Master ALLSELECTED in DAX Navigating Through Complex Data Challenges

Unlock the full potential of Power BI with our comprehensive guide on ALLSELECTED in DAX. Dive deep into examples, best practices, and real-world case studies to master complex data challenges and enhance your analytical skills.

1. Introduction

Data Analysis Expressions (DAX) is a powerful language used in Power BI to perform complex data manipulations and calculations. One of the remarkable functions in DAX is ALLSELECTED, which plays a crucial role in creating more dynamic and interactive reports. This article dives deep into the ALLSELECTED function, providing an understanding of its working mechanism, practical use cases, and how it differs from similar functions like ALL.

2. What is ALLSELECTED in DAX?

Definition and Purpose:

ALLSELECTED is a DAX function that operates over tables, removing filters from columns or tables, but still considering the filters applied in the context or by the slicers on the report page. This function is essential when you need to perform calculations that take into account the user’s selection while ignoring specific filters applied to the data.

Syntax and Parameters:

The syntax for ALLSELECTED is as follows:

  • TableNameOrColumnName: This is optional. If you provide a table name, ALLSELECTED removes all the filters from the specified table while keeping other filters applied in the context. If you provide a column name, it removes filters from that particular column.

Comparisons with Other DAX Functions:

ALLSELECTED is often compared to functions like ALL and VALUES. While ALL removes all filters ignoring the user’s selection, ALLSELECTED respects the slicers and other page-level filters. VALUES, on the other hand, returns the unique values in a column, considering the filters that are currently applied.

Use Cases:

  • Calculating Percentages: ALLSELECTED is widely used to calculate percentages. For example, if you want to calculate the percentage of total sales for each product category, you can use ALLSELECTED to consider the user’s selection of categories while ignoring other filters applied.
  • Time Intelligence Calculations: In time series analysis, ALLSELECTED can be used to calculate Year-To-Date or Quarter-To-Date totals, considering the user’s selection of time periods.

3. Understanding the Working Mechanism of ALLSELECTED

Core Functionality:

At its essence, ALLSELECTED modifies the context in which data is evaluated by DAX formulas. It retains the filters that users have applied through slicers or other report-level filters, while removing row-level filters or other column-specific filters. This dual behavior makes ALLSELECTED unique and extremely useful in various reporting scenarios.

Context Transition and ALLSELECTED:

Understanding context transition is crucial when working with ALLSELECTED. When a row context (like in a calculated column) is present, DAX implicitly transitions it to a filter context to evaluate expressions. ALLSELECTED is able to retain the filters that were present before this transition, ensuring accurate and context-aware calculations.

Comparison with ALL and VALUES:

  • ALL: This function completely removes all filters applied to a table or column, regardless of the user’s selection. It’s useful when you want to perform calculations across all data, but it doesn’t provide the context sensitivity of ALLSELECTED.
  • VALUES: VALUES returns unique values from a column while respecting the current filter context. Unlike ALLSELECTED, it doesn’t retain user selections if other filters override them.

Behavior in Different Scenarios:

  • With Slicers: When a user makes a selection using a slicer, ALLSELECTED will consider this selection in its calculations, even if there are other filters applied that would normally exclude the selected data.
  • With Multiple Filters: If there are multiple filters applied across different columns or tables, ALLSELECTED helps in retaining the context of user selections while ignoring specific filters that would otherwise alter the calculation.

4. Practical Use Cases and Examples

1. Proportional Calculations:

Use Case: Calculating the percentage of total sales for a specific category or product. Example: If a user wants to analyze the sales distribution of different product categories, they can use ALLSELECTED to calculate the percentage of total sales each category represents, even when filters are applied.

Percentage of Total Sales =

SUM ( Sales[SalesAmount] ) / CALCULATE ( SUM ( Sales[SalesAmount] ), ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Category] ) )


This formula calculates the sales amount for the current category and divides it by the total sales amount of all selected categories, providing a clear view of each category’s contribution to the total sales.

2. Time-Period Comparisons:

Use Case: Comparing sales data across different time periods. Example: A user wants to compare the sales in the current month to the sales in the previous month.

Sales Previous Month =
SUM ( Sales[SalesAmount] ),
ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Date] ),

This formula calculates the total sales amount for the previous month, considering any filters applied to the date field, ensuring consistent and accurate comparisons.

3. Ranking and Filtering:

Use Case: Creating a ranking of products or categories based on sales and allowing users to filter the results. Example: A user wants to see the top 5 selling products in a specific category.

Top 5 Products =
ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Product] ),
SUM ( Sales[SalesAmount] )
ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Product] ),
ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Product] ),
SUM ( Sales[SalesAmount] )
) <= 5

This formula ranks products based on their sales amount and filters the results to show only the top 5 products, respecting any category filters applied by the user.

4. Dynamic Benchmarking:

Use Case: Creating dynamic benchmarks based on user selections. Example: A user wants to set a sales benchmark based on the average sales of selected products.

Sales Benchmark =
ALLSELECTED ( Sales[Product] ),

This formula calculates the average sales amount for all selected products, providing a dynamic benchmark that adjusts based on user input.

5. ALL vs. ALLSELECTED: A Comparative Analysis

Understanding the distinctions between the DAX functions ALL and ALLSELECTED is crucial for Power BI users aiming to perform accurate calculations and create insightful data visualizations. While both functions are used to modify the behavior of filters in calculations, they serve different purposes and can yield different results. In this section, we will conduct a comprehensive comparative analysis of ALL and ALLSELECTED, exploring their functionalities, differences, and appropriate use cases.

1. Functionality and Use Cases:


  • Functionality: Removes all the filters from a column or table, providing an unfiltered data set.
  • Use Case: Useful for calculations that need to consider the entire data set, regardless of any filters applied.
  • Example: Calculating the percentage of total sales for a specific product, irrespective of any filters on categories or dates.
Total Sales = CALCULATE(SUM(Sales[SalesAmount]), ALL(Sales))


  • Functionality: Removes filters from columns or tables but respects any filters or slicers applied to the report.
  • Use Case: Ideal for calculations that need to consider all the data within the current context or selection.
  • Example: Calculating the total sales for all products within a selected date range or category.
Total Sales in Context = CALCULATE(SUM(Sales[SalesAmount]), ALLSELECTED())

2. Understanding Context and Filters:

  • ALL:
    • Context: Ignores all contexts and provides a global calculation.
    • Filters: All filters, whether from slicers or visuals, are removed.
    • Context: Respects the current context and selection made in the report.
    • Filters: Retains filters applied through slicers or other visuals, ensuring calculations are in line with the user’s current view.

3. Common Scenarios and Examples:

  • Scenario for ALL: Calculating the grand total of sales, irrespective of any user selection or filters.
  • Scenario for ALLSELECTED: Calculating the total sales for all products within a specific category selected by the user.

4. Pros and Cons:

  • ALL:
    • Pros: Provides a consistent, global view of the data.
    • Cons: Can lead to misleading results if the user is expecting context-aware calculations.
    • Pros: Offers flexibility and context-aware calculations, aligning results with user selections.
    • Cons: Can be more complex to understand and manage, especially for new users.

Understanding when to use ALL or ALLSELECTED is pivotal for accurate data analysis in Power BI. ALL provides a global, unfiltered view of the data, making it suitable for grand total calculations and scenarios where context should be ignored. On the other hand, ALLSELECTED respects the current report context and user selections, ensuring that calculations align with the visible data and filters. By carefully choosing between these two functions based on the specific requirements of your report and calculations, you can unlock the full potential of Power BI and ensure that your data tells the correct story.

6. Conclusion

Understanding and effectively utilizing DAX functions in Power BI is crucial for any data analyst or business intelligence professional. Throughout this comprehensive analysis, we have delved into the intricacies of ALLSELECTED, exploring its functionalities, mechanisms, practical use cases, and its comparative stance against the ALL function.

ALLSELECTED stands out as a powerful function in DAX, offering a nuanced approach to calculations by respecting the current context and selections made in a Power BI report. It enables users to perform context-aware calculations, ensuring that the results align with the applied filters and slicers, providing a tailored analytical experience.

On the other hand, the importance of distinguishing ALLSELECTED from the ALL function cannot be overstated. While ALLSELECTED is context-aware, the ALL function disregards any applied filters, providing a global view of the data. This distinction is vital, as it directly impacts the accuracy and relevance of the data presented in Power BI reports.

In practice, the choice between ALLSELECTED and ALL hinges on the specific requirements of the analysis at hand. ALLSELECTED is the go-to function when there is a need to include user selections and report filters in the calculation, ensuring a dynamic and interactive data exploration experience. Conversely, ALL is more suited for scenarios where a complete, unfiltered view of the data is necessary.

The examples and case studies provided have showcased the practical implications of using ALLSELECTED, illustrating how it can transform data analysis and reporting in Power BI. By enabling more accurate and contextually relevant calculations, ALLSELECTED empowers users to glean deeper insights from their data, facilitating more informed decision-making.

In conclusion, mastering ALLSELECTED and understanding when to use it in conjunction with, or as an alternative to ALL, is a vital skill in the arsenal of any Power BI user. It allows for the creation of more interactive, context-aware reports, ultimately leading to a richer, more insightful data analysis experience. As we navigate the complexities of data analysis, the judicious use of DAX functions like ALLSELECTED is key to unlocking the full potential of Power BI and transforming raw data into meaningful insights.

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