Power BI Drill Down

What is Drill Down in Power BI?

Drill Down is nothing but the next level of hierarchical insights of the data. For example, when you show a year-wise sales summary you may want to dig deep into “Monthly” summary, “Quarterly Summary” and also a day-wise summary. So this is where the drill-down feature of Power BI plays a crucial role in showing up detailed drill-down insights.

Going from the general view of the data to a detailed view by just a click on the mouse. The reason why drill down is an important power BI featurePower BI FeaturePower BI has countless appealing features like content packs (containing data models & dashboards, etc.), personalized visualization, DAX functions, Flexible Tiles, and Quick Insights, among others.read more because, in a yearly revenue chart, you may see overall sales as “2 M,” but there are chances where the majority of the revenue generated in a single quarter or few months itself, so drilling down general view of the summary into deeper will give the correct picture.


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For eg:
Source: Power BI Drill Down (wallstreetmojo.com)

How to Use Drill Down Option in Power BI?

You can download the workbook to use the same file as we used in this example.

You can download this Power BI Drill Down Feature Excel Template here – Power BI Drill Down Feature Excel Template

Follow the steps to use Drill Down option in Power BI.

  1. To demonstrate this, we are going to use the below data that you can download as an excel workbook to practice along with us.

    Power BI Drill Down Data

  2. Now create a clustered column chartCreate A Clustered Column ChartIn Excel, a clustered column chart depicts data in a series of vertical columns. Though these charts are simple to create, analyzing them becomes increasingly difficult as the number of categories increases from single to multiple. read more to view the yearly sales summary for this drag and drop the “Order Date” column to “Axis” and “Sales” column to “Value.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Drag Columns

  3. This has created a yearly column chartColumn ChartColumn chart is used to represent data in vertical columns. The height of the column represents the value for the specific data series in a chart, the column chart represents the comparison in the form of column from left to right.read more.

    Power BI Drill Down - Column Chart

  4. Under “Axis” when we drag and drop the “Order Date” column, we can see it has created a hierarchy of date in terms of “Year, Quarter, Month, and Day.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Axis - Order Date

  5. Whenever there is a hierarchy, we can make use of “Drill Down u0026 Drill Up” options. When you closely look at the bottom of the chart, we can see some arrow keys.

    Power BI Drill Down - Drill Down Options
    The first one is “Up Arrow,” the second one is “Down Arrow,” the third one is “Double Down Arrow,” and another one of “Expand” options.

  6. As of now, “Up Arrow” is not active because in the hierarchy of order date first option is “Year,” and also chart is showing “Year” summary only, so we cannot go any further up.

    Power BI Drill Down - Up Arrow Not Active

  7. The next option below the “Year” is “Quarter,” so now, if you click on “Double Down Arrow,” it will show the chart “Quarterly-wise.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Double Down Arrow

  8. As you can see above, we have clicked once on the “Double Down Arrow,” and it has taken deeper into the next level, i.e., “Quarterly-wise” chart and also “Up Arrow” is active now since we have moved one level down or one hierarchy down now we can go up.

    Power BI Drill Down - Up Arrow Active

  9. Similarly, when you click on this “Double Down Arrow,” it will move one more level further and shows a monthly summary.

    Power BI Drill Down - Click on Double Down Arrow

  10. Now it is showing a monthly summary. Similarly, when you click “Double Down Arrow” one more time, it will take you to the last hierarchy level, i.e., “Days.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Days Data

  11. After reaching the last hierarchy level, we no longer drill down.

    Power BI Drill Down - Down Arrow not Active

  12. So now if we press the drill up option, it will take us above levels from the current level, i.e., as shown below.

    Days >>> Months >>> Quarters >>> Years.

  13. When we are the first hierarchy level, i.e., “Years,” we can see the “Expand” option is enabled.

    Power BI Drill Down - Expand

  14. This will expand everything at once. Click on this option to see its impact.

    Power BI Drill Down - Expand Everydata

  15. By clicking on this option once it has taken us one hierarchy down, i.e., “Year u0026 Quarter,” now click one more time to see “Yearly, Quarterly u0026 Monthly.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Year - Qtr - Monthly

  16. “X-Axis” values don’t look neat, isn’t it? This is more to do with settings of the “X-Axis,” first come back to the “1st Hierarchy” level, i.e., “Year.”

    Power BI Drill Down - GO Back

  17. Now click on the “Format” option. Click on the “X-Axis” drop-down list.

    Power BI Drill Down - X Axis

  18. From “Type,” choose “Categorical” as the option.

    Power BI Drill Down - Type Option

  19. The moment you choose “Categorical” as the “Type” option at the bottom of the same “X-Axis” option, it will enable the “Concatenate Labels” option.“Turn Off” this feature.

    Power BI Drill Down - Concatenate Labels Option

  20. After this, click on the “Expand” option to see the neat alignment of “X-Axis.”

    Power BI Drill Down - Expand Neatly

Now we can see “Year” only once for all the four quarters.

Drill Down Feature For Non Date Columns

Not only for columns also for non-date columns too, but we can also apply this drill-down feature.

  • For example, we need to see “Category-wise” and “Sub-category-wise” drill down a summary for this first insert “Category-wise” chart.
 Drag Category
  • Now, look at the chart.
Power BI Drill Down - Category Chart
  • Now drag and drop the “Sub-Category” column to just below the “Category” column under the “Axis” of the chart.
Sub Category
  • Now, look at the chart.
Power BI Drill Down - Drill Down Appears

As soon as we insert another field chart has enabled drill down option, so using drill-down, we can see both “Category-wise” & “Sub-category wise” summary chart.

Note: Power BI Drill Down file can also be downloaded from the link below, and the final output can be viewed.

You can download this Power BI Drill Down Feature Template here – Power BI Drill Down Feature Template

Things to Remember

  • Drill Down requires a hierarchy of the columns, which is to be used with visuals.
  • Date hierarchy is automatically created.
  • Not all the visuals support drill down and drill up features.

This has been a guide to Power BI drill down. Here we discuss how to use the Drill Down feature in Power BI to summarize the data in the next hierarchical level along with examples. You may learn more about Power BI from the following articles –

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