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POWER BI Slicer vs Filter

09-12-2018  0 Comment(s)

Although very basic but many folks are not able to answer this in the interviews, which is better Filter or Slicer? 
 
Answer is it depends, a slicer is an alternate way of filtering but you do not have to pick one from slicer or filter, both complement each other that is why POWER BI has both. You will have to use both of them in a report / dashboard but below rules may help determining which columns to add in slicer vs filter.
 
1. Slicer is displayed on report canvas while filters are hidden into their own pane/section, so slicers are easier to access/apply. 
2. Since Slicers are on Report canvas users can easily tell if data is filtered for particular value or not, to see if filter is applied or not users have to click filters pane first.
3. Slicers are perfect for Touch Screens as you can resize them while filters selections are hard in touch screens.
4. Slicers are better when number of values are limited as having large number of values impact performance and makes harder to select value despite having search option in some slicers, Filters are better for large number of  values as it has more advanced selection options.
5. Filters have more advanced options like top, max, between, less then, greater than etc. Some slicers have these options but they are limited compared to filters.
 
Use Slicer If below is true.
1. Number of Values in column are limited.
2. Column is used very frequently to filter or compare data.
3. User need to know by glance for what scenario data is filtered.
4. Report/Dashboard is consumed more in Touch screen / mobile BI.
 
Use Filter If below is true:
1. Number of values in columns are much larger.
2. Column is used infrequently to filter data and it is ok for user to spend time with extra click.
3. More consumption using laptops/desktops.

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