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Calculate Function in Power BI

Date: 12-09-2023

To gain valuable insights in Power BI, intricate calculations are necessary. This includes metrics, sub-totaling, data filtration, and relationship management.

DAX’s Calculate function simplifies complex calculations with minimal effort and outperforms Excel’s Sumif function in terms of capabilities.

Before delving into the CALCULATE function, it’s crucial to grasp the concept of filter context. Filter context is a fundamental concept in DAX, and it will be frequently referenced throughout this discussion. Filter context can be described as the specific dataset against which an expression is evaluated, considering all applied filters, including those from rows, columns, and slicers.

The Calculate Function 

We can begin by examining the arguments of the CALCULATE function:
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CALCULATE( <expression> [, <filter1> [, <filter2> [, …]]])

Noticeably, this function requires just one obligatory argument: Expression.

Moreover, you can utilize optional arguments such as Filter1, Filter2, Filter3, and more to meet your filter requirements.

Exploring the Applications of the Calculate Function

The CALCULATE function is valuable because it can change how the Expression works with filters. This depends on the filter conditions specified by the user, following these steps:

  1. If a filter condition matches an existing one, it will replace the old filter with the new one mentioned in the CALCULATE expression.
  2. If there’s no existing filter like the one specified, it will create one based on that condition.

There are three primary filter types that can be used in the CALCULATE function:

  1. Boolean Filters: These are straightforward filters where the outcome must be either TRUE or FALSE.
  2. Table Filters: These are more intricate filters that yield a table as a result. FILTER function can handle advanced filtering beyond basic Boolean expressions.
  3. Filter Modification Functions: Filters like ALL and KEEPFILTERS belong to this category. They offer greater control over the filter context you want to apply. 

You can include multiple filters in the filter section of the CALCULATE function by separating each filter with a comma. These filters are assessed simultaneously, and their sequence doesn’t affect the outcome.

To influence how the filters are assessed, you can use logical operators. If you want all conditions to be TRUE, use the AND (&&) operator, which is also the default behavior. Conversely, if you opt for the OR (||) operator, at least one condition must be evaluated as TRUE for a result to be produced.

To make this clearer, let’s go through some examples.


It is quite common to face the task of calculating the percentage that a particular value represents in relation to the total. To illustrate this scenario, let us examine a table that displays the profits earned in different months. Each month is represented alongside its respective.

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The Challenge:

How can we find the percentage of profit for each month compared to the total profit shown?

Our Solution:

We can simplify this issue by instructing DAX to ignore the filter context applied to each month row field using the CALCULATE and ALL functions.

To achieve this, we’ll create a new measure called “Total Profit” with the following definition:

Total profit = CALCULATE(SUM(Table[Profit]),ALL(Table[Month]))

We get the following output. 

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With the Total Profit value established for each row, we can now create our desired measure for the percentage of profit as follows:

% Of Total Profit = SUM(Table[Profit]) / [Total Profit]


The CALCULATE function in Power BI shares similarities with Excel’s Sumif function; it stands out as a powerful tool. An essential aspect of using CALCULATE effectively is grasping the concept of filter context, as demonstrated in our example. This function is pivotal in Power BI, proving indispensable for report creation and uncovering profound insights within your data.

This article aims not only to familiarize you with CALCULATE’s syntax but also to illustrate its practical application in addressing real-world business challenges.

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