One of the coolest features in Power Pivot is the ability to define KPIs based on calculated measures. You can create KPIs in SSAS Tabular as well. Unfortunately, this feature is missing from Power BI. In this post I show you a very simple way to import KPIs and use them in Table, Matrix, Multi-row card and Card visualisations in Power BI.
I use the word “IMPORT” as this feature is NOT available in Power BI Desktop yet so we CANNOT create KPIs directly in Power BI Desktop, but, there is work around for it that I explain it in this post.
- Latest version of Power BI Desktop
- Microsoft Excel (2007 or later)
- Power Pivot add-on if using Excel 2007 to 2013 (Power Pivot is already available in Excel 2016)
- Power Query add-on if you need to transform your data (Power Query is available only in Excel 2010 Professional Plus and Excel 2013. It’s added to Excel 2016 as a built-in feature. Check this out to find out more about BI features in Excel 2016.). In this post I’m not loading data using Power Query, so you can ignore Power Query if you want to follow this article to make your first sample KPI work.
How It Works
The work around is really easy. You only need to
- open Excel
- load data into Power Pivot model from your source
- create desired calculated measures in Power Pivot
- create desired KPIs on top of your calculated measure(s)
- save the Model (Excel file)
- import the Model to Power BI Desktop
Let’s go through the whole process step-by-step to see how it works on real world.
Note: I use Excel 2016 and Adventure Works DW SQL Server sample database. If you’re using prior versions of Excel, you have to download and install Power Pivot for Excel. All steps below are pretty much the same.
- Open Excel 2016
- From Data tab click “Manage Data Model”
Note: In case you’re using prior versions of Excel you need to click “Manage” from Power Pivot tab. All other steps would be the same.
- Select “FactResellerSales”, “DimProduct”, “DimProductCategory” and “DimProductSubCategory” then click Finish
- After the data successfully imported click Close