Setting Up Drillthrough Filters in Power BI

[8 September 2017]  This feature is now part of the September release of Power BI Desktop.

A recent addition in the Power BI Service is the ability to define “Drillthrough Filters” in a report page.  You can think of these as dataset fields that serve as parameters to the report page.  Let’s call such a page a “drillthrough page.”  You can navigate to a drillthrough page from another page by right-clicking on a visual that includes one of the drillthrough fields.

Set Up

For example, I have a report about sales and collections that includes salespeople and their supervisors.  One of the report’s pages, called Totals, breaks down sales and collections by salesperson and allows filtering by month/year and supervisor.


I will use this page as a drillthrough page with Supervisor as a drillthrough filter by dragging the Supervisor field on to the new “Drillthrough filters” field well for the report page:


Once you complete this action, a new shape visual (an arrow) will be added to top-left corner of the page.  This will serve as a “go back” button when navigating by clicking on it while pressing the Control key:


The visual is hard to see in this case but you can move it around and even edit it, just like any other shape visual:


And note the new “Back button” option for the visual:


In fact, this option is now available for all shape visuals and clicking on it will get you back to the previous page, regardless of drill through.

Drilling Through

If I go to a visual on another page that includes the Supervisor field I’ll get a new option when I right-click on an item:



When you drill through, you will see that the Drillthrough filters field well now has the corresponding value selected as a filter.  It can be modified and cleared, too:


Finally, a page may have more than one drillthrough filter and a field may be a drillthrough filter for more than one page.  For the latter case, you would get multiple options on right-clicking:


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