Tableau calculated fields vs PowerBI DAX

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…It would seem there is no competition.

It’s an interesting one for me, as PowerBI is often sold on its simplicity, continuity and integration with the “MS Stack”.

Earlier in May I had the pleasure of delivering part of a Graduate Development Program at the Arab National Bank on behalf of LearningTree to a group of wonderful, enthusiastic and highly competent individuals.

We kicked off with an introduction to Data Analytics where we touched upon everything from Decision Making and Decision Trees to Data Mining and Data Visualisation. Then we started on putting this into practice with Tableau.

There were a couple of PowerBI users in the audience and we had the usual banter and fun. But when we got to Calculations… they were won over.

You see, DAX is a formula programming language, with its origins in other tools.

Tableau calculations were designed with the analyst in mind, in Tableau.

And are actually more similar to Excel formulas to write than DAX is. Weirdly.

Then bring Table Calculations into the “equation” (forgive the pun) and we make some very complicated tasks not only very easy to do, but also avoid the need for the writer to even think “how do I code THAT?”.

Because they allow you to focus on the business question.

And of course you can extend calculations and Table Calculations to do some very complex, and wonderful things. As well as use them for some simple and powerful hacks…

…but the learning curve is smooth at the point of entry.

And thats the point. The 3 E’s comes at us again:

Easy to Use

Easy to Understand

Easy to Create

And thats why we love them. Even the staunch PowerBI users.

The video below shows 3 Quick Table calculations for:

  1. Running Total

  2. Year over Year Growth

  3. Percentage of Total – in this case, how much of my revenue is profitable for each slice of my business.

Give it a watch!

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