insightful reports. All you need is to develop an API key or plug it inside the software to implement the tool.
  • Power BI Desktop: You can simply access data and produce reports with this free program. All you have to do to run or use Power BI Desktop is download or install the software. Furthermore, running and building a report does not necessitate any experience or query abilities.
  • Quick Collaboration: One may simply collaborate and disseminate reports inside the organization using Power BI’s amazing features. On a single screen, Power BI satisfies both self-service and organizational data analytics requirements. It includes semantic models, an open connectivity framework, and application lifecycle management (ALM) tools, all of which enable coworkers and teams to instantly exchange reports, statistics, and workbooks.

What is Power BI Drillthrough?

The Drillthrough feature in Power BI functions as an indicator for a Power BI Report. This allows you to dig deeper into the details of a specific type of data or a specific type of value generated/displayed.

With Power BI Drillthrough, you can navigate to different layers of the data of a given category data set. It allows you to switch from one report to another while still analyzing the same set of data. For instance, a tabular report of Sales data can have a button that lets the users switch to an analysis grid of the same data, or a heat map to visualize the same set of data.

Power BI Drillthrough, therefore, is essential to get a holistic understanding of your data, since you don’t have to rely on just one data visualization, report, or feature to put your point across. Power BI Drillthrough lets you analyze the same data with different features and several visualization methods.

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Power BI Drillthrough Setup Process & Components

You need to right-click a data point on the report page you are interested in. Then you can Drillthrough to the focused page to get the details you need. This is what you will be doing by setting up Power BI Drillthrough. You can set up Drillthroughs for your reports in the Power BI Service or Power BI Desktop. First, you need to decide on a master report for your target report. Once you have decided on the report tabs, you can build multiple Drillthrough reports. Here are the 4 components you will be looking at:

1. Power BI Drillthrough Destination Page

  • Step 1: First, create a report page that has the visuals for the entity, for the Drillthrough. For instance, you wish to set up a Drillthrough for the manufacturers. The Drillthrough page in Power BI could contain visuals depicting Total Units Shipped, Total Sales, Sales by Region, and Sales by Category to name a few. So, when you Drillthrough to that page, the visuals would be specific to the manufacturer you picked.
  • Step 2: Next, on that Drillthrough page, in the fields section under the Visualizations pane, drag the field, to enable it in the Drillthrough filters well.
Power BI Drillthrough Destination Page
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  • Step 3: When you add a field in the Drillthrough filters, Power BI creates a Back Button visual automatically. This visual can function as a button in published Power BI Reports. The users working with your report through the Power BI service can leverage this button to go back to the report page from where they came from. You need to keep in mind that you can configure and perform Drillthrough to a page in the same report, but you can’t Drillthrough to a page that exists in a different report.      
Power BI Drillthrough Back Button
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2. Power BI Drillthrough Back Button

The Back Button as discussed in the previous section is present as an image. Since it is an image, it can be replaced by any visualization you like. It still maintains its functionality as a back button for users to return to the report page they came from. To customize the image for the Back Button you can go through the following steps:

  • Step 1: On the Home tab, select Image. Choose your desired image and then place it on the Drillthrough page.
  • Step 2: Select the new image on the Drillthrough page. Go to the Format Image pane and set the Action slider to On, and the Type option to Back. Your image is now a Back Button. 
Power BI Drillthrough Back Button Setup
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  • Step 3: Users can now right-click a data point in their report, and get a context menu that supports Drillthrough for that page. On choosing to Drillthrough, the users can then see the information about the data point they picked on the report page. Suppose, a user right-clicked a data point about Contoso, a manufacturer. Now the Drillthrough page that they go to will be filtered to Contoso’s visuals. 
Drillthrough Manufacturer Data
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3. Power BI Drillthrough Filters

All applied filters can be passed into the Drillthrough window. For instance, you can pick only a certain category of products, along with the visuals filtered for that category, and then opt for Drillthrough. Power BI Drillthrough Filters allow you to apply filters on multi-level reports. Here is a look at how you can pass all the filters through Power BI Drillthrough:

  • Step 1: To retain all the applied filters, you can go to the Drillthrough section in the Visualizations pane and set Keep All Filters to On.
Power BI Drillthrough Filters
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  • Step 2: While drilling through a visual, you can view the filters that were applied as a result of the source visual having temporary filters. The transient filters in the Drillthrough section of the Visualizations pane are shown in italics.
  • Step 3: You can carry out the above-mentioned steps using the tooltips pages as well but this route isn’t recommended. This is mainly due to a few discrepancies in its performance.

4. Power BI Drillthrough Measure

Apart from the filters, you can also add a Measure or a summarized numeric column to the Drillthrough area. Follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Drag the Drillthrough field to the Drillthrough card and apply it.
  • Step 2: While you add a Measure or summarized numeric column, you can Drillthrough to the page when the field is used in the Value component of the visual.

With this, you have now set up Power BI Drillthrough for your Power BI Reports. This is a great way to get a larger view of the entity information that you chose through the Drillthrough filter. 

Power BI offers another type of Drillthrough feature, termed as Cross-Report Drillthrough. This allows you to move from one report to another in the same Power BI Service or application. Cross-Report Drillthrough can be used to connect reports that have related content. This can also be used to pass filter context along with the Cross-Report connection. The only drawback for Cross-Report Drillthroughs is that they don’t work with the Power BI Reports made using the Power BI Report Server.


This article talks about setting up Power BI Drillthrough in Power BI Reports. It provides a step-by-step guide for a better understanding. Through the 4 components used for the Power BI Drillthrough setup, you can start implementing it for your workflow, to amp up your efficiency.  

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Content Marketing Manager, Hevo Data

Amit is a Content Marketing Manager at Hevo Data. He enjoys writing about SaaS products and modern data platforms, having authored over 200 articles on these subjects.

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