The importance of data “freshness” in Power Bi

Posted By Posted by: Cheston Hsu on May 8, 2019

To ensure that a business can make accurate and sound decisions, the “freshness” of information and data available to them is critical. Having “old” or “stale” information and data can lead to poor or wrong decisions that could devastate a business.

Ideally, keeping data “fresh” should be an automated process to ensure that whenever a user looks at an information, they know that it is current.

Can this be achieved in Power BI? Well, yes it can!

Scheduled Refresh

Within Power Bi there are what’s called a manual or a scheduled refresh functionality.

Manual Refresh involves logging in to Power Bi Online and pressing “Refresh Now” next to the desired dataset.

To create a Scheduled Refresh, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to Power Bi online
  2. Click on the workspace where your report is kept
  3. Click on the three dots next to the dataset item that you’d like to schedule
  4. Click on “Schedule Refresh”
  5. On the new page, go to the “Scheduled Refresh” drop-down
  6. Ensure that the “Keep your data up to date” button is switched on
  7. Set the timeslots in which you would like the data to be refreshed (a maximum of 8 times in a day)
  8. Finally press “Apply”

That’s it! Or so I thought…

Error Encountered:

Normally, after the above steps have been completed, data should be coming through and periodically updated. This was the case for myself, however, each time it happened all of my data disappeared from the report!

After some testing, I noticed that for some reason, each time I did a manual refresh from Power Bi desktop and re-published it, the data reappeared. But this solution was only temporary, each subsequent auto-refresh made all my data, tables and visualisations disappear again.


After some research, in my particular scenario, I found out that having a non-Boolean value in some filters on your report could cause this issue. The filters I am referring to are found on the right hand side of Power Bi Desktop:

Once I changed my “Page level filters” to Boolean value* (a value that can only be binary of true or false) it worked seamlessly.

*Note: Boolean value is a value that expresses a truth value (which can be either true or false) such as below:

If the above didn’t solve your problem, below are some helpful links:

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