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Thursday’s Post “Fixed” The Number of Negative Stores for a Month at 8.  Now We Vary That Threshold That With a Slicer.  PowerPivot is Amazing :)

Thursday’s Post “Fixed” The Number of Negative Stores for a Month at 8.
Now We Vary That Threshold That With a Slicer.

Let’s take Thursday’s post and extend it a bit.

In the picture above you’ll see that I have 5 selected as my threshold on the new slicer, and 48 months “qualify” for that threshold – there are 48 months where at least 5 stores were negative.

Now let me select 9 on the threshold slicer:

Raising the Threshold to 9 Weeds Out 10 More Months, Only 38 Months Exhibited 9+ Negative Stores.  Did i mention that PowerPivot Rocks? :)

Raising the Threshold to 9 Weeds Out 10 More Months, Only 38 Months Exhibited 9+ Negative Stores

How’d I Do This?

With one of my favorite “go to” techniques:  the disconnected slicer.

I created a table in Excel with the numbers 1-10 and then pasted that into PowerPivot:


The Stores Negative Table:  Pasted From Excel,
and NOT Related to Any Other Tables in my Workbook

Then I create a “harvester” measure off of it:


(By the way, this simple and crazy-powerful technique is explained from scratch in the book, and also used many times on the blog – search for “disconnected slicers” and you’ll find multiple posts.)

Then I modify my original [Negative Growth Stores Measure] by simply subtracting the new [min Negative Stores] measure from the original formula:

[Negative Growth Stores Measure] =
         ) – [Min Negative Stores]

This formula, then, will return 0 when I have exactly the number of negative stores that my threshold slicer specifies, and greater than zero when there are more negative stores than the threshold.

So now I just modify my Values Filter to be Greater than or Equal to 0 (rather than 8, as it was before):


Change the Values Filter to Be >= 0

And that’s it!

The Readout

I also added two “readout” formulas:



Here’s that second formula as text in case you’d like to copy it:

=”Months have at least ” & CUBEVALUE(“PowerPivot Data”,”[Measures].[Min Negative Stores]”,Slicer_Stores_Negative) & ” stores that went negative.”

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Rob Collie

One of the founding engineers behind Power Pivot during his 14-year career at Microsoft, and creator of the world’s first cloud Power Pivot service, Rob is one of the foremost authorities on self-service business intelligence and next-generation spreadsheet technology. 

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. This post and its predecessor are very interesting. The situation is similar to a question I faced recently except (in equivalent terms) I wanted to count the number of Stores with *no* sales (i.e. the white cells in your PivotTable with no underlying source records) for each month. I ended up having to contruct a complex workaround back in the source data but your method looks so much simpler.

    However when I try to replicate your (original) Negative Growth Stores measure, neither testing for [SameStoreSales]=0 nor ISBLANK([SameStoreSales]) yields a result. Perhaps a different approach is required when there is no source data??

    1. Wayne – sorry for the slow reply. I will need more detail before I can answer your question, and maybe even then it will be a mystery to me 🙂

      If you put your version of [SameStoreSales] on a pivot, do you indeed see blanks? And the IF() test in the [Negative Growth Stores] measure fails to detect those?

      1. Hi Rob. Just wanted to get back and say I figured out that my problem was occurring because the [SameStoreSales]-equivalent value I had in the COUNTX formula was a table field (rather than a measure) which I hadn’t aggregated. Studying and studying your sample workbook got me through.

        28 years I’ve been programming, at least 10 years of which I’ve been doing non-trivial Excel stuff, and here I find myself with my Learner-driver sign strapped on and brightly showing! Fortunately exciting new tools like PowerPivot make me happy to be there.

  2. Good stuff, as usual. I’m curious if you’ve run into the issue that I am when using your downloadable workbook: Excel barks out a message when either trying to click on a Slicer or Manage PowerPivot that the data model needs to be upgraded to Excel 2013. Excel further tells me that PowerPivot is unable to load the Data Model. Google/Bing searches have yielded no practical answers. Any thoughts?

    1. Wow, I just tried it in 2013 and got the same results. I will forward the workbook to MS and ask them “wasup with dat” or something along those lines 🙂

      1. In a way I’m relieved and not some rogue add-in getting in the way. I’ll keep checking back to see if you’ve made any progress with MS.

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