Below are the steps on how I got the calculation groups to work for Currency formatting strings when the currency format string will be displayed per currency shown.

Following on from my previous blog post (How to create and use Calculation Groups in Power BI Premium / Azure Analysis Services / SQL Server Analysis Services 2019) on how to create Calculation Groups, in this blog post I will show you how to use Currency Formatting Strings to show with different currencies.

This is what it will look like at the end.

For all the examples below I am using the awesome Tabular Editor (which I highly recommend you download and learn to use!)

Making Sure you have got a valid Currency Format String

When I first started looking at the calculation groups and changing the currency formats, I thought that my existing currency format was correct. Boy was I wrong and once I found that out and corrected it, my Currency Format Strings started working.

As per the Microsoft documentation found here Dynamic format strings for currency conversion I had to make sure that my Currency format followed the following pattern.

  • Currency Symbol with double quotes around it, then the number format
  • Next is the negative value which once again was the Currency Symbol with double quotes around it, then the number format
  • And finally, the last value was once again the Currency Symbol with double quotes around it, then the number format

Below is an example for the AUD ISO Currency Type that we use here in Australia

Creating the Currency Format String in a calculation group

Below are the steps to create the currency Format String Expression, which will then change the currency format based on the currency selected.

NOTE: Once again before starting make sure you got your column in the ‘Currency’ table with the FormatString

Below are the steps that I did in order to get it working with the calculation group.

  • I went into my model using Tabular Editor
  • I then right clicked and selected Create New, Calculation Group
  • I have it the name of Currency Symbol, and I had this created
  • A very important step is to set the Precedence for the Calculation Group
    • NOTE: The higher the precedence will always be executed before the lower ones.
    • For the Currency Symbol calculation group, I gave it a precedence of 30, because I want this to be evaluated before my Metric Calculation Group.
  • I then clicked on my column called Name and renamed it to “Reporting Currency”
  • Following on from this I then needed to create my Calculation Item (This is where the magic happens and I can define not only the expression for the calculated item, but also the Format String Expression
    • I right clicked on Calculation Items and selected New Calculation Item
    • I have it the name Currency
  • Now, because I wanted the Measure value to not change, I put in the following expression SELECTEDMEASURE()
  • Finally, I can now put in the secret sauce which will allow my Currency Symbol to change based on my disconnected table. And to do this I put in the following syntax into the Format String Expression
  • What this Syntax is doing above is the following:
  • Line 1-2:
  • Line 4-10:
    • What I am doing here is to SKIP applying the currency conversion to measures which would not be used.
    • In my example it is for the measures called “Orders”,”Margin”,”Avg Order Size”
  • Line 11-15:
    • Here I am getting the Currency Format String from my Currency table on the [FormatString] column and then using the DAX measure SELECCTEDMEASUREFORMATSTRING
  • Line 17-22:
    • This is where I am looking to see if I must skip the measure formatting of the currency (which will then use the format string from the measure in the Metric Calculation Group) or to use the CurrencyFormat defined in the previous lines 11-15
  • Line 23-24:
    • The final step is to return the measure
  • If I had to try and simplify it, all that is happening it is taking the value from the Format String in the table ‘Currency – Data’ and applying it to each Currency Column name that is put into the Power BI Report
  • This is what it looks like
  • I deployed the changes and processed the required tables.
  • The final step is to test it and see if it works.
    • I created a matrix where I put in the following below
  • I then also created a table with dates to show you a different currency over time and this is what it looked like below.
  • Not only did this show all the currencies that I had selected and their relative transaction amounts with the formatted symbol.
  • Now that is really awesome!

Summary

In this blog post I have shown you how I used the Currency Format String with Calculation Groups to show different currencies in their native formatting strings.

Here is a CSV file with all the Currency Formatting strings which you can use: Currency Format Strings.csv

I hope that you found this useful and it will enable you to create awesome reports.

Thanks for reading, any comments or suggestions are most welcome