FIX: Power BI error A circular dependency was detected

by Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Tashreef Shareef
Windows & Software Expert
Tashreef Shareef is a software developer turned tech writer. He discovered his interest in technology after reading a tech magazine accidentally. Now he writes about everything tech from... read more
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3 ways to fix Power BI Circular Dependency Error
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While trying to create a table visualization in Power BI with calculated columns that contains measures that also based on that table, you may encounter Power bI error a circular dependency was detected in Power BI Service. This seems to have affected many users with different formulas as reported in the Power BI community.

 I am trying to create a table visualization in Power BI. Where I am showing sales by category and target %. Now I am creating 2 calculated columns in it. The first column tells me Yearly Sales target. Which is as below:
Monthly Sales Target = (1 + Target%) * [MonthlySales].
I am getting the error as “A circular Dependency was detected”.

Follow the troubleshooting tips to fix the error at hand.

How to resolve Circular dependency error in Power BI

1. Check Power BI Limitations

power bi error a circular dependency was detected

  1. If you are trying to have two calculated columns that contain measures that are also based on that table, then it is not supported by Power BI.
  2. So you need to tweak the formula so that the measures are different in two tables.
  3. For more information on Power BI Circular Dependencies, read  Understanding Circular Dependencies in Tabular and PowerPivot article by  Alberto Ferrari.

This guide will help you become an expert in Power BI!

2. Use Excel for Data Preparation

power bi error a circular dependency was detected

  1. If you are trying to do such data preparation in PowerPivot, you may want to try Excel to do the same preparation.
  2. In case the data volume is not too large, you can use Excel for data preparation and then import it into PowerPivot.
  3. If the data volume is too large to prepare data in the Excel app, consider using Power Query to fix the issue.

3. Other Solutions to Try

power bi error a circular dependency was detected

  1. If the issue is not with your calc column, the issue can occur if you already have other calc columns already.
  2. Also, if your table doesn’t have a primary key, Power BI won’t allow you to create multiple calc columns.

The Circular Dependencies concept can get complex if you miss the basics while creating the tables and prepare the data. Try to follow the troubleshooting tips in this article and check if you are able to resolve “a circular dependency was detected” Power BI error.


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