Thursday 11 January 2024

How are DAX and Power Query different from each other in Power BI ? Power BI interview questions and answers 357

 How are DAX and Power Query different from each other in Power BI ?

While both DAX and Power Query are essential components of Power BI for data analysis and transformation, they serve distinct purposes and operate in different stages of the data pipeline. Here's a breakdown of their key differences:


  • DAX (Data Analysis Expressions): DAX focuses on calculating and manipulating data within the Power BI model. It allows you to create measures, calculated columns, and calculated tables to derive new insights from existing data.

  • Power Query: Power Query focuses on data cleansing, shaping, and transformation. It operates before the data enters the Power BI model and enables you to import data from various sources, clean it up, remove duplicates, and transform it into the desired format for analysis.


  • DAX: DAX utilizes a formula language similar to Excel but more powerful and specific to data analysis. It provides functions for aggregations, calculations, logic, and date manipulation.

  • Power Query: Power Query uses a visual interface with intuitive steps and a graphical query editor. It offers a wide range of data transformation tools like filtering, sorting, merging, splitting columns, and applying custom functions.


  • DAX: DAX works with data already loaded into the Power BI model. You use DAX formulas after data cleansing and shaping have been completed in Power Query.

  • Power Query: Power Query operates before data enters the Power BI model. You use it as the first step in your data analysis workflow to ensure the data is ready for further analysis with DAX and visualization in Power BI.


  • DAX: DAX formulas return calculated values, new columns, or entire tables based on the existing data in the model.

  • Power Query: Power Query transforms the original data source itself and outputs a clean and restructured dataset that feeds into the Power BI model.


Think of Power Query as the kitchen where you prepare the ingredients (data) before cooking. You clean, chop, and mix them (transform the data) according to your recipe (analysis needs). Then, DAX is like the cooking itself, where you use various techniques (DAX formulas) to create the final dish (insights and visualizations) from the prepared ingredients.

Understanding the differences between DAX and Power Query is crucial for efficient data analysis in Power BI. Use Power Query to prepare your data, and then leverage DAX to derive deeper insights and build compelling reports.

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask if you have any further questions about DAX, Power Query, or Power BI in general.

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