Using Bookmarks in Power BI for an Enhanced Experience Selecting Common Date Periods

Many popular uses of bookmarks involve showing and hiding content based on user clicks on buttons.  A scenario I recently encountered and solved with bookmarks had to do with providing users the ability to quickly filter a page’s contents by a date period.  Users wanted to be able to switch between “this month”, “last month”, and a free-month selection.

For the first two options, a relative date filter can do the work but would require at least two clicks, and the free-month option would entail some type of dropdown list.  Moreover, two slicers would take a lot of space and both being about the same date might be confusing to the user.  This effort was part of an update to an existing report and there wasn’t much free space available.

The solution was to have three buttons to let the user switch between these filters.  The final version looked something like this, in its three possible states when the current month is May of 2019 (“Current” is the default view):

Prior

Current

Select

To implement this, we had a hidden relative date filter visual that was toggled via bookmarks from “Is in the last 1 month(s)” to “Is in this month” by the Prior and Current buttons, respectively.  This is turn updated the value shown by the card on the left.  For example:

Note the visible card and the hidden slicer.

The “Select…” button’s bookmark (Monthly Select) hides the card, clears the relative date filter, and shows a dropdown slicer.

See the effect in action:

This technique may be generalized for use in any kind of situation where filter presets may enhance the user’s experience.

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