Power BI Slicer vs Filter [With Examples]

This Power BI tutorial helps you understand the difference between a Power BI slicer and a filter.

In this Power BI tutorial, we will explore the concept of a Power BI Slicer, its types, the process of creating a Power BI slicer, and Also, we will see what a Power BI Filter is and its types and how to create a Power BI filter.

Additionally, I will cover the advantages of using both Slicer and Filter functionalities.

What is Power BI Slicer?

Power BI Slicers are like interactive filters on a page that viewers of a report can use. Developers can decide where these slicers appear and which visual elements they affect.

It’s a user-friendly way to choose and view specific data, making it easy to slice through information by selecting options.

Slicers can be created in various styles:

  • Range Selectors: Allows users to specify a numeric range, facilitating precise filtering for numerical data in Power BI reports.
  • Dropdowns: Compact dropdown menu for selecting values, saving space on the Power BI report.
  • Tiles: Buttons that dynamically resize or can be defined as a specific number of buttons or tiles on a visual in a Power BI report.
  • Vertical Lists: the long list of values that can be single or multi-selected in Power BI reports.
What is Power BI Slicer

The above Screenshot shows four styles of Slicer in Power BI

How to Add a Power BI Slicer

Now, I will tell you how to add a Power BI slicer to your report.

Here, I have a SharePoint list (Financial Sample) that contains below columns with various data types:

ColumnsData Types
ProductSingle line of text
CountrySingle line of text
Units SoldNumber
Sale PriceCurrency
Gross SalesCurrency
ProfitCurrency
SalesCurrency
what is slicer and filter in power bi

To add a Power BI slice to your report, follow the below steps:

1. Open Power BI Desktop and load the data. Then, you see data in the Data pane.

slicer vs filter in power bi

2. Under the Home tab, expand the Visual gallery -> Select Slicer.

Difference between Filter and Slicer in Power BI

3. Then, using the +Add data option, add the

Difference between Slicer and Filter  in Power BI

This way, you can add a slicer in Power BI.

4. If you want to change the style of the slicer, select the Format pane -> expand Slicer settings -> expand Options -> select style.

How to Add a Power BI Slicer

What is a Power BI Filter?

Power BI Filters allow end users to interact with a filter panel on the right side of a report. They are utilized to filter data based on selected criteria. Users can choose specific fields or values within fields to display only the information related to their selection.

In the Filter panel, there are three standard types of filters in Power BI.

  • Filters on this Visual: Filters are applied only to the particular visual selected in the Power BI Report.
  • Filters on this Page: Filters are applied to all visuals on the current sheet in Power BI.
  • Filters on all pages: Filters applied to all visuals on the Power BI Report.
What is a Power BI Filter

Different sorts of filtering methods:

Each filter has 3 filter types:

  1. Basic filtering
  2. Advance filtering
  3. Top N

1. Basic filtering = Select/De-Select of specific values to filter out.

Suppose we have five country sales details. From them, we want to show 3 country sales details. For this, a basic filter works like below:

Basic filtering in Power BI Filter pane

2. Advance filtering = Filter based on contains or using modifiers like and/or.

Suppose you want to show the product’s price when the value contains Canada or France.

The left side table shows before applying the filter, and the right side table shows after applying advanced filtering in Power BI.

Advanced filtering in Power BI Filter pane

3. Top N = This filter extracts show the top and bottom values on the Power BI visual.

Suppose you want to show the top 3 sales countries. Check the screenshot below.

top n filtering in Power BI Filter pane

This Power BI visual only shows the Top 3 countries based on sales value. Like Top N, we can extract the Bottom N products.

Difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer

Now, I tell you the difference between Power BI Filter and Slicer.

FilterSlicer
1. Power BI Filters can be applied directly to a report’s visuals (charts, tables, etc.).1. Power BI Slicers are separate visual elements on the report canvas.
2. Power BI Filters restrict the data displayed within a specific visual.2. Power BI Slicer provides a user-friendly way to filter data across multiple visuals simultaneously.
3. Power BI Filters provides Top N and Bottom N filtering.3. Power BI Slicer does not offer Top N and Bottom N filtering.
4. Power BI Filters can be customized to a specific visual, allowing for more fine-tuned control over the data displayed in that particular visual.4. Power BI Slicers are especially useful for consistently filtering various report parts.
5. Filters are applied visually and might not be visible on the report canvas.5. Power BI Slicers are visible on the report canvas, allowing users to see and interact with the applied filters.

Advantages of Power BI Filter and Slicer

Now, I will explain the advantages of using Filter on Power BI.

FilterSlicer
1. Power BI Filter has three levels of application: report, page, and visual.1. Power BI Slicer is simple to use; it appears on the report canvas.
2. Power BI Filter can be applied to specify objects such as tables, charts, and cards.2. Power BI Slicer is simple to use; it appears on the report canvas.
3. Power BI Filter can be used inside the same report on different pages.3. Power BI Slicers are restricted to a report page, and we can add a slicer to several pages and synchronize their actions.

Conclusion

I hope this tutorial has helped you understand the difference between a Power BI slicer and a filter.

In this tutorial, I explained what a Power BI slicer is, what a Power BI filter is, the difference between a Power BI filter and a slicer, and the advantages of a filter and a slicer in Power BI.

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