Power BI Quick Measures

One of the most common complaints raised by Power BI customers is the DAX steep learning curve. The April release of Power BI Desktop introduces a feature called Quick Measures. Currently in preview (make sure to enable Quick Measures from File ð Options and settings ð Options, Preview features), Quick Measures are supposed to replace Quick Calcs. Besides supporting only a limited number of packaged calculations and not working on top of custom measures, the problem with Quick Calcs is that they don’t show the DAX formulas so there isn’t a way for you to learn from the work Microsoft did or to change the formulas to customize their behavior. This changes with Quick Measures.

You can create a Quick Measure over implicit or explicit measures. To do so, once you add a field to the report, expand the measure drop-down in the Fields of the Visualizations pane, and the click “Quick measures”. Then, select the calculation type. Currently, Power BI Desktop supports about 20 quick measures organized in four categories: Aggregate by category (average, min, max, variance), Filters (filtered value, difference or percentage from filtered value), Time intelligence (YTD, QTD, MTD, and their variances), Running total, Mathematical operations (additions, subtractions, division, multiplication, percentage difference).


For some obscure reason, the YTD quick measure I tried works only with an inline date hierarchy (Power BI Desktop can auto-generate an inline date hierarchy when you add a Date field to the report). But fear not! Once you create the quick measure, it becomes a regular measure and it gets added to the Fields list. Which means that you can change its formula! This is the auto-generated one.

SalesAmount YTD =



ERROR(“Time intelligence quick measures can only be grouped or filtered by the Power BI-provided date hierarchy”),

TOTALYTD(SUM(‘ResellerSales'[SalesAmount]), ‘Date'[Date].[Date])


And this is how to get it work with any field in your Date table.

SalesAmount YTD = TOTALYTD(SUM(‘ResellerSales'[SalesAmount]), ‘Date'[Date])

Quick Measures are a welcome upgrade of Quick Calcs. They are designed to help you add common calculations and help you learn DAX.