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June 15, 2020

Q&A in Power BI

Author: Branka Trifunović

For Power BI f version 2.76.5678.782 (December 2019).

Q&A is one of the most powerful features of Power BI. It enables us to ask questions in simple Natural Query Language. We can simply browse and visualize data. We can plot measures in different time periods, turn them into visualizations and add them to reports.

Where can we use Q&A

Q&A is part of visualizations in Power BI desktop. After we add it to a report we see some of the most commonly asked questions.

We can use Q&A in Dashboards in Power BI Service, even if we didn’t add it to a report.

Show data: show me

Q&A currently only works in English in Spanish. When asking questions we use few basic keywords. We display data using show me, for example show me sales.

Sort data: by

We usually want to see our data in monthly or yearly timeline. We use by, for example show me sales by month.

Filter data: where

We filter data with where, in, equal to, =, after, is more than, in, between, before, within. For example, for sales in 2019 we use show me sales by month where year = 2019.

Visualize: on map, on line chart, on column chart, on bar chart

For charts we use keywords like on map, on line chart, on column chart, on bar chart. For example, for displaying the last question on map we use show me sales by month where year = 2019 on map.

For time series we use line chart or column chart.

For categorical data we use bar chart.


We aggregate data by: total, sum, amount, number, quantity, count, average, most, least, fewest, largest, smallest, highest, biggest, maximum, max, greatest, lowest, littlest, minimum, min.

Top n

Using top 10 we display upper 10 values. For 10 best sold products we use top 10 product.

Names and synonyms

Q&A displays underline under certain words. Blue underline shows the name appears in data model. Double red underline shows the name does not appear in the data model.

We can add synonyms to names in the data model and the use synonyms in Q&A. We add synonyms by selecting Model view, field name and field Synonyms. We type in selected synonym, for example name of the month in another language.

We can now use the synonym in Q&A and get the same correct answer.

Creating visualization from Q&A

We can turn Q&A answers into visualizations. After asking the question we select the icon next to entry bar. This way we can quickly find and visualize all the relevant data.

Similarly we can add Q&A answers to Dashboards by selecting Pin visual. This way we don’t turn the answer into visual, it remains a Q&A element.