Mark as Data Table in Power BI

In my “Understanding Dates in Power BI Quick Measures” blog, I mentioned that having a Date table is a best practice but Quick Measures didn’t support it. Fortunately, the February update of Power BI Desktop fixes this. Now you can mark a Data table as such, as you’ve been able to do in Excel Power Pivot since the beginning.

020718_0319_PowerBIMark1.png

Marking a date table accomplishes three things:

  1. Disables the Power BI-generated date hierarchies (aka as inline hierarchies). Good riddance! Check the same blog for details of why inline hierarchies should be avoided.
  2. Allows you to use your Date table for time calculations in Quick Measures.
  3. Makes DAX time calculations work even if the relationship between a fact table and the Date table is created on a field that is not a date field, such as a smart integer key (YYYYMMDD). Previously, you had to create the relationship on a field of Date data type.