Measure Totals, The Final Word

Super User
Super User
Posts: 9,535
Registered: ‎07-11-2015

Measure Totals, The Final Word

[ Edited ]

With apologies to Theodor Geisel...


Measure totals have you perturbed?
Fear not!
It's Measure Totals, The Final Word,


These measures work with matrices,
They work with tables,
They work with rows and columns and labels.


They work in the daytime,
They work at night,
They work to make sure the totals are right!


Now that you've seen them,
Now that you've heard,
Shout it out loud, it's Measure Totals, The Final Word!


At some point, we've all been frustrated by measure totals. If you want to understand why, read this post.


The technique employed here is fairly simple and should work in all "standard" cases of where you just want the Total line to, well, display the total (sum) of a measure. For more complex scenarios, see my Matrix Measure Total Triple Threat Rock & Roll measure.


Essentially, create a measure, any measure, that performs your desired calculation and returns the correct result at the row level. This becomes your "m_Single" measure. Now, create an "m_Total" measure that performs a SUMMARIZE of your data, exactly as how it is displayed in your table or matrix and use the "m_Single" measure within that SUMMARIZE statement to provide the values for the individually summarized rows. Finally, perform a SUMX across that summarized table. The measures presented in this PBIX file also do a HASONEVALUE check that isn't really necessary in most cases but perhaps lends a little confidence to the user that the SUMX is only employed in the Total line and might also add some performance improvements.


In effect, you are recreating the displayed visualization in memory as a table and then doing a summation across that table for the total line, as you would intuitively expect a total line in a table or matrix to work.


So, if we have a measure like:


m_Single = SUM(Table1[Value])-50

This measure will cause problems in total lines. So, if we are summarizing by [Name], we create this measure:



m_Total 1 = 
VAR __table = SUMMARIZE('Table1',[Name],"__value",[m_Single])

If we are summarizing by [Category1], we create this measure:



m_Total 2 = 
VAR __table = SUMMARIZE('Table1',[Category1],"__value",[m_Single])

And so on...



We use these "m_Total" measures in our visualizations. The "m_Single" measure is still used, but not directly in the visuals themselves.


Is it annoying to have to create multiple measures and specifically tailor them to each individual visual? Yes, yes it is.






Did I answer your question? Mark my post as a solution!

Proud to be a Datanaut!

Regular Visitor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎05-01-2018

Re: Measure Totals, The Final Word

Awesome stuff.  I look forward to digging into this more.

Posts: 1
Registered: ‎06-26-2018

Re: Measure Totals, The Final Word

Wow.  This also worked with AVERAGEX.  Now I just have to understand why it works! Smiley Happy  Thank you so much.  

Regular Visitor
Posts: 20
Registered: ‎05-01-2018

Re: Measure Totals, The Final Word

This has got to be the biggest oversight of Power BI is the lack of an elegent solution to handling totals.