Power BI

Using KPI visual in Power BI


Microsoft Power BI is certainly the best Business Intelligence tool in the market. Power BI has been a game-changer since Day 1 and over the journey of five years, the developer community has made sure that Power BI is the number 1 choice of businesses across the globe. The growth of a business is measured through metrics. These metrics are known as KPIs.  

Key Performance Indicators (KPI) demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving the set targets.

KPIs are used at different levels to evaluate the performance. High level KPIs include metrics such as total revenue whereas low level KPI are used to evaluate the performance of processes and departments inside the company.

KPIs are used to answer the following business questions:

  • Are you ahead or behind of your set Target?
  • How far ahead or behind are you from your set Target?
  • How well have you been performing?

In this blogpost, we will be answering the first business question using the default KPI visual in Power BI desktop.

KPI acts as an auditor who evaluates the performance to date. KPI datasets require a goal value in addition to the measurable quantity. For effective decision-making, it is import to analyze the progress you have made over a time. Let’s have a look at the data model used for this blog.

The Goal table lists the monthly target for each product line as shown below.

The Bridge – Product Line table has been created to solve the many-to-many relationship between the Product Table and the Goal Table. This relationship exists because for each product there are different goals defined for different months.

The default KPI visual in the Visualization Pane of Microsoft Power BI show you the latest value in the order of date.

To Create KPI Visual:

1.Click on KPI in the Visualization Pane.

2.Drag and drop the column Revenue from Sales Table in the Fields Pane to Indicator Value.

3.Drag and drop the column Year Month from Date in the Fields Pane to Trend Axis Value.

4.Drag and drop the column Target from Goal in the Fields Pane to Target Goals Value.

5.Click on Year Month Column in the Date Table.

6.Now Click on Modeling Tab in the Ribbon Menu.

7.From the Sort Section, Click on Sort By Column.

8.Click on Year Month No.

This is done to made sure that the trend shown in the background of the KPI visual is correct.

9. Now select Slicer Form Visualization Pane and add Product Line from Bridge-Product Line to the Field Value.

A slicer is created on the canvas. Use Formatting tab in the Visualization Pane to set it to Single Select only.

10. Select Mountaineering Equipment from the Product Line Slicer.

Green axis and the tick mark indicate that the you are lagging behind your goal. 

11.Now select Mountaineering Equipment from the Product Line Slicer.

Red axis and the exclamation mark indicate that the you are lagging behind your goal. 

It is important to select a product line in the slicer to get accurate results.

Limitations of KPI Visual:

The default KPI visual in Power BI has two major limitations.

  • Date Hierarchies are not supported in KPI Visual.
  • The value shown is for the last defined interval for goal irrespective of the trend at the back ground.


Key Performances indicators (KPIs) act as indicators of the company’s progress. They are used to answer important business questions and fuel intelligent decision making. It is important to understand the visual to use it fully and get the desired results. In this blogpost, the default KPI visual has been used to find the trend towards the goal. KPI visual has some limitations which are addressed by other visuals and will be discussed in our upcoming blogs. It is extremely important to understand the use of slicer in getting accurate results.

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