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10+ Reasons to use Hierarchy Filter/Slicer in your Power BI Dashboards

by | May 11, 2020 | Hierarchical Filter

This blog is a part of the Hierarchy Filter Blog Series.

Since Microsoft Power BI’s recent release of native Hierarchy Slicer, we have a number of customers questioning why we would need this xViz Advanced Hierarchy Slicer. While native Power BI Hierarchy Slicer covers the hierarchy slicing capabilities very well, there are still numerous use cases that are still unmet.

So, here are 10+ such features which could be helpful for your hierarchical filtering needs:

Key Features – Summary

  1. Display value(measure) along with hierarchical category field
  2. Value Filter
  3. Conditional Formatting
  4. Search
  5. Support for Ragged Hierarchies
  6. Single Child Display
  7. Context Menu
  8. Node Level Formatting
  9. Filter Interactions – On hover and selection
  10. Display Child count
  11. Hierarchy Icon Customization
  12. Default Expand to level
  13. Column Header for category and value

Key Features – Description

  1. Value Display
    Unlike traditional slicer visuals, the xViz Hierarchy filter supports a Value field(measure) as well. You can assign a value field to the xViz hierarchy filter along with the categories to add more meaning and context to influence your selections.
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  2. Value Filter
    Once you have assigned a value field to the xViz Hierarchy Filter, probably the next thing you want to do is also filter by value. For example, you may want to focus on a product with gross margins under a specific range or below a certain threshold.
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  3. Conditional Formatting
    The advanced slicer supports alert induced selection, thanks to the conditional formatting options! You can color-code both category and value across different hierarchy levels – top, parent, and child level.
    Hierarchy Filter Power BI Custom Visual
    Conditional Formatting can be applied on both value and category, in the form of text or background color.
    Hierarchy Filter Power BI Custom Visual
  4. Search
    Navigating through large hierarchies could be cumbersome. So, we added a search capability to help you search the desired nodes quickly. The search is available both in the list and dropdown mode.
    Hierarchy Filter Power BI Custom Visual
  5. Support for Ragged Hierarchy (Hide Blanks)
    One of the main reasons that you would notice blank values and category fields is due to ragged hierarchy levels. For example, you could have certain parent nodes which are 5 levels deep and some which could be 3 levels. To solve this, the Advanced Hierarchy Slicer provides the capability to hide such blank values and categories:


    • Hide blank Values
    • Hide blank Categories
    • Hide both blank Values and Categories

    Hierarchy Filter Power BI Custom Visual

  6. Single Child Display
    This feature is useful for ragged Hierarchy scenarios where there could be a series of one or more parent nodes with a single child. The different single child display options are as follows:
    Hierarchy Slicer Power BI


    • Display Parent Only – Display till last parent node having a single child. The child level is hidden in case it is the only child. e.g. The Northeast region expands only till Boston thereby hiding the only child Suffolk.
    • Display Parent (Multi-Level) – similar to Display Parent only option but this will work for more than one level. This means that if there is more than 1 level having a consecutive single child then all the following parents will be hidden e.g. Since the Northeast region has only one child at each level. Therefore, it shows only Northeast
    • Display Child as Parent – Skips the parent node having a single child. The child node will move one level above if it’s the only child. e.g. Since Suffolk has parent nodes having a single child, therefore the Northeast region ends directly into Suffolk and skips Massachusetts and Boston
  7. Context Menu (Runtime Options)
    The Context menu provides various ad-hoc capabilities which are as follows:


    • Expand/ Collapse All – Expand and collapse the hierarchy for easier navigation
    • Conditional Formatting – Ability to enable or disable multiple conditional formatting rules and analyze value based on different alerting rules.
    • Rearrange nodes – rearrange different category levels on the fly

    Hierarchy Slicer Power BI

  8. Node Styling options
    Node styling helps the hierarchy levels stand out so that you can easily visualize the hierarchy flow and differentiate the top node, parent node, and child from the list. You can assign a different color, font style, and size to pop out from the norm visually
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  9. Interactions – On hover and selection
    For better UI/ UX capabilities as a designer, you can define advance filter interactions like ‘On hover’ and ‘On selection’ for your end consumer. You can choose a different font and background color to make your selection or hover experience stand out from the rest of the nodes.
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  10. Display child count
    The display child count feature is beneficial as it displays the count of subsequent child nodes each node has at that level. The count keeps updating as we drill deep into the hierarchy, thereby giving a sense of navigation and which field has more members.
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  11. Hierarchy expand/ collapse Icon customization
    The Advanced Hierarchy Slicer provides two different icon types to choose from. You can either select the arrows or plus & minus style of hierarchy icons
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  12. Expand to level
    For better UX, the xViz hierarchy filter provides a default expand to the level so that users can start directly from the set level instead of starting from the first level and expanding further
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual
  13. Column Header
    You can enable the column header to add context to the type of hierarchy and value displayed.
    Advanced Hierarchy Slicer Power BI Custom Visual


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