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In most cases, users can select only one value, and multiple selections cannot perform a meaningful calculation.
For example, the Parameter Table can choose the number of customers to show in a Pivot Table sorted by sales amount, similar to a dynamic “top N customers” calculation, where a slicer selects the N value.
The Parameter Table pattern is useful when you want to add a slicer to a Pivot Table and make it modify the result of some calculation, injecting parameters into DAX expressions.
To use it, you must define a table that has no relationships with any other table.
Suppose you want to provide the user with a slicer that can select the scale of measures to display, allowing the user to select a value in millions, thousands, or units.
To do that, you must first create a Scale table that does not have any relationship with other tables in the data model, as shown in Figure 1.
An existing Power Pivot model, one that had been working just fine for a long time, had stopped working when we refreshed the model with the latest data: All the slicers were now indicating that there wasn’t any data. Somehow, did one of the columns get changed from Date to Text? They both are definitely still Date, as evidenced by this screenshot from the Power Pivot window ribbon, here at right. Try setting both related columns to a format that displays time as well as date: Now look at the two columns: Like I said, sneaky little Date/Time data type.
One of my favorite themes – cooperation between Power Pivot pros and SQL pros – and I will be hammering said theme every chance I get One of the founding engineers behind Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, and creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot service, Rob is one of the foremost authorities on self-service business intelligence and next-generation spreadsheet technology.
This scenario is demonstrated later in the Limit Top N Elements in a Ranking example. That table has no relationships with other tables, and usually has only one column, containing the parameter values.
You might use up to three columns in case you want to add a textual description to the parameter value and to specify a particular display order by using the Sort by Column property.
This means using a SWITCH statement that, according to the value selected, returns a different expression for the same measure.
You will see an example later by looking at the Period Table pattern.
If you do the trimming via Views, you can keep the time component in your SQL tables for later, in case you want to do “time of day” analyses.