How to Analyze X Period over X Period in Power BI: A Step-by-Step Guide

Generally, analyzing data over different time periods, such as calculating X period over X period can provide valuable insights into trends and patterns. However, it can be a bit challenging.

Calculating X period over X period involves comparing a set of data points over a specific period to an interconnected set of data points over a previous period.

In this article, I will explore the process of analyzing X Period over X Period in Power BI to gain an in-depth understanding of your data and make informed decisions.

Let’s get started.

Understand the Data and the Time Periods you Want to Analyze

Before diving into the analysis, it’s important to understand the data and the time periods you want to analyze. This includes identifying the specific metrics you want to track, as well as the time frames you want to compare.

For example, you may analyze sales data for the past year and compare it to the previous year to identify trends and patterns.

Once you have a clear knowledge of the data and time periods, you can start the analysis process in Power BI.

Now, to analyze X period in Power BI, you can follow these steps:

Import the Data

The first step is to import the data into Power BI by importing a file or connecting to a data source. Once you import the data, clean and transform it to ensure it is accurate and complete.

Create a Date Table and Set up Relationships Between the Tables

The next thing to do is to create a date table that contains the date, month, quarter, and year time period for the data you are analyzing. To create the date table, go to the “Modeling” tab and select the “New Table” option.

Below is an example of the formula we can use to create the date table:

DateTable = 

    CALENDAR(DATE(2020, 1, 1), DATE(2023, 12, 31)),
    "Year", YEAR([Date]),
    "Quarter", "Q" & FORMAT([Date], "Q"),
    "Month", FORMAT([Date], "MMM"),
    "Day", FORMAT([Date], "DD")

This formula creates a date table that includes all dates from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2023, and also includes columns for year, quarter, month, and day.

Once you have created the date table, you can set up relationships between it and other tables in your data model. This will allow you to easily filter and compare data based on specific time periods.

3. Create a Measure

After that, you will create a measure that calculates the total value for the selected period and the previous period. To do this, use the “New Measure” option in the “Modeling” tab, and enter a formula in the dialog box.

Below is an example of the formula you can use to create the measure:

Sales X Period = 
VAR SelectedPeriod =
VAR PreviousPeriod =
    DATEADD(MAX('Date'[Date]), -12, MONTH)
        SUM('Sales'[Sales Revenue]),
            'Date'[Date] >= PreviousPeriod &&
            'Date'[Date] <= SelectedPeriod

This formula creates a measure that calculates the total sales revenue for the selected period and the previous period. It uses the MAX function to get the maximum date in the date table, which represents the end of the selected period.

It then uses the DATEADD function to subtract 12 months from the maximum date, which represents the end of the previous period.

Finally, it uses the CALCULATE function to sum the sales revenue for the selected period and the previous period using the FILTER function to filter the data by the selected period and the previous period.

Create Visuals to Display the Data and Metrics

Once you have calculated the metrics you want to analyze, it’s important to create visuals to efficiently display the data. Power BI offers a wide range of visualization options, such as charts, tables, maps, etc.

Also, you can customize the visuals to suit your needs, adding labels, colors, and some other features to make the data more meaningful. To do this, use the “Filters” option in the “Visualizations” pane.

Use the Data With Filters and Slicers to Gain More Insights

Furthermore, you can apply filters and slicers to the visual. While filters allow you to narrow down your data based on specific criteria, slicers, let you interactively filter your data by selecting values from a list or dropdown menu.

And by using both, you can identify trends and patterns in your data, and gain hidden insights from it.


Can X Period over X Period calculation be used for all types of data?

Yes, it can be used for any type of data that has a time dimension, such as sales revenue, profit margin, website traffic, etc.

Is it necessary to use a date table for calculation?

Yes, it is necessary to use a date table. Also, the date table must contain a unique date value for each day, week, or month, depending on how wide the data is.


By creating a measure that compares the total of the current period with the total of the previous period, you can easily gain insights into the trend and growth of your data, and identify areas for improvement or optimization.

With the flexibility and customization options offered by Power BI, you can easily apply X Period over X Period calculation to different types of data and visuals, and format it to meet your specific needs.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article. You can also check how to calculate rolling X months in Power BI.

Thanks for reading!