How to tank your Power BI performance


Getting ready for Australia Ignite i have been sitting in in Sirui’s Performance Best Practices prep sessions and realized that my “Go to” performance list is an INTERNAL document that our IT group put together.

(Thanks Maria and Amy!)

I have asked Jessica to get it on the Power BI blog…but posting it here until she gets a chance:

The Bi at Microsoft group (Mario and Amy <grin>) recently held a Performance Optimization webinar to educate internal Power BI users on how to best optimize the performance of their dashboards and reports for end-users.

During the webinar, it was clear that knowing what NOT to do is just as important as knowing what you SHOULD do. We guarantee you will have bad performance if you incorporate the below items into your work.

  • In the spirit of satire,  here's a top “10” list.

    Top 10 (or 15) Thing to do to guaranteed bad performance:

    1. Put too many visuals in your dashboards  (>4-8 visuals)
    2. Put too many visuals in your reports (>4-8 visuals)
    3. Don't set filters in the filter pane in reports to limit the data you bring into Power BI
    4. Use a Live Connection or Direct Query to a poorly performing backend server  (hand and and hand with #12)
    5. Ensure you backend data source performs poorly and has inadequate hardware to support your reporting
    6. Ensure your backend data source is not SQL Server Analysis Services 2016
    7. Don't tune, monitor or understand the performance characteristics of your backend data source
    8. Use RLS for all your users so that Power BI has to query the backend server separately and cache separate reports for every user
    9. Build many, complicated measures and aggregates in your data models
    10. Bring in large volumes of unused or seldom used data into your reports so that refresh and loading of reports and tiles are exceptionally slow
    11. Don't learn DAX
    12. Deploy a Power BI solution to your users without testing it
    13. Embed >4 tiles in your application or website
    14. Add lots of custom visuals without testing the performance of the custom visuals with your data first
    15. Don't check performance of your reports in the Power BI desktop first to compare it to the performance of the same reports in the Service.

    Enjoy these quick tips!   This is an example of an anti-solution brainstorming session on Power BI performance to help you understand what not to do.


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