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richardmayo
Helper II
Helper II

Rename Column or Table without breaking reports/dashboard

As time goes on and my users start to engage with Power BI, some of the column header names need to be changed to make more sense, i.e instead of "Sales" we want to change it to "Sales ex GST"

 

Problem is, every time I change a heading, every report or dashboard that uses that element breaks.... surely BI should be smart enough to understand name changes for the same data and adjust...

 

Am I doing something wrong?

7 REPLIES 7
Cheywork91
Frequent Visitor

How is this problem still ongoing???

I import data into PowerBI desktop. 
When I go to rename a table, my modeling / visuals break. PowerBI should definitely be smarter than this by now. 

Yuvarajand
Frequent Visitor

Related Thread: https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Service/Changing-name-of-a-measure-results-in-broken-visuals-in-rel...

Adding  @Greg_Deckler to the loop for expert thoughts as he had also commented on a similar thread asked by Jame5_Blonde2,)


Hey @mwegener,

This a very old thread and we know Power BI has evolved in great magnitudes since then. Since this question is not closed yet, I though we could help clarify this for future seekers. If a detailed explanation is already out there, I wasn't able to find it 😞

How did Microsoft manage to not break visuals when you rename from Power Query or PBI Desktop

My take is that they achieved it by leveraging the lineage tag. Almost all objects( table, column, measure, relationships, reports, pages, datasets, worskspaces, tenants) in Power BI has a lineage tag (UUID) which we can see on external tools like Tabular Editor, APIs, PBI service etc. Using this unique lineage tag, Microsoft also seems to ensure the relationships are intact when you rename columns which are related to other tables and load it to Power BI.

So when you perform these renamings on Power BI desktop, the visuals don't break and Power BI keeps the integrity of the report. However, when you rename the measure name in an external editor such as Tabular Editor 2, even though the Lineage tag doesn't change for the measure, when you SAVE to view the changes on Power BI report, the visual is broken. I haven't tried TE3 but I am guessing it is the same.

My current hope is that when Microsoft addresses this, they can also ensure that renaming anything on the THICK dataset of Power BI, will still hold its integrity across its corresponding thin reports even on the service.

Please share your thoughts on this topic and some insights on why this is difficult to achieve?

Happy to raise another request if this won't be helpful in reaching the larger community.

Hi @Yuvarajand,

 

to my knowledge, there is no official documentation about the LineageTag property and its purpose.

This posting shows, for example, in which cases new LineageTags are generated.

https://github.com/TabularEditor/TabularEditor/issues/819#issuecomment-821062287

 

Therefore, I am not sure if integrity is ensured at each step via the LineageTags.

I assume that the same names are used for the link.

Therefore, you can simply copy and paste reports to datasets that have the same structure.

 

 

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Marcus Wegener works as Full Stack Power BI Engineer at BI or DIE.
His mission is clear: "Get the most out of data, with Power BI."
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grechine
Frequent Visitor

Did you ever find a good solution for this problem? I am having the same issue and in our case, there are multiple reports and multiple users with their own custom reports meaning it is not be feasible to change the columns on the report level.

Hi @richardmayo ,

 

try to rename the columns and tables in the report view.

 

Regards,

Marcus

Dortmund - Germany
If I answered your question, please mark my post as solution, this will also help others.
Please give Kudos for support.

Did I answer your question?
Please mark my post as solution, this will also help others.
Please give Kudos for support.

Marcus Wegener works as Full Stack Power BI Engineer at BI or DIE.
His mission is clear: "Get the most out of data, with Power BI."
twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube - website - podcast


Hi @mwegener 

 

Yes that can be done, but then I would need to do that inside each report separately and then again for every new report I make...

 

If I change at the dataset level its fixed forever

Hi @richardmayo ,

 

if you fixed at the dataset (Power Query Dataload), the model and the report will not recognize it.

Did I answer your question?
Please mark my post as solution, this will also help others.
Please give Kudos for support.

Marcus Wegener works as Full Stack Power BI Engineer at BI or DIE.
His mission is clear: "Get the most out of data, with Power BI."
twitter - LinkedIn - YouTube - website - podcast


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