A blog about DAX, Power Query and Power BI

External Tool, Favorites, Power BI Sidekick

Introducing Power BI Sidekick

Over the years, I have created several tools to help evaluate Power BI reports quickly. Most of them are born out of lacking insights in Power BI Desktop or existing help tools (as far as I have been aware of).

Sharing and discussing them with others led me to the conclusion that it may be useful for more Power BI developers across the globe. That is why I collected these tools into one Power BI external tool: Power BI Sidekick.

 

Standing on the shoulders of giants

The intention is to share this external tool in the Power BI Community. This follows naturally given the fact that Power BI Sidekick also has benefited from community shared content. Let’s mention two important projects:

Parts of the performance metrics are based on the Vertipaq Analyzer tool created by DAX heroes Marco Russo and Alberto Ferrari.

Another big shout-out goes to Stephanie Bruno, who created the Power BI Field Finder. From that project, I took the beautiful idea of visualizing objects that are used in the Power BI reports with svg-miniature-images.

 

Get it here

Power BI Sidekick can be downloaded at my github page. Go to the Wiki page for a short instruction on how to get started. Please feel free to try it out and let me know what you think of it. I am very curious!

 

Three main sections

The tool is organized in three main sections:

 

1. Report pages –> scan through all elements relevant for evaluation from a page perspective.

2. Mini tools –> 15 tools addressing different aspects of the report ( DAX dependencies, calculation groups, bookmarks, search expressions … )
3. Documentation –> overview of the objects that are being used in the report ( tables, columns, measures, bookmarks …)

 

With the current structure, you should be at the right page/mini tool/documentation topic with – at max – 2 clicks.

 

Useful for many scenario’s

At this moment, Power BI Sidekick is already useful in many scenario’s concerning development, optimization and documentation. For individual reports, but also for multiple thin reports with a live connection to a Power BI dataset. There also is a lot of potential to extend the tool with new functionality.

I am planning to write a series of blogs to further elaborate on functionality and use cases. See them listed below:

 

1. Report Pages (RP)

2. Mini Tools (MT)

  • MT – Measures in visuals
  • MT – Display names
  • MT – Measure dependencies
  • MT – Measures cleaner
  • MT – Implicit measures
  • MT – Columns in visuals
  • MT – Columns in DAX expressions
  • MT – Calculation groups
  • MT – Object sizes
  • MT – Relationships
  • MO – Power query dependencies
  • MT – Bookmarks
  • MT – Crosspage actions
  • MT – Memory usage
  • MT – Search in expressions

3. Documentation (D)

  • D – Documentation

 

User experience

For an optimal user experience, I’d advice to publish to Power BI Service.

  • Navigating is heavily based on button clicks.
  • You can run different instances of the same report on different tabs.
  • It is easy to create bookmarks for findings that you want to discuss with colleagues and clients or re-evaluate later.

 

A thousand words…

See this one-minute-video to get an impression on how to run Power BI Sidekick and retrieve a glimpse of the new (Nov 18th ’22) landing page. It provides an overview of all relevant KPI’s with buttons and tooltip explanations that will rightaway bring you to the right page.

 

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Mini Tool – Bookmarks

A quick demonstration of the insights gained by this Bookmark analyzer. The mini tool Bookmarks provides a quick overview of the bookmarks in the report(s): where they are used, whether they are corrupt and – in case of selected visuals – which visuals are included in the selection.

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Power BI CONSULTANT

Fell in love with DAX and M at the same time. Hard to make a choice between them.

Fortunately, I am happy to see the best model requires M and DAX working closely together. 

It’s the perfect team!

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