Layering Multiple ‘What If’ Scenarios Using DAX in Power BI

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I’m huge on scenario analysis in Power BI. Being able to input variables inside your calculations that you can ‘shock’ to effectively predict outcomes is so powerful when trying to make decisions. In Power BI you can complete this really efficiently, and you can combine many of the formula techniques with your data models and exponentially see how future results could be impacted across a range of dimensions.

Since the recording of this video, the Power BI team have actually made it even easier to create ‘what if’ parameters which is great, so that will speed things up for you.

What I really wanted to showcase was how you can layer scenarios one on top of the other. This grows your analytical power immensely.

Let’s just walk through one example. You might want to run a promotion and decrease prices. As a result, the demand for your products may increase. With that pick up in demand you may be able to arrange a lower cost on your inputs, and you can now buy bulk. You see what I mean. You can layer all these scenarios one after the other and then see, based on your forecasts, how that might change things or impact your profitability.

This is why scenario analysis in Power BI really gets me excited and why as an analytical tool it’s far superior to completing this type of analysis in Excel. It would take you a lot longer and would be far harder to visualize the data in any compelling way. Power BI gives you the functionality to do all of this.

Hopefully you can find the time to really dive into this technique. There are an immense number of applications of this across any data scenario. Once you can get your mind around how you can integrate measures capturing the scenario parameters into measures that are running calculations across your core data model, then you will see unlimited opportunities to discover predictive insights into the future.

Good luck with this one.

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