Power BI Filter vs Slicer

In this Power BI Tutorial, let us explore, Power BI Filter vs Slicer or the difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer. Also, we will discuss:

  • What is Power BI Filter?
  • Types of filter available in a Power BI Report
  • Various filtering methods in Power BI
  • What is Power BI Slicer?
  • Difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer
  • Advantages of using Filter on a Power BI Report
  • Advantages of using Slicer on a Power BI Report

What is Power BI Filter?

In Power BI, one of the powerful features is Power BI Filter. They are used to filter data based on some selected criteria. We can select particular fields or values within fields and display only the information related to that.

Filters remove all but the data we want to focus on. We can apply filters in the Filters pane.

For example, let’s say we have a dataset related to Products sold. There are 7 products(i.e, desktop, keyboard, laptop, Mouse, Smartphone, TV), from which we have to show the report based on 2 products(i.e. Laptop and Mouse).

Power BI Filters
Power BI Filters

After applying the filter we can see only the information that we need(i.e. data based on Laptop and Mouse)

Power BI Filters
Power BI Filters

This is how a Filter works Power BI. In the coming topic, we will see how to apply filter in Power BI Report.

Types of filter in a Power BI Report

In the Filter pane, there are 4 standard types of filters in Power BI, such as:

  • Visual filter: It applies to a single visual on a report page. These are the granuual filters that we can use in our data. Also, they work with the content of both page-level filters and reporting level, thst means the visual-level filters cannot be edited further to filter data in other visual.
  • Page filter: It filters all the visuals on the report page. This filter can be applied based on some conditions on a particular page within a given report.
  • Report filter: It applies to all pages in the report. This filters are the ones that affect all data in this report, no matter what we are looking for. It is acts like a Global filter.
  • Drill through filter: With this filter, we create a destination report page that focuses on a specific entity, such as a supplier. From the other report pages, users can right-click a data point for that entity and drillthrough to the focused page.

For example, here we create a report on Power BI. Like below:

Power BI Filters
Power BI Filters

Different sorts of filtering methods

Each filter has 3 options for using the reports. These are:

  • Basic filtering: A basic filtering shows a list of all values in the field. We can search in page, visual and report filters, in reading or editing view.
Power BI Filters types
Power BI Filters types

In basic filtering, we are given a list of values that is scrollable and searchable. To search for a value, simply type a keyword or identifier into the search box and the list of available values will automatically update based on the selected criteria that we select. We can select one or more entries from the list using checkboxes.

Let’s say, we have 7 products details. From them, we want to show 3 Products details. For this, a basic filter works like below:

Power BI Filters
Power BI Filters

This is how Basic filtering works.

  • Advanced Filtering: It is used to more complicated filters. For example, if we are applying filters on a texual field then we can search for values that contains, does not contain, is, is not, is blank, is empty, etc.
Power BI Filter vs Slicer
advance filter on Power BI

If we are using a numeric field to filter then we can search for values that is less than, is greater than, is less than or equal to, is greater than or equal to, is blank, is not, is, etc.

Power BI Filters 5

With Advanced Filtering, we won’t see a list of values to choose from, but we can use rules to determine a range of values the report will return.

For example, we can tell the report that shows the product’s price when the value is greater than 4000 and less than 13000. Then the report will represent the data according to the filter’s condition.

Power BI Filters
Power BI Filters
  • Top N: This filter is used to extract the top and bottom value on the visual. Here the N stands for any natural number. We can use the Top N filter only on a single visual.
Power BI Top N Filters
Power BI Top N Filters

For example, we can tell the report to show the top 3 products based on price. Then the visual will look like below:

Filters on Power BI
Filters on Power BI

This visual only showing the Top 3 products based on price value. Like Top N we can extract the Bottom N products.

This is how a Top N filter works.

What is Power BI Slicer?

  • Power BI Slicer is another way to filter the visual on a report. By default, slicers on the report pages affect all the other visualizations on that page, including each other.
  • The slicers are narrow the portion of the dataset that is shown in the other report visualizations.
  • Slicers are filter controls and, as such, work in the same way as normal filters. An end-user chooses from a set list by using the dropdown or list feature.

We can slice the data by using Slicer on Power BI like this:

Microsoft Power BI Filter vs Slicer
Power BI Slicer

The above report shows that the data are sliced or filtered according to product name after applying Slicer.

Difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer

Now we will see what are the differences between Power BI Filter and Slicer:

  • In a Filter there are more advanced options like top, max, between, less than, greater than, equals to, etc. But in a Slicer there are limited options as compare to filter.
  • Slicers operates on-canvas, whereas, filters are configured and operate in the background of reports.
  • Slicers are more user friendly than Filters.
  • Slicer are better when number of values are limited as having large number of values impact performance but in filters are better for large number of values as it has more advanced selection options.
  • Slicer does not provide the Top N and Bottom N filtering whereas Filter provides this features.

Advantages of using Filter on a Power BI Report

There are some advantages of using Power BI filters. These are:

  • It can be applied in different level such as report, page, and visuals.
  • It can applied on the pages of teh same report.
  • It can be used to reference objects accross other reports.
  • A filter can be applied to specify the object as tables, charts and cards.

Advantages of using Slicer on a Power BI Report

Now we will see what are the advantages of using Slicer on Power BI:

  • A slicer is a user friendly, they are displayed in Power bi Page or canvas.
  • A report user can pick and choose what they want to displaying in the visual.
  • Even though slicer are resticted to a report page, we can add slicer to several pages and synhronize their actions accross those same pages.

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Conclusion

From this Power BI Tutorial, we learned all about Power BI Slicer vs Filter. Also, we discussed:

  • What is Power BI Filter and its types available on Power BI?
  • What are the different sorts of filtering methods?
  • What is Power BI Slicer and how it works?
  • Difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer
  • Advantages of using Filter and Slicer on a Power BI Report.
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