To tidy up your Power BI solution, there are some options, and one of them is hiding fields from the report view. This option, although simple, has a significant impact on making your Power BI solution very tidy and clean and easier to maintain. However, you might wonder what are fields that have to be hidden in Power BI? In this article, I will explain how to hide a field in report view, and then what are fields which are a good candidate for this option. If you like to learn more about Power BI. Read Power BI book from Rookie to Rock Star.
Hide in Report View
When you have too many fields in the Power BI model, the report tab (or visualization tab) would be a nightmare to investigate. You might look for a field, and find multiple instances of it, or on the other hand, find fields that are not important for visualization purpose anyways. Here is an example of seeing fields like that;
There are two ProductKey fields, which will confuse users, which one to use for the visualization. Or there are many key columns in the below report, which doesn’t really make sense for the user that what is actually a key column?! what is the usage of those?
When a field is not needed to be in visualization, we can simply hide it from the Report view. This option is possible by just a right-click on the field and choosing Hide in Report View.
This option is available in all tabs in Power BI Desktop (Report, Data, or Model tab), however, the label for that option in some tabs are Hide in report view, in some others is just Hide. When you use that option, you would still see that field in the Model and Data tab, but greyed out as below:
However, you won’t see that hidden field in the Report tab any more:
This is how you can use the Hide option to clean up your model.
Hidden Field can be used in a Calculation
It is important to know that a hidden field, still can be used in a calculation. So if you don’t use the field directly, you can make it hidden, and use the calculation that generates from it in the visualization.
Hiding Multiple Fields
You can also easily hide multiple fields in Power BI Desktop. The best place to do that is to go into the Model tab. Then select all fields that you want to hide (using Ctrl or Shift with selection), and then in the Properties tab beside it, turn the Is Hidden property to On.
This option was not previously available, so you had to use Shift+F10 to select multiple items and then set this property for all of them, but luckily the new Model tab is capable of doing that.
What Fields Has to be Hidden?
Now that you know what is hiding fields, and how to hide fields or even multiple fields, let’s see what fields are a good candidate to be hidden. Let’s first start with fields that should NOT be hidden!
Do NOT Hide
Obviously, if you are using a field in any visualization, then you should not hide it!
That brings us to the conclusion that if you do not use a field in visualization, then you can hide it. Well, there is a big exception:
Consider Remove before hiding
If you have a field that you do not use in any visualization, but also, you don’t use it in any calculations, or relationships, or anything at all in the Power BI report, then that field should not be hidden. That field should be removed from the model. You can use Power Query to remove any unnecessary fields. If there is a field that you do not use in the model at all, then don’t load it into the model, because every field consumes memory, making those fields hidden won’t help the performance of your model.
Hide These Fields
If there is a field, that you need to bring into the model for any reason, but won’t use it in visualization, then this is a good candidate to be hidden. here are some of these types of fields:
- Fields used in a Relationship
- Fields used to Sort Other Fields
- Fields used in Hierarchy
- Fields used in DAX Calculations, but not in visuals directly
Fields used in a Relationship
In the example below; DimProduct and FactInternetSales are related to each other using ProductKey:
We cannot remove the ProductKey from this model, because we need it to connect the two tables. However, for users, the ProductKey is unnecessary, because they will use other Product columns such as Product Number, Name, Size, Color, etc. So these fields are a good candidate to be hidden from the report view (from both tables).
Fields used to Sort Other Fields
I have previously explained how you can sort a field by another column in Power BI. For example in the below Date table, the EnglishMonthName column is sorted by MonthNumberOfYear column;
MonthNumberOfYear column is needed in the model for sorting, but most probably not for the visual itself. MonthNumberOfYear column is a good candidate to be hidden.
Fields used in Hierarchy
When you have a hierarchy of fields, most of the times, you don’t need fields individually. Because you can drag and drop them individually from the hierarchy if you want. Having them not hidden will confuse users in the report view:
Fields used in DAX Calculations, but not in visuals directly
There are many times that you don’t use a field directly in a visual, but you create variations of calculations from it, and then use those calculations in visuals in Power BI. Those fields are good candidates to be hidden.
Tools Can Help: Power BI Helper
Power BI Helper is a FREE tool that can help you determine what fields used in all the Power BI report visuals, and then you can hide the rest, it would help you to tidy up your model.
Hiding fields in Power BI is very simple but effective for cleaning up your data model. In this article, you learned how you can hide one or multiple fields in Power BI. You also learned what fields are a good candidate to be hidden. Now it’s time to go and check your Power BI Model to see if you have any fields that need to be hidden? You can always use a tool such as Power BI Helper to find that out easier.
Are you using this feature to clean up your model? if yes, tell me down in the comments below what fields normally you hide? or what fields you would not hide?