Power BI Performance Tuning

Make it go faster! Visualizations are great, but when users start complaining about the load times on reports, it can be a tough exercise to figure out the issues. In this episode, we discuss ways you can measure the speed of your Power BI reports. We also get into some of the fundamentals of data storage for Power BI.

Episode Quotes

“You can get away with having a lot of data if it’s in a shape that works with the VertiPaq engine, the DAX engine, in a way that aligns with what Power BI is optimized for.”

“The less data it has to work with, generally speaking, unless you have some complex filtering going on, that’s going to be faster.”

“We have to work on our data model a little bit. There could be some work that needs to be done there before we worry about what the visualizations look like.”

Listen to Learn

00:38     Intro to the team and topic
01:21     Compañero Shout-Outs
02:20     Sqlgene is #1, above Microsoft, in the search “performance tuning power bi”
03:20     This whole conversation is predicated on your using Import Mode
06:07     How you limit the data that comes into your report
09:29     The formula engine and the storage engine
12:24     We need to work on our data model first, even when it’s not immediately gratifying
13:25     Eugene’s rule of thumb of number of “things” on a page
15:37     Organizational ideas for keeping the amount of data represented lower
17:01     Verify that query folding is working – it’s really effective
21:38     Tools Eugene uses for measuring
24:58     Closing Thoughts

You can get away with having a lot of data if it’s in a shape that works with the VertiPaq engine, the DAX engine, in a way that aligns with what Power BI is optimized for.

Eugene Meidinger

Meet the Hosts

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Carlos Chacon

With more than 10 years of working with SQL Server, Carlos helps businesses ensure their SQL Server environments meet their users’ expectations. He can provide insights on performance, migrations, and disaster recovery. He is also active in the SQL Server community and regularly speaks at user group meetings and conferences. He helps support the free database monitoring tool found at databasehealth.com and provides training through SQL Trail events.

eugene meidinger headshot

Eugene Meidinger

Eugene works as an independent BI consultant and Pluralsight author, specializing in Power BI and the Azure Data Platform. He has been working with data for over 8 years and speaks regularly at user groups and conferences. He also helps run the GroupBy online conference.

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Kevin Feasel

Kevin is a Microsoft Data Platform MVP and proprietor of Catallaxy Services, LLC, where he specializes in T-SQL development, machine learning, and pulling rabbits out of hats on demand. He is the lead contributor to Curated SQL, president of the Triangle Area SQL Server Users Group, and author of the books PolyBase Revealed (Apress, 2020) and Finding Ghosts in Your Data: Anomaly Detection Techniques with Examples in Python (Apress, 2022). A resident of Durham, North Carolina, he can be found cycling the trails along the triangle whenever the weather's nice enough.

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