How to calculate last year value in DAX for Power BI?

With Power BI, how to calculate last year value in DAX? Simply use the two available DAX CALCULATE function combined with the PREVIOUS YEAR function. In financial dashboard and reports, use the previous year value for comparison and variance calculation with the current year. 

Indeed analyzing financial figures is often about time comparison and rolling forecasts. Financial forecast uses rolling months, quarters or years.

How to calculate last year value in DAX for Power BI?

The first option calculate last year total is to use directly the source column in DAX

The first option is to use directly the value from an existing column from the source table. The developer or business user imports the existing column in a Tabular Model or Power BI.

Sales Last Year := CALCULATE(SUM('ShopSales'[SalesAmount]), PREVIOUSYEAR('Time'[DateKey]))

Second option to get last year value with another measure from the Power BI model

The second option is to use another DAX measure and use it as a source, like in the below DAX formula example:

Sales Last Year := CALCULATE([Sales], PREVIOUSYEAR('Time'[DateKey]))

To go further, the term DAX stands for Data Analysis Expression and it’s a Microsoft language. For example, PowerPivot, Power BI reports and dashboards and also Tabular models use the DAX language.

Check out the detailed documentation of the two functions from this article on the official Power BI website:

This article is about the calculation of last year value in DAX for Power BI, but it also applies to the creation of time measures in an Analysis Services tabular model.

Check this frequently asked questions about DAX and Power BI

Is the last year sales calculated automatically in Power BI?

Per default, the last year sales are not calculated automatically by the software. However, DAX for Power BI allows creating a measure using time functions to calculate the previous year sales.

What are the options to calculate the previous year in DAX?

In Power BI there are many options to calculate new measures, including the ones with time functions. Use the base column mapped from a table or other measures.

What’s the difference between DAX and MDX languages?

DAX stands for Data Analysis Expressions and it’s used to create measures and calculations for Power BI and Power BI. For example, Analysis Services cubes contain MDX code.

What does DAX abbreviation stand for?

The DAX abbreviation stands for Data Analysis Expressions and it’s a Microsoft language that allows users to manipulate data.

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