Thursday 4 January 2024

State the major differences between MAX and MAXA functions in power BI ? Power BI interview questions and answers 257

 State the major differences between MAX and MAXA functions in power BI ?

In Power BI, both MAX and MAXA functions find the largest value in a column, but they differ in terms of the data types they handle and the specific values they consider:


  • Data types: Primarily designed for numeric data columns (integers, decimals).

  • Value selection: Returns the single largest numeric value in the specified column.

  • Empty cells: Ignores empty cells (null values) when calculating the maximum.

  • Textual comparison: If used with text data, it returns the text that comes last alphabetically.


  • Data types: Can handle a wider range of data types, including numeric, logical (True/False), and empty cells.

  • Value selection: Returns the largest value, taking into account:

  • Numeric values: Similar to MAX, it considers the highest number.

  • Logical values: True is considered greater than False.

  • Empty cells: Treats them as the smallest possible value, ensuring they don't influence the maximum.

  • Textual comparison: Not applicable for text data as it focuses on numeric and logical values.

Here's a table summarizing the key differences:




Data types

Numeric (primary)

Numeric, Logical, Empty cells

Value selection

Single largest numeric value

Largest based on numeric, logical, and empty cell considerations

Empty cells


Treated as smallest possible value

Text data

Compares alphabetically

Not applicable

Choosing the right function depends on your specific data and analysis needs:

  • Use MAX for:

  • Finding the highest numerical value in a column.

  • Simple scenarios where data contains only numeric values and empty cells are irrelevant.

  • Use MAXA for:

  • Working with mixed data types including numerics, logics, and potentially empty cells.

  • Situations where empty cells should be considered the smallest possible value and not influence the maximum.

  • Finding the largest value based on a combination of numeric and logical comparisons.

Remember, MAXA offers more flexibility in terms of data types and empty cell handling but might be slightly less efficient than MAX for purely numeric columns. Choose the function that best aligns with your data structure and analysis goals.

I hope this explanation clarifies the differences between MAX and MAXA in Power BI. Feel free to ask if you have any further questions or need more specific examples.

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