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 feature 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.
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.
- To demonstrate this we are going to use the below data that you can download as an excel workbook to practice along with us.
- Now create a clustered column chart to view yearly sales summary, for this drag and drop “Order Date” column to “Axis” and “Sales” column to “Value“”.
- This has created a yearly column chart.
- 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”.
- Whenever there is a hierarchy we can make use of “Drill Down & Drill Up” options. When you closely look at the bottom of the chart we can see some arrow key.
First one is “Up Arrow”, the second one is “Down Arrow”, the third one is “Double Down Arrow” and another one of “Expand” options.
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- 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.
- The next option below the “Year” is “Quarter” so now if you click on “Double Down Arrow” it will show the chart “Quarterly-wise”.
- 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.
- Similarly when you click on this “Double Down Arrow” it will move one more level further and shows monthly summary.
- Now it is showing monthly summary, similarly, when you click “Double Down Arrow” one more time it will take you to the last hierarchy level i.e. “Days”.
- After reaching the last hierarchy level we no longer drill down.
- 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.
- When we are the first hierarchy level i.e. “Years” we can see the “Expand” option is enabled.
- This will expand everything at once, click on this option to see its impact.
- By clicking on this option once it has taken us one hierarchy down i.e. “Year & Quarter”, now click one more time to see “Yearly, Quarterly & Monthly”.
- “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”.
- Now click on the “Format” option. Click on the “X-Axis” drop-down list.
- From “Type” choose “Categorical” as the option.
- The moment you choose “Categorical” as the “Type” option at the bottom of the same “X-Axis” options it will enable the “Concatenate Labels” option.“Turn Off” this feature.
- After this click on the “Expand” option to see then neat alignment of “X-Axis”.
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 we can apply this drill-down feature.
- For example, we need to see “Category-wise” and “Sub-category-wise” drill down summary, for this first insert “Category-wise” chart.
- Now, look at the chart.
- Now drag and drop the “Sub-Category” column to just below the “Category” column under the “Axis” of the chart.
- Now, look at the chart.
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.
Things to Remember
- Drill Down requires a hierarchy of the columns which is to be used with visuals.
- Date hierarchy 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 –