Field Properties


Course Introduction
Data Model Features
Schemas and Tables
Course Conclusion

The course is part of this learning path

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Power BI has changed the business intelligence (BI) landscape forever, enabling BI professionals and regular Excel users alike to work with big data and build beautiful and insightful dashboards. Integral to the Power BI platform is the data model. 

This course discusses fundamental concepts of data modeling design within Power BI. We explore Microsoft's recommended best practices as well as common data modeling complications and the solutions to them. This course will prepare learners to develop data models strategically to achieve the best performance.

Learning Objectives

  • Identify the primary components of data models and describe flat schemas and star schemas
  • Diagnose common Power BI data modeling issues within models and recommend appropriate solutions to them
  • Identify common challenges in Power BI data models, implement smart solutions, and avoid common mistakes

Intended Audience

  • Business professionals whose job requires them to design and build data models in Power BI
  • Anyone preparing to take the Microsoft DA-100 exam


To get the most out of this course, you should be familiar with preparing data using Power BI.


Earlier, we made sure to set the data type as Date in our date table. And this is essential in order to allow your date table to talk smoothly with the other dates in your model. In fact, it's crucial that all of your fields are properly formatted for their data type, and that their settings are ideal for their purpose. For instance, let's say our customers are mostly based in Europe, let's change the dates to display properly for Europe.

In the Model View, open up a table and select a field. The Properties menu is grouped into three different sections. Under General, the description becomes a tool tip when report builders hover over this field in Report View. We can also add synonyms for the Q&A feature. Add this field to a folder to group relevant fields. And we can choose to hide it or unhide it from Report View. Formatting is where we change the data type like to European dates. Or we could also change percent fields to always display as percent. Or set up currency fields that they always display as currency.

Let's actually use these in Report View. Cool, the dates look good and that percent is formatting nicely, and my currency. Cool, those work perfectly. But this other visual looks kind of funky. These are months, so I should probably display the month names here instead, I guess. Our report consumers might not know that these are month names. I'll just remove the month number here and replace it with month name. That's weird. It looks like this visual is ordering months alphabetically rather than by month order. That looks weird, let's fix this. Back in the Model View, under the Advanced tab, you can sort this column by another column. Great, we want this month name column to use the sort order from the month number column. Okay, looks good. Let's go see that in our report. That is much better.

Other options in the Advanced menu include formatting locations as a specific location type, or formatting URLs and barcodes. And customizing how your numerical data will default aggregate. For instance, are your month day numbers Summing? Set their default aggregation to none and that'll fix that. Now, when you add them to a report, Power BI won't calculate them. Also DiscountPercent, I never want to add that, I always wanna average it. So let's set this default aggregation to Average and now its default behavior is actually useful.

To wrap up this topic, let's scan and look at all the icons that are adorning each of these fields in Report View. By now, we should be able to visually confirm that each field is equipped with default behavior fitting its role. There's only one icon here that we haven't expressly covered yet, which is this one. This is a hierarchy, and often they are great, but some of them aren't great, and we need to know how to handle those.

About the Author

Chelsea Dohemann is a Senior Technical Trainer and Microsoft Certified Master with almost a decade of experience in technology training. She has taught an array of applications from Microsoft products including Office 365 web apps, Microsoft Office Suite, Power BI, VBA for Excel, and SharePoint to Adobe Acrobat Pro and Creative Cloud. Being a persistent learner herself, Chelsea is acutely in-tune with the challenges of learning. She presents her topics in plain language, with real-world examples, reducing complex concepts down to their simple parts.