Wednesday 20 December 2023

What is the SIGN function in Power BI ? Power BI interview questions and answers 045

 What is the SIGN function in Power BI ?

In Power BI, the SIGN function serves a simple yet valuable purpose: determining the mathematical sign of a number. It returns 1 if the number is positive, 0 if the number is zero, and -1 if the number is negative.

Here's a breakdown of how it works:

Function syntax:


  • number: Any real number, a column containing numbers, or an expression that evaluates to a number.

Example usage:

  1. Check if a sales value is positive:

IF(SIGN(Sales) = 1, "Profit", "Loss")

  1. Filter transactions based on their sign:

Transactions[Amount] < SIGN(-100)

  1. Create a calculated column indicating if a value is above or below zero:

SIGN(Inventory - AverageInventory) * "Change"

Use cases:

  • Categorization and filtering: Classify data points based on their positive, negative, or zero status.

  • Conditional formatting: Apply different formatting rules based on the sign of a value.

  • Calculations and comparisons: Perform calculations or comparisons that require identifying the sign of numbers.

  • Data validation: Check if data entries conform to expected sign limitations.


  • Simplicity: Offers a clear and concise way to determine the mathematical sign of any number.

  • Versatility: Applicable in various data analysis tasks across different data types and formats.

  • Enhanced analysis: Enhances data understanding by facilitating categorization, filtering, and calculations based on the sign.


While seemingly basic, the SIGN function plays a valuable role in Power BI for manipulating and analyzing numerical data based on their mathematical sign. Remember to explore its potential and leverage it to gain deeper insights and enhance your data analysis tasks.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions about specific use cases, need help implementing it in your Power BI analysis, or have any other queries related to data analysis in Power BI!

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