2021 Week 18 | Power BI: DAX Trick – Cat or Croissant


The Power BI Workout Wednesday team has decided that May is made for DAX! Each challenge this month will require some DAX in the solution. 

We are going to start our month of DAX with a fun game called Cat or Croissant. You might be familiar with the many versions of “animal or food” such as Corgi or Bread Loaf, Chihuahua or Muffin, Barn Owl or Apple, and Shrew or Kiwi. While these games are good, silly fun for humans, they are also used to train Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms to help them distinguish images that are similar in texture, form, and color. 

Our challenge this week won’t include any AI, but feel free to give Cognitive Services a try in Power BI Data Flows if you want extra credit. This exercise combines DAX with several visual elements. You’ll need to come up with a DAX formula that populates the current result of the game (in progress, won, lost) in addition to designing your own buttons for users to start/reset the game. There is no starter PBIX file this week – we are starting from scratch. There are no dependencies on any prior week. 


  • Retrieve the data from data.world.
  • Add a column to the table (using M or DAX) that sets the sort order for the images such that the order changes each time the dataset is refreshed.
  • Present the images in a visual that allows users to select multiple images (hint: the example file uses a custom visual).
  • Create one or more DAX measures to determine if the game is in progress, won, or lost based upon the user’s selections. (hint: you’ll want to reference the IsCat column).
    •  The game is lost if any croissants have been selected. 
    • The game is won if all of the cats and none of the croissants have been selected
    • The game is in progress if no croissants have been selected and there are still cats left to be selected. 
  • Display the game status on the page in a visual with conditional formatting that changes the background or font color based upon the value. 
  • Use a bookmark to “reset” the game to be ready to play again with no images selected. 
  • Design your own images to act as buttons to allow the user start and reset the game. The example uses images made in PowerPoint, but you can use whatever program you would like. 
  • Include instructions to explain to the user how the game works. 
  • Colors, background, formatting, and number of pages are at your discretion.


This challenge uses data provided on data.world specifically for this exercise.  You can use the data.world connector in Power BI (recommended) or download the Excel file to your local machine. You will need to log in to data.world to retrieve the data, but accounts are free. 

Special thanks to Matthew Roche, Lorna Brown, and Monica Rathbun for their contributions of kitty photos!


After you finish your workout, share on Twitter using the hashtags #WOW2021 and #PowerBI, and tag @JSBaucke@MMarie, @shan_gsd and @dataveld. Also make sure to fill out the Submission Tracker so that we can count you as a participant this week in order to track our participation throughout the year. 


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