Working with Power BI Slicer Drop Down Simplified 101

on BI Tool, ETL Tutorials, Microsoft, Power BI • March 8th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Assume you want your report readers to be able to look at general sales indicators as well as individual district manager performance and multiple time frames.

Moving forward in the voyage of intriguing Power BI tools, it is now time to investigate the Power BI Slicer Drop Down. Slicers in Power BI reports are very significant and useful visual features.

Separate reports or comparative charts could be created. Filters can be added in the Filters window. You might also use slicers. Slicers are yet another method of filtering. They restrict the portion of the dataset displayed in the other report visualizations.

After finishing this blog, you will have a good understanding of how Power BI Slicer Drop Down can be created, and a variety of other benefits as well as their limitations.

Table of Contents

What is Power BI?

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - Power BI logo
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Power BI is a Microsoft Power Platform proprietary Data Visualization and Business Intelligence platform. It is one of the most commonly used tools in businesses for evaluating company data and creating reports. Power BI fully integrates with data using a number of built-in software services, apps, and connections to offer Immersive Visuals, Interactive Reports, and Insights.

Power BI allows users to Aggregate, Analyze, Visualize, and Share data. It is a SaaS-based platform with desktop, mobile, and on-premise server options. Power BI enables connecting to a range of data source connectors in order to load data from the data source directly into the Dashboard and visualise data stored in databases or data warehouses.

Users use Power BI Charts, Graphs, KPIs, and Reports to analyse data and obtain interactive insights.

Key Features of Power BI

The following are some of Power BI’s primary features

  • Hybridization: Power BI connects with a plethora of connectors, allowing users to connect to a wide range of data sources.
  • Point of View on Modeling: Power BI users can divide and slice large data models into smaller forms, create distinct diagrams, and choose multiple items.
  • Assist from AI: Users can utilise Artificial Intelligence in Power BI Data Analytics to prepare data, develop Machine Learning models, and quickly uncover insights from structured and unstructured data.
  • Key Takeaways: Power BI simplifies the creation of data subsets and the application of Data Analytics to that data.
  • Report Dissemination: Users can easily share their reports with other members of their business without worrying about data security.

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What is Power BI Slicer?

A Power BI Slicer is a visual filter that appears on the canvas; it is a strong and intelligent way to filter data. We want clients to be able to filter details in our reports by collection. Unlike filters, slicers appear as a visual on the report and allow the user to pick values while examining the report.

For example, if you have a sales analysis report, you can design a slicer that will last for years. You can select the year for which you wish to examine the sales metrics from that slicer. The report images will automatically alter to reflect the data for that year.

This is simple in SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) since you may filter collections using a prompt. You can accomplish the same thing in Power BI; however, if you want to swiftly switch between collections, a slicer is preferable to a prompt.

Need for using Power BI Slicer

When you want to do one or more of the activities listed below, you can use a slicer in Power BI.

  • Placing critical and commonly used filters on the report canvas, you can readily reach them.
  • Place the slicer directly next to important graphs and charts to view a concentrated report.
  • Instead of going to the filters drop-down list, you may easily view all of the presently applied filters on the report.
  • Unnecessary/hidden/less-used columns should be hidden, but they should remain visible for users in case they need to use them for analysis.

Working with Power BI Slicer Drop Down

First, pick how you want the data filter to look on your dashboard. Before diving into the working, Here are a few steps to get started with.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down Step 1: Selecting Slicer for Visualization

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - SKU
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Place the slicer icon from the Visualizations tab on the canvas. Choose the column from which you want to filter data once it’s on the canvas. Instead of starting with collections, I chose SKU in this case (stock-keeping unit).

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - Power BI Slicer DropDown
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Return to the canvas and click the slicer symbol. By default, it shows up as a list, but you can change it with one easy step. A downward arrow can be found in the upper right-hand corner. Simply clicking on it brings up two options: List and Dropdown. Select Dropdown if you don’t want the data filter to appear as a list. That’s all. I also want to use a dropdown, so I chose that option.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down Step 2: Control Selection

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - Selection Control
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There are a few selection control settings that you may change depending on how you want your slicer to behave. Power BI slicers allow you to select many things by default, but this isn’t always the best option.

Notice in the following screenshot that the Single select option’s default setting is “Off?” As a result, we must alter this default behaviour.

Click the format icon in the Visualizations window. The second option, Selection controls, displays the available alternatives for selection. We have enabled the Single choose option, and the result is seen below if a customer selects the Microsoft Access 2013 SKU.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - Access permission
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Power BI Slicer Drop Down Step 3: Data Availabilty

After populating the slicer with data, you may make it available across all pages or just a few selected pages. To do so, go to the View and tick the Sync slicers box.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - Syncing Slicer
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The window above shows on the canvas’s right side, to the left of the Visualizations pane. This page displays all of the pages created for this report. Simply pick the pages where you want to Sync the slicer and make it visible Power BI Slicer Drop Down – Visible on the report page.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down Step 4: Final Step

It is critical to give the slicer an appropriate title so that users may quickly recognise its purpose. Power BI uses the column header name as the slicer’s title by default. In many cases, you will want to include more information in your slicer titles.

Renaming the columns in the Field section is not recommended. Rename column headings in the Visualizations pane instead. This has no effect on the dataset. The images below show the before and after effects of renaming the slicer title.

Power BI Slicer Drop Down - SKU, and Microsoft Access for Power BI Slicer Drop Down
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After deciding on the dropdown choice, updating the selection controls, defining data availability, and renaming the slicer, the final step for me was to apply the finishing touches.

In the screenshot above, you can see that two slicers have been created: one for SKUs and one for collections. Both employ borders, and while you may not notice it, they have modified the background such that they merge seamlessly with the dashboard. The way they look above is synchronised and displayed on all of the other pages in this collection.

Benefits of Power BI Slicer Drop Down

Here is a small note to keep an eye for the benefits of Power BI Slicer Drop Down!

  • Power BI Slicer Drop Down is simple to use; it is displayed on the canvas.
  • Report consumers can select what they wish to see in the visuals.
  • Although Power BI Slicer Drop Down are limited to a report page, you can add slicers to many pages and synchronise their activities.

Limitations of Power BI Slicer Drop Down

Here are a few limitations to keep an eye on!

  • Input fields are not supported in Power BI slicers. A Slicer cannot be pinned to a dashboard.
  • In a Power BI report, slicers do not support drill down.
  • The time zone information is missing from the data models imported into Power BI and used in Power BI Slicer Drop Down. However, you may use the Query Editor in Power BI Desktop to convert a local time zone to UTC.

Conclusion

Taking the time to customise the style of slicers, on the other hand, makes the reports look nicer and more presentable. Power BI Slicer Drop Down offered me additional space to work with for the other areas of the page in my scenario.

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