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Advocate V
Advocate V

Cumulative (Running) Totals in DAX

A common Measure that you’ll probably find useful in PowerPivot or SSAS Tabular Models is finding running totals.  For example, you may want to see total sales of a product as it accumulates over time, or for inventory models the total on hand at a given time.  You can find more tips and tricks at my blog,

Let’s start with a base measure in a very simple pivot table.
Total Sales :=
CALCULATE ( SUM ( FactSales[SalesAmount] ) )

Total Sales

Now lets take our first attempt at computing a running total.  This is the most intuitive formula, but it has one common pitfall that isn’t necessarily easy to see right away.
Cumulative Total Sales :=
    [Total Sales],
    FILTER (
        ALL ( DimDate[Datekey] ),
        DimDate[Datekey] <= MAX ( ( DimDate[Datekey] ) )
Key parts of the Formula: The use of ALL(DimDate[DateKey]) results in the current context being ignored, so dates outside of the current pivot row context will be analyzed.  The second key step is the comparison of DimDate[Datekey] <= MAX ( ( DimDate[Datekey] ).  This means that all dates in the DateKey column that are before the current pivot table row context will be calculated.

If we put this measure on a table, we’ll get the correct numbers but we will have one issue remaining.

Cumalative Total Sales

The formula returns a number for dates that have no sales.  We need to add some error handling, which is outlined below.
Cumulative Sales (Correct) :=
IF (
    COUNTROWS ( FactSales ) > 0,
        [Total Sales],
        FILTER (
            ALL ( DimDate[Datekey] ),
            DimDate[Datekey] <= MAX ( ( DimDate[Datekey] ) )
    BLANK ()

The IF Function checks to make sure that there are sales in the current selected context, otherwise returning blank.  You can see the difference between the two measures below:

Cumalative Total Sales (Correct)

If you have any questions for me, you can reach me via LinkedIn or in the PowerBI Community.


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