Exercise: Show various date-based statistics by month and year

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The answer to the exercise will be included and explained if you attend the course listed below!

Category ==> Power BI - Excel 2016  (23 exercises)
Topic ==> Date functions  (3 exercises)
Level ==> Relatively easy
Course ==> PowerPivot / Excel Power BI
Before you can do this exercise, you'll need to download and unzip this file (if you have any problems doing this, click here for help). Once you've done this:
  1. Go into SQL Server Management Studio;
  2. Open the SQL file you've just unzipped (you can press CTRL + O to do this); then
  3. Execute this script.

This will generate the database that you'll need to use in order to do this exercise (note that the database and script are only to be used for exercises published on this website, and may not be reused or distributed in any form without the prior written permission of Wise Owl).

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Create a new workbook, and import the tblPurchase and tblCalendar tables into a  PowerPivot data model.

Create a relationship between these tables by the purchase date:

Calendar relationship

In this example, the tables have also been given friendly names.

Create a pivot table showing total sales by year and quarter:

Quantity by quarter

The start of our pivot table.


Create a measure giving the total sales for the same period in the previous year.  Here's the syntax of this function:

=CALCULATE ( Expression, SAMEPERIODLASTYEAR( Calendar date key) )

Display this in your pivot table:

Year ago figures

Sales in Q1 2011 were 272, so these are the sales for the previous year reported for Q1 2012.


Now add another measure, giving the total sales for the same period six months ago.  There's no SAMEPERIODSIXMONTHSAGO function in DAX, so instead use DATEADD:

=CALCULATE ( Expression, DATEADD( Dates, periods to add, Quarter )

Display this in your pivot table:

Six months ago figures

This pivot table shows how Q1 sales in 2011 show up for the other measures.

Save your workbook as Dax easy, then close it down.

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