Friday 12 January 2024

Difference Between New Measure and New column in Power BI ? Power BI interview questions and answers 383

Difference Between New Measure and New column in Power BI ?

In Power BI, both New Measure and New Column allow you to perform calculations on your data, but they differ in their purpose, scope, and how they behave within your data model:

New Measure:

  • Purpose: Create dynamic calculations that aggregate data across rows or columns, often used for summarizing and visualizing data in reports.

  • Scope: Measures are evaluated at the query context, meaning they adapt to the filters and selections applied in your report. This makes them ideal for dynamic analysis and showcasing overall trends or summaries.

  • Calculations: Use DAX formulas to define complex calculations, including aggregations (SUM, AVERAGE, COUNT), logical functions (IF, AND, OR), and custom calculations specific to your analysis needs.

  • Storage: Measures are not physically stored in the data model. They are simply defined as formulas and dynamically calculated when required. This saves storage space and optimizes performance.

New Column:

  • Purpose: Create static calculations applied to each individual row of data, often used for data manipulation or adding new data points before analysis.

  • Scope: New columns are applied across the entire table, regardless of any filters or selections in your report. They provide a fixed transformation of the data, similar to adding a new data point to each row.

  • Calculations: Use a simpler syntax compared to DAX formulas, often involving basic mathematical operations (+, -, *, /) or applying existing columns within calculations.

  • Storage: New columns are physically stored within the data model as a new data field for each row. This can impact performance and storage requirements for large datasets.

Which one to choose?:

  • Choose New Measure when you need:

  • Dynamic calculations that change based on filters and selections.

  • Summarize or aggregate data for deeper insights and trends.

  • Create complex calculations using DAX formulas.

  • Choose New Column when you need:

  • Perform static calculations on each individual row of data.

  • Pre-process data or add new data points before analysis.

  • Use simple calculations with less complex syntax.


  • Both New Measure and New Column have their strengths and weaknesses.

  • Choose the best option based on your specific analysis needs and the desired dynamic or static behavior of your calculations.

  • Combining both measures and calculated columns can be powerful for building a robust and flexible data model.

Feel free to ask if you have any further questions about specific scenarios where you'd use one over the other, need help writing DAX formulas for your measures, or have any challenges deciding which approach to take! I'm here to help you navigate the world of Power BI calculations and unlock the potential of your data.

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