Drill-through, actions & parameter passing - just make it work
A truly functional BI solution requires every dashboard, report or navigation UI to work together. This means that we need the ability to define actions and pass context information from one report interface to another - and there are far too many ways to do this in limited ways that don't work consistently across the products in the "integrated" BI arsenal.
In my perfect world, I define a cube action in SSAS (multi or Tabular) and that action gets surfaced in whatever reporting tool we choose to use (Excel/Excel Services, SSRS, Power View or Power BI dashboard). Through whatever action/parameter mechanism, the user is able to click, hover, hold and tap and use the action to navigate to another (SSRS/Excel/PV/web) report in the context of their filter and selection choices.
I see the 'SSAS Action' functionality as a core SSAS feature.
The Microsoft SSAS multi-dimensional tutorial at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sql/analysis-services/lesson-8-defining-actions starts off by stating;
"An action is just a Multidimensional Expressions (MDX) statement that is stored in Analysis Services and WHICH CAN BE INCORPORATED INTO CLIENT APPLICATIONS and started by a user.".
That page was published in July 2017.
I'd expect '3rd party' client applications like Tableau to struggle to seamlessly incorporate this functionality into into their client application; but it's a surprise to learn that Microsoft's own 'rising star' client visualisation technology/app still can't do this. Sorry, but it feels a little like false advertising in a way.
Microsoft, I've previously read you invented self-service BI in 2008. Chop chop please Microsoft.
Joel Faltermeier commented
Really, build it! Current Drill-through implementation in PowerBI is sorely lacking. Needs to be able to pass context of more than just the item being drilled through, but other context that is applied to filter the dataset.
Build it!! :-)
Keith Mascarenhas commented
This would really be a good feature to have.
Another bit of functionality lacking in Power BI that's making it difficult to move away from Tableau
Any updates on this? This is such a fundamental feature to be able to build a professional, user friendly BI solution.
Could not agree more, we have tools in the same tool set but aren't quite there based on the lack of the integration between them, like passing between Power BI and an SSRS report.
Please could you provide an update on this - this really fundamental feature for any interactive visualisation application.
Is this dead, or did everyone just get discouraged and give up. I am on the verge of recommending Tableau because of "Action Filters" alone.
Kevin Geddert commented
The lack of Drill-Through capability is a major limiting factor for moving to PowerBI from our current provider. I want to be on PowerBI, and this would make it happen.
Chad Dotzenrod commented
I've noticed that Tableau and Qlik partners like to club Power BI over the head on this one. Good start on the drill-down features but need drill-through!
how to do drill through in power BI
Christopher Woodward commented
Hopefully we see this soon. Very SOON!
I have to say Power BI is not a BI Solution at all - its a toy
There is no ability to define Hierarchies, have drill down on reports or drill through from one report to another
Microsoft really doesn't have a clue about BI
This is absolutely necessary for us to deploy our analytics through Power BI. Datazen has some of this capability and it's fairly primitive but at least they recognized the importance of it.
Ahsan Khawaja commented
it would be great to have this one working, seeing the underlying data along with the context of user analysis irrespective of how many dimensions are being used, all reporting products should be able to get the context and show respected underlying data, 3 Votes! Ahsan Khawaja
In SSAS Multidimensional we are defining actions with target type "all cells" and an "action expression" that builds an URL which contains the whole "context" of the cell as URL-parameters. In our case this URL opens a web-page of the Financial-Accounting System, which shows the underlying data. Our customers love this because they have a direct drill-through from an Excel-value to the underlying financial accounting data. It would be great if similar actions would work in SSAS tabular.
Steve Powel commented
Lets be honest just fixing the mess that is the drill through in SSAS MD right now would be a major step in the right direction. if judicious use of ASSP can fix the worst of the fallout why can't this just be baked into the product at a a minimum.