Power BI Insights: Adding semesters; Custom icons; Naming conventions; Duplicating measures

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As COVID-19 roiled markets and sent many tech companies, universities and other organizations to remote work, Microsoft Power BI pros kept up the pace of information and ideas for fellow users, ranging from adding semesters to a calendar to duplicating measures and more.

Putting semesters in a Power BI calendar

Microsoft MVP Matt Allington writing in the Excelerator BI blog, has received plenty of questions over the last few months in trainings about how to add semesters to a calendar to make sense of student data. Using the AdventureWorks database, he demonstrated an approach with DAX in Power BI. He renamed the customers table to students and switched sales to enrollment by subject or territory to campus. Beginning by creating a master data table containing semester dates, he loaded the data into a Power BI workbook, propagating filters from one table to another.

While Allington typically recommends against calculated columns, for this example he encouraged other users to take advantage of calculated columns since lookup tables are often smaller and tend not to impact calculated columns as much. He rounded out the example, demonstrating a way to define measures with DAX and noted that Power Query offers an alternative approach.

Going beyond default icons